With its bustling malls, ever packed roads and high rise buildings, Bangalore provides a new face to contemporary India, one that the younger generations can relate to. Kempegowda, a chieftain from the Vijayanagara Kingdom, established the first major settlement in what is currently modern Bangalore, in the year 1537.
Some Bare Basics on the City
Bangalore was initially ruled by the Western Gangas and then by the Hoysalas. The region was later on ruled by Hyder Ali and then by his son Tipu Sultan. Once called Bendakaluru, it was later anglicized as Bangalore and is now officially known as Bengaluru.
The city, which was previously known as the 'Garden City of India', is now termed as the 'Silicon Valley of India' for its status as one of the major centers of the IT boom.
Bangalore is located in south-east Karnataka and the city lies in the heart of the Mysore Plateau, a part of the larger Deccan Plateau. Covering an area of 741 sq km, it has a population of about 5.8 million (third most populous city). Due to its location at an altitude of 3113 ft (949 mt) above sea level, the city experiences a beautiful climate.
Why Tourists Mainly Flock to Bangalore - Tourist places in and around Bangalore
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Bangalore is a heaven for tourists as the city is very well connected to other places and sports major tourist attractions like the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park, The Aquarium, Venkatappa Art Gallery, the Vidhana Soudha, and Bannerghatta National Park, which are must visit locations.
The city has a lot of accommodation options ranging from budget to premium. The Leela Palace, Golden Landmark, Windsor Manor, Le Meridian, The Taj, and The Lalit Ashoka are some of the major hotels that cater to tourists.
As it houses a multicultural society, you can find different cuisines in the city. From street food to international fast food joints, everything will be available. A large number of Mc Donald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut outlets can be found all over Bangalore and interested tourists can try out the local cuisine too at many places like MTR. Availability of North or East Indian cuisine is not a problem as many restaurants cater food items from other states in India.
Malls like The Forum, Garuda Mall, Central and Mantri Mall are good places to shop as they feature both local and international brands. The Cauvery Emporium at MG Road is a good place to shop for ethnic items like sandalwood articles, and channapattana wooden toys. Bangalore's nightlife is a very popular one, thanks to its vibrant youth base.
Thanks to its tropical climate, the city experiences frequent rain along with warm summers and cold winters. The city was once termed as a 'Pensioner's Paradise' as the climate attracted retired people from all walks of life. The temperature generally ranges between 20°C to 36°C during the summer and 17°C to 27°C during winter.
Connectivity and Ease of Travel - How to reach Bangalore
Commuting in and around Bangalore is quite easy as the city is very well connected. To travel within the city, people depend on buses, auto rickshaws, cabs and the metro trains (which are scheduled to be released). The Vayu Vajra buses connect the city to the airport. Bangalore is connected to other parts of the country by road, rail, and air.
A major center of South-Western railways in India, there are a few train stations around the city such as City Central, Yeshwantapur, Cantonment, and K R Puram. The Bengaluru International Airport, situated at Devanahalli, 40 km away from the city, serves both domestic and international passengers.
The Local Culture and Heritage
Though Bangalore is a multicultural city, a majority of the population follows Hinduism. The cosmopolitan nature of the city has encouraged people across different states to settle in Bangalore and though Kannada is the official language of the state, most of the Bangalore population can understand and speak good English and Hindi.
The other languages commonly heard are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. It has the second highest literacy rate after Mumbai (83%).
The rich cultural heritage of the city has encouraged many organizations such as Ranga Shankara, Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, and Ravindra Kalakshetra to grow as strongholds of traditional and modern theatre.
The Bengaluru Habba, which takes place once a year, provides a good stage where people can display their talents and bring forth their performances. Major festivals in the city of Bangalore, like Deepavali and Ganesh Chaturti showcase the rich religious culture in the city.
On the Rise as a Major Destination
The city grew as a manufacturing hub, as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharath Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) established their head quarters in Bangalore.
The economy of the city grew greatly with companies like Infosys, Wipro, and TCS establishing their Head Offices in Bangalore. Other major companies that have offices in Bangalore include LG, Samsung, and IBM. The job market started attracting migrants from all over the world, which in turn led to the formation of a multicultural and multiracial society.
The city is home to prestigious institutions like The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM). It also has a good number of engineering, medical and management colleges.
With so many options spread out for tourists, traveling to Bangalore can be a unique experience indeed!