With its pleasant climate and high-tech boom, Bangalore (or more correctly Bengaluru) is one of the gems of southern India. Here are my top 5 things to do in Bangalore. The capital of Karnataka state, Bangalore has a good selection of hotel accommodation, a delicious foodie scene and lively nightlife.
See the sights in Bangalore
In the centre of Bangalore is an atmospheric old fort that has been a ruin since the British successfully besieged the city in 1791. Within the fort don’t miss the beautiful Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, who ruled nearby Mysore in the late 18th-century. Its exquisite pillars and balconies are carved from teak wood.
Another must-see in Bangalore is the palace, where you can catch a glimpse of the decadent splendour of the 19th-century rulers of this region. The Wodeyar maharaja has his private residence in this impressive building and you can tour the public areas. It was actually based on Windsor Castle in England!
Go shopping in Bangalore
Bangalore is a brilliant place to stock up on souvenirs and local crafts while travelling in India. From the colourful commercial Krishnarajendra Market where haggling is essential, to the Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium where you will find fixed prices, browse Mysuru silk saris and carved sandalwood nesting tables.
Relax in Bangalore’s green areas
Bangalore has a number of beautiful and peaceful green spaces, which give it the nickname of “garden city”. One of the most beautiful is the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, which were created by 18th century ruler Hyder Ali (Tipu’s father). The collection of tropical plants spread over 96 hectares is unsurpassed. There are some wonderful mature tree specimens and don’t miss the glass house, which was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace.
The spiritual side of Bangalore
There’s history as well as spirituality to see at the Bull Temple in Bangalore. Nandi is the bull demi-god of Hinduism and the shrine here is Dravidian from the 16th-century, although the bigger tower was built in the early 20th century. An enormous stone Nandi monolith is usually colourful with marigold garlands.
From the British Raj era, St Mark’s Cathedral is an elegant building in MacIvor Town and its architecture was inspired by St Paul’s in London. This ornate church was built in 1812.
Go to the cricket in Bangalore
Chinnaswamy Stadium is a temple to India’s most-loved sport, cricket and fans of the game should not miss the opportunity to attend a match here, whether a drawn-out test, a sparkling Twenty20 game and of course the Indian Premier League. The atmosphere at this stadium is electric, especially when at its capacity of 40,000.
And one more thing…
Finally, if you’re looking for things to do in Bangalore, make time to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bangalore. This is a relatively new institution but it is housed in a lovely old mansion that was once the holiday “cottage” of a Raja and the collection has some excellent works by some of India’s most famous modern artists, including Rabindranath Tagore.
What are your favourite things to do in Bangalore, India?