The charm and beauty of BENGALURU with its rich history and beautiful landscape will strike you like love at first sight!
Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka previously known as Bangalore, is often described as India’s answer to Silicon Valley, but it has so much more to offer than just being a tech hub. A city where the old and new coexist in peace, and in fact adds to its charm, Bengaluru is also home to lush greens and serene nature spots. From fine historic monuments to futuristic exhibitions of tomorrow, to relaxing strolls in the park and fun, frenzied shopping sessions, be sure to have these spots pinned on your map when visiting Bengaluru.
If possible, try to arrive in the morning on your first day as a lot can be covered since most must-visit attractions here are quite close to each other. If you don’t have to check-in at your hotel yet, make your way to Bangalore Palace - about an hour’s drive from Kempegowda International Airport, and catch a glimpse of how Indian royalty lived during the Wodeyar dynasty. Modelled after Windsor Castle in England, this structure hosts relics of the royal family including photos, paintings and interior decor still used by the heir to the Maharaja. Try to drop by on a weekday, as otherwise the crowd is tenfold its normal size.
For an authentic experience in India do take a ride in the quintessential Tuk-tuk - at least once – and head to one of Bengaluru’s most iconic places to visit; the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens. Just a 30-minute drive away, in the south of Bangalore Palace, this garden covers 240 acres of land accommodating more than 1,000 species of colourful greenery giving Bengaluru the moniker "Garden City". This garden also features a century-old glass house, a 20-million-year-old tree fossil, a seven-metre solar-operated dial clock and 250-year-old trees with water fountains placed throughout the garden. Truly a stunning sight to behold.
Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens
Then, top off your first day with a delightful dinner at Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, just a walk across from Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, for a wide range of local delicacies including Masala Dosa, Chandarahara and Rava Idli, all probably served the same way since the eatery opened in 1924.
Start your next day with a morning stroll at Cubbon Park and admire its beauty amidst the morning dews and rays of sunlight. Established by British Commissioner, Sir Mark Cubbon, this 120-hectare park is the green lung of the city, with exotic flowers and plants decorating this park throughout.
The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha
From Cubbon Park, you can walk northeast for about 5-minutes to get to the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, the biggest legislative building in the country, built in 1954 in a fusion of Dravidian and Indo-Saracenic architectural styles. Meanwhile, just opposite is the eye-catching High Court of Karnataka. Both buildings make great backgrounds for your holiday snaps and are great representations of Bengaluru’s landscape.
Meanwhile, a 10-minute’s walk southeast from Cubbon Park will take you to the entrance of the Government Museum of Bangalore, which now serves as an Archaeological Museum exhibiting old jewellery, sculptures and coins. Do not miss out on the earliest Kannada inscription in history, the Halmidi inscription, found only at this museum. From observing Bangalore’s history, sneak a peek into its future at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum, just next door. Since 1962, this museum has been exhibiting the marvels of science and technology from the Triassic period of dinosaurs to the latest modern space technology today; a perfect place to visit for keen explorers out there.
history, sneak a peek into its future at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum, just next door. Since 1962, this museum has been exhibiting the marvels of science and technology from the Triassic period of dinosaurs to the latest modern space technology today; a perfect place to visit for keen explorers out there.
If you’re hungry after all the sightseeing, make your way to the Shivaji Military Hotel, which has been in service for 83 years and is among the gems of Bengaluru serving its signature dish, Donne Biryani. Other dishes include Mutton Biryani, Ghee Rice, Mutton Chops, Khima, Chilly Chicken, and Natty Chicken Biryani, just to name a few. Waiting is inevitable here, though, as the crowds swarming this restaurant is symbolic to its fame, but worth the authentic Indian meal you’ll get to sample once seated.
The last day is usually the best day to spend what’s left of your travel budget and stuff your empty suitcases before heading home. And there’s no better place to shop than at the centre of India’s Silicon Valley where interconnected roads and streets host the state’s busiest and liveliest markets selling everything from the smallest of trinkets to the largest of sculptures. Kick off your hunt for great deals by heading into MG Road (full name Mahatma Gandhi Road), for beautiful silk sarees and Indian laces, traditional handicrafts and even electronic goods at any of the stores lining the streets, and don’t be afraid to bargain!
Mahatma Gandhi Road
Meanwhile, book lovers might want to head to Higginbotham’s Bookstore on Brigade Road. Operating since 1844, this historic spot with a book collection spanning over two centuries is a must-visit where deals can be bargained to as low as Rs50. Once your thirst for books have been satiatied, make your way to Commercial Street. Here, many other streets criss cross each other, upon which many shops sell a variety of worthful buys. Check out Ibrahim Sahib Street for salwar suits, saris and dupattas, Jeweller’s Street for precious adornments and even body-piercing services, and Asiatic Arts & Crafts for handicrafts and antiques.
After all that bargaining, grabbing a bite before flying home would be wise. Head to Airlines Hotel, only 5 minutes away from Commercial Street, and prepare to feast! With a casual open-air tabletop setting under the shade of an old banyan tree, this eatery features both Southern and Northern Indian dishes including, Rice Idly, Masala Vada, Akkirotti, Rava Dosa, Pani Puri, Papad, Aloo Mutter, Palak Panner, and Navrathna Pulao, just to name a few. With the variety of local delicacies in their arsenal, you can simply traverse through India just by flipping through their menu.
International flights into Bengaluru will bring you to Kempegowda International Airport. Flying in from KLInternational Airport, available airlines include Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, AirAsia and Indigo.