Bangalore is the seventh largest cosmopolitan city of India and is the capital of of Karnataka. It has many nicknames. The beautiful gardens and parks lending natural beauty to Bangalore has earned the title of 'Garden City' while the latest software and technological advancements have earned it the title of the 'Silicon Valley'. Founded in the 16th century, Bangalore is an important administrative, historical, commercial and industrial center today. The numbers of historical monuments in the city are just stunning. It is said that the city's name means 'boiled beans' in the native language.It has been named after a local legend, which narrates that an old woman living in the village here offered 'boiled beans' to a hungry and lost wanderer, who turned out to be the famous Hoysala ruler, Kempegowda. The chief later founded the city and built a small mud fort here. In the 18th century, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore glorified this fort by standing up to the mighty British armies from here. Later, British crushed Tipu Sultan and took over Bangalore. In 1831, they stabled a big military cantonment here and made it the regional administrative city.
Bangalore's Prime Attractions
Cubbon Park: Spread across 300 acres, the park was laid by Lord Cubbon in 1864. A favorite spot for jogging and strolling through Nature's delights, Cubon Park has tranquility and natural beauty along with red Gothic majestic buildings of the State Central Library and the High Court too. The library has a rare treasure of books and a stone and fluted pillars architectural style. Its walls are finished in lime plaster. Diversity of flora in the park is just astonishing while the several popular institutions have chosen it as its venue such as the Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall, Ottawa Chatter, Museum, Century Club and the Press Club.
Lalbagh Gardens: Started off as a small fruit orchard in the times of Hyder Ali, Lalbagh gradually expanded as Tipu Sultan brought and planted several exotic tree species here such as Cypress, Thuja, Junipers, Grapes, Guavas, Raspberries and Strawberries and other European flora. It saw its prime during the times of John Cameron, who infused this royal retreat with a new life by introducing a number of fruits, vegetables, spices, medicinal plants and aromatic plants here. He even built the Lalbagh Glass House for a better display of flora and its parts were imported from England. It took only 12 hours to complete and till now serves as the office premises of the Karnataka Horticultural Society. This society offers free advice to those interested in flowers and gardens and has a giant Electronic Quartz Flower clock on the show.
Vidhana Soudha: A tribute to temple architecture, this imposing 46-m high building made up of dressed Bangalore granite houses the Legislative Chambers of the state government. One of the Bangalore's most important buildings, it was built in pure Indian style under the instructions of Mr. Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the then chief minister of Mysore. The four domes gracing its corners and the four-headed lion, the National Emblem of India adorns its main entrance. There are 22 departments and 300 rooms in this building.
Jawahar Bala Bhavan: This amusement park is the children's first love and the Dolls Museum and the toy train that weaves its path around the park are the best loved highlights of the recreation center. A 20 million year old fossilized tree housed in the park was gifted to it by the Geological Survey of India. It also has boating facility and a small fair ground along with film shows for kids and the theatre performances at the Vijayaranga Theatre.
The Fort: The mud fort of KempeGowda built in 1537 is situated opposite the City Market. Tipu Sultan fortified it and expanded the Fort and introduced intricately carved Islamic-style arches on the gate walls. The religious tolerance of TIpu, who himself was the follower of Islam, is reflected in the presence of the well-preserved Ganapathi Temple in the premises of the fort and the gorgeously carved Sri Krishna playing his flute on one of the outer walls of the fort.
Tippu's Palace: The wooden palace known as `Rashk-e-jannat' or the 'Envy of Heaven' near the fort was started by Haider Ali and completed by Tippu himself in 1791 on the lines of the Daria Daulat Palace at Srirangapatna, the capital of Tipu Sultan. It has five ornately decorated arches with their exquisite minarets and paintings on its 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: Gandhi Bhavan, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the life and teachings of Gandhi ji, the Father of India. The Gandhi Smarak Nidhi housed in this building sport a comprehensive well-organized picture gallery on Gandhi ji covering many important events and days of his life from his early childhood to his death. The gallery also has framed letters and their photostat copies of letters written by Gandhi to various eminent personalities of his day.
Bangalore City Facts
Location: Situated in southern Karnataka.
Climate: Bangalore has moderate and pleasant climate with mild summers and cool winters. Monsoon season extends from June to August.
How to Reach:
By Air: Bangalore has daily domestic flights to and from Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Trivandrum and direct international flights to Muscat, Sharjah and Singapore. Bangalore also serves as a stopover for many long-distance international flights.
By Train: Bangalore has two railways and is well linked to other major Indian cities by trains including daily express trains.
By Road: Smooth roads link Bangalore to all the major cities while buses are available from its large bus terminus to Chennai, Hospet, Mumbai and Mysore and also the surrounding excursions.