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Bangalore City

Lalbagh Garden - BangaloreThe capital of Karnataka, Bangalore is the seventh largest city in India. Acity of contradictions, at one end, the Garden City is close to nature with its numerous beautiful gardens and parks and at the other end, this Silicon Valley is at par with the latest developments of the world. Though the origin of Bangalore is ancient, the present-day city was founded in the 16th century and has since continued to be an important administrative center. Bangalore city has some historical sites of immense interest too.

According to a legend, the city of Bangalore is named the native translation of 'boiled beans' that an old woman offered to a hungry and lost Hoysala ruler. Kempegowda, a local chief, laid the foundations of the present-day city in the early 16th century, by building a small mud fort here. It gained prominence in the 18th century, when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore made it an important fort city during their skirmishes with the mighty British. The British at last crushed Tipu Sultan with an iron hand and took over Bangalore city. In 1831, they made it the regional administrative city and established a big military cantonment here.

Location: In the southern part of the state of Karnataka.
Significance: Capital of Karnataka.
Climate: The climate of Bangalore is moderate and pleasant. Summers are mild while winters are cool. It experiences rainfalls from June to August.

Shopping Attractions:
Bangalore is a good place to purchases silk, sandalwood and rosewood items, and Lambani tribal jewellery. The most pleasant shopping experience is to be found on Commercial St, north of Mahatama Gandhi Road. This street is home to a number of silk, handicraft and shops. Residency Road is a good place for handicrafts while one may also opt for items like granite carvings, paintings on raw silk, applique goods and silver filigree. Vegetable-dyed and hand-embroidered garments and home décor products in typical Gujrati style can be bought from Bangalore as well as the Tanjore art plates, bronze showpieces, black metal items and semi-precious jewelry from Tamil Nadu. Raw silks, dokra metal work, beadwork and footwear of Madhya Pradesh can also be bought from here. The top end of the market consists of high fashion boutiques where all the major fashion designers in India are well represented. A shopper's paradise, Bangalore has more shops per sq. km. than anywhere else in India. The Brigade Road area has everything pleasurable to young hearts including discotheques, bowling alleys, pubs, video game parlors and cyber cafes.

Prime Attractions:

Cubbon Park:

In 1864, Lord Cubbon, the then viceroy of India, laid out 300 acres of an oasis of greenery in the heart of modern Bangalore. This beautiful park is highly popular with walkers, joggers and nature lovers for its tranquility and the natural beauty of the park complimented by the red Gothic structures of the State Central Library and the High Court. The library is worth a visit for its rare treasure of books, Its building has architectural style of stone and fluted pillars with walls finished in lime plaster. Cubbon Park houses a variety of flora along with institutions of significance like the Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall, Ottawa Chatter, Museum, Century Club and the Press Club.

Lalbagh Gardens:
The present day Lalbagh was once a small fruit orchard during the times of Hyder Ali. Later, Tipu Sultan introduced exotic trees such as Cypress, Thuja, Junipers, Grapes, Guavas, Raspberries and Strawberries and other European flora and expanded the garden. The period of John Cameron is often referred to as the 'Golden Era' of plant introductions of this royal retreat. A number of fruits, vegetables, spices, medicinal plants and aromatic plants were grown during his times. He also built the Lalbagh Glass House for displaying the flora, which was made of imported parts from England and was completed within just 12 hours of laying its foundation. Today, Lal Bagh houses the offices of the Karnataka Horticultural Society that renders free advice to those interested in flowers and gardens and a giant Electronic Quartz Flower clock.

Vidhana Soudha:
Vidhana Soudha - BangaloreThis imposing edifice built almost entirely of dressed Bangalore granite is a tribute to Temple architecture. It houses the Legislative Chambers of the state government. It is 46 meter high and one of the Bangalore's most important buildings. Mr. Kengal Hanumanthaiah the then chief minister of Mysore decided to construct the Vidhana Soudha entirely along Indian style of architecture. It has four domes on all the four corners and the four-headed lion, the symbol of Indian sovereignty, overshadows the main entrance. It houses 22 departments and 300 rooms.

Jawahar Bala Bhavan:
Children's amusement park and recreation center, the main attractions of the place are the toy train, which moves along the delightful pathway of the Cubbon Park and the Dolls museum. It also houses a 20 million year old fossilized tree, which was gifted to it by the Geological Survey of India.The Bhavan has boating facility and a small fair ground too. Children's film shows and theatre performances are regularly held at the Vijayaranga Theatre.

The Fort:
Situated opposite the City Market, the Fort was originally built in mud by Kempe Gowda in 1537. The Fort was extended and fortified by Tippu Sultan. It is noted for the beautifully carved Islamic-style arches on the gate walls, and for the well-preserved Ganapathi Temple, a testament of the religious tolerance of Tipu Sultan, within its precincts. One of the temple's outer walls carries an exquisite carving of Sri Krishna playing his flute.

Tippu's Palace:
Situated near the fort, construction of this palace was begun by Tippu Sultan's father Haider Ali, and completed by Tippu himself in 1791. It resembles the Daria Daulat Palace at Srirangapatna, Tipu's capital. It was known as `Rashk-e-jannat' - the Envy of Heaven. Constructed largely of wood, it is known for the five elaborately decorated arches surmounted by exquisite minarets, and paintings on the walls and ceilings.

Indian Institute of Science:
Founded by the Tatas, this premier science institute has been the research place of many famous Indian scientists including the Nobel Prize winner C.V. Raman and space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Its stately buildings are in classic European style, with a central quadrangle decorated with attractive Persian motifs. On February 1, 1911 Krishna Raja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore, laid the foundation stone of the grand main building. The Institute has 22 departments of various branches of science, and a collection of over 2,68,000 books.

Government Aquarium:
The Govt. Aquarium is housed in an octagonal building, enhancing the beauty of Cubbon Park. It exhibits the largest number of indigenous and exotic, cultivable as well as ornamental pet fish. The Hocks stick, the Pearl Coushmi, the India Tiger Borb, the Moon Tail, as well as edible fish welcome the visitor. The Aquarium provides food for thought, but if you want to taste the fish, there is a fish stall here.

Gandhi Bhavan:
The Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, which is housed in the Gandhi Bhavan (Kumara Krupa Road), seeks to propagate the life and teachings of Gandhiji. The Gandhi Smarak Nidhi has organized a comprehensive picture gallery depicting Gandhiji's life in pictures from early childhood to the last day. Photostat copies of letters written by him to various personalities of his day can also be seen.

Bangalore Hotels:
ITC Sheraton Bangalore - Hotel Capitol - 3 Star Hotels in Bangalore

How To Reach

By Air: There are number of daily domestic flights to and from important cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Goa, Kochi, Mangalore, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram and direct international flights to and from Muscat, Sharjah and Singapore. It is also an important stopover for many international flights.
By Train: There are two railway stations in Bangalore. The main station is well connected to all the major Indian cities and there are number of daily express trains from Bangalore to other cities of India.
By Road: Bangalore has a large bus terminus and smooth roads. There are a number of buses running to and from Mysore, Hospet, Chennai and Mumbai. One can also catch tourist buses that conduct tours and excursions around the city.

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