Once a sleepy regional capital, Bangalore today is a modern metropolis that will come as a big surprise to those who are visiting for the first time. Also known as Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka is the technological hub of India and this is the very place where the country’s new, confident and global identity is being forged. As the fifth largest city in India, Bangalore is said to be the fastest growing city in Asia, with a plethora of interesting buildings and high tech industries. As wealthier Indians flock to live here, Bangalore has become a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant cafe and bar culture. The city might lack historical sites but it compensates it with its buzzing, relaxed and liberal atmosphere, providing the perfect base for exploring the beautiful temples and evocative palaces of the Deccan.
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Shops are open from Mon-Sat 10am-12pm and 4pm-8pm, while restaurants and clubs have to close at 11.30pm. Banks operate Mon-Fri 10am-2pm and Sat 10am-12pm.
Department of Tourism at Government of Karnataka
49, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road, Bangalore
+91 80 223 528 28
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm
Government of India Tourist Office
48, K.F.C. Building, Church Street, Bangalore
+9180 255 854 17
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm
Once known as 'The Garden City' of India, earliest records of a place named ’Bengaluru’ date back to a 9th century temple in an area that is now known as ’Old Bangalore’. And legends surround Bangalore: while one legend has it that Bengaluru (Town of Boiled Beans) got its name after an old woman served cooked pulses to a lost and hungry Hoysala king, another one has it that a feudal lord was hunting in the area when a rabbit turned and attacked his dog, and as this made a great impression on the lord, he gave the place the title of Gandu Bhoomi (the place of heroes).
Besides the magic atmosphere that old Indian traditions have created around the city, Bangalore is also a metropolitan hub, and constantly changing. Buildings rise up at a fast pace while a new city centre has come into the world, in a clutch of skyscrapers in the area surrounding Cubbon Park.
The city is split into two main districts: ’Urban’ and ’Rural’. Within the city itself, Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G. Road), running from Trinity Circle at one end to Anil Kumble Circle at the other, is the main thoroughfare filled with banks, smart shops and restaurants. The city’s other main hub, Gandhinagar, in the western part of the city, is where you will find the central bus stand and the main railway station. Nicknamed “Majestic”, the area is crowded, busy and and full of shops, cinemas and budget hotels. In the northern part of the town reside the Raj-era buildings, the High Court and the racecourse. Bangalore Urban district contains the city itself and many of the main sights, and it is further divided into the North, South and also the Anekal districts, comprising more than 600 villages in total.
The Bangalore Rural district comprises 1,000 different villages and it is ideal if you fancy escaping from the chaos of the city life. Outside the city, Savandurga is a famous hilltop with temples dedicated to Gangadeshwara, Hanna Devi and a cave spring called Pattala, that – in a bull-shaped figure – has enchanted tourists for years.
Despite Bangalore´s sudden development, the city preserves its charm unaltered, in a plethora of old buildings, temples, colorful markets and peaceful gardens.
The extraordinary timber-built Tipu Sultan Palace in the heart of the city gives a fascinating glimpse into Bangalore’s past, and a sense of perspective in this wannabe-modern city projected into the future. A renowned 17th-century temple and the ruins of Bangalore´s fort are only a few steps away, creating a hub of historical constructions. Karnataka’s State Legislature and Secretariat building, one of India’s greatest buildings, is located north-west of Cubbon Park.
Despite the rush of modern life, Bangalore has a strong religious tradition, so make sure to head to Bugle Hill and the Bull Temple. As a favorite among travelers, this breathtaking 16th-century construction literally dwarfs whoever passes by.
Bangalore is a city to be experienced and explored. The Garden City is famous for its parks, with some of them dating back over 200 years, and the most impressive ones are the botanical gardens of Lal Bagh.
Government Museum and Venkatappa Art Gallery
Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace
Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Art Gallery
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technical Museum
Bangalore is a gourmand's paradise, as the local cuisine takes in influences from Andhra, Chettinad, Hyderabadi, Tamil, Mangalorean and Keralan dishes with a big emphasis on rice, sambar and rasam (vegetable stew and soup) dishes. As a global capital, Bangalore also offers a great variety of international cuisine but the real delight is to fully indulge in its delicious local cuisine, as there is something for everyone.
You should start the day with a plate of unbeatable masala dosa, a delicious crepe stuffed with spiced potatoes known as the “food of the gods”, accompanied by some chai tea. Lunch or dinner normally consists of steamed rice, curries, vegetable dishes and pickles, and one or two sweet dishes like poppadoms, buttermilk, curd and ghee. It is tradition to start the meal with a sweet dish and to finish it with curd rice, and everything is served on well-rinsed Banana leaf.
With the emergence of a cosmopolitan cafe culture, new venues and fast food outlets pop up in Bangalore, and the high tea became a social event not only for the upper class but for everybody. While predictable café chain like Barista and Coffee Day soon settled, hip hangouts with DJs or live music as well as more traditional settings also rose up in the heart of the city, awaiting you for having a break.
The tech-savvy denizens of Bangalore might work hard but they certainly know how to enjoy themselves, and the city has in fact seen a boom in the numbers of pubs, bars and clubs. Thanks to vigilant local authorities who have imposed a 11:30pm curfew, Bangalore’s parties have to power up early, with the only exception of the 24 hours coffee shops. Despite this hindrance, the city offers great nights out as long as you properly plan ahead, with a great majority of clubs and bars located at hotels.
Bangalore is an every shopper's paradise, as the cosmopolitan city features diverse trends and products ranging from pure silk saris over chic dresses to branded gold jewelry. With exclusive boutiques, modern shopping malls, traditional shopping markets and street side sellers, shopping in Bangalore is indeed a wonderful experience. Gaining recognition from the world, with the very first shopping mall in whole India, Bangalore soon became a hub for shoppers and it still remains until today.
Mahatma Gandhi Road / Commercial Street
Passport / Visa
All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document with a valid visa. A visa is required for most nationalities, with the exception of Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives (if not arriving from mainland China).
The visa has to be requested through an online application, and the instruction for filling in the application and for scheduling appointments can be seen at the visa department's website.
Be aware that a visa can only be acquired via this online application, and without any intermediary – do not follow agents who claim speedy/express grant of e-Visa.
Best Time to Visit
As Bangalore enjoys a moderate climate, this city can be visited at any time throughout the year. The season between June and September is characterised by monsoons, ranging from mild to heavy rainfall, whereas the winter months between October and February attract most tourists thanks to their mild temperatures, which are best to enjoy the vibrant street life and beautiful nature.
Kempegowda International Airport
Bangalore International Airport is located 44 kilometres north of Bangalore and it is well connected to the city centre. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has in fact twelve bus routes with buses running every 15 minutes to and from the airport as the most convenient way to come and go here. Air Conditioned Taxi services to the airport are also available, and share taxis operated by Airlift are located just outside the terminal building next to the bus stand.
Address: Bangalore International Airport, Bangalore
Phone: +91 80 667 824 25
Bangalore has an extensive public transport system with frequent services: Ordinary city buses are white and blue in color. Buses with black display boards run within the city. Red board buses cover long distance routes to adjoining suburbs. Red Volvo buses, Vajra, operate on certain routes within the city, and as they are air-conditioned, these ones are the best option for tourists.
Ordinary buses only display the route number in English while destination and route information are given in Kannada. Bus maps and route information can be found at the service company's website as well as the main bus terminals: Kempegowda bus stand (also known as the Majestic Bus Stand) and Shivajinagar in the north. While bus services are less frequent after 10:30pm, do also try to avoid rush-hour between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays as the buses then tend to be packed. In the front of the vehicles, many buses have seats reserved for women.
With a daily bus pass you can travel in any bus (other than the Vajra) for the entire day. Try to avoid going by car, as lane discipline is less valued and the use of horns at all times mandatory.
Phone: +91 80 042 516 63
Bangalore's taxis are convenient and comfortable, and always featured with the logo of the fleet operator or taxi company on the sides of the car. Most of the vehicles are Maruti Omni Vans or Tata Indica cars and much safer than auto rickshaws.City Safari is quite known but there are also other services:
Gopinath Radio Call Taxi Service
+91 80 236 055 55
+91 80 466 258 00
Phone: +91 80 255 342 76
Post offices are located across the whole town, offering all services from buying stamps to sending letters. Small red postal kiosks, usually attached to poles, can easily be found among the intricate knot of streets. A main office can be found at Museum Road but there are many more:
Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore
+91 80 255 872 70
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
Domlur Post Office
1 Service Road, Bangalore
+91 80 253 569 66
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-4:30pm
Address: Museum Road, Bangalore
Phone: +91 80 255 999 05
Plenty of pharmacies can be found along Mahatma Gandhi Road as well as at other main streets. You do not need any prescription for over the counter drugs and ayurvedic medicine that are available for common ailments like headaches and fever. Most pharmacies will deliver 24 hours a day while usually charging a small surcharge. A main pharmacy is Apollo Pharmacy but there are other ones close by as well:
Bangalore Homoeo Pharmacy
84/1 2nd Cross, Bangalore
+91 80 231 230 20
Roop Medical & General Stores
1 2nd Main Road, Bangalore
+91 98 866 511 94
Address: Main Road, Bangalore
Phone: +91 80 229 515 03
Country code: +91
Area code: 80
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