The earliest records of a place named 'Bengalooru' were found in a 9th century temple in an area that is now known as 'Old Bangalore'. The first walled defences of the town were constructed by Kempe Gowda. While hunting in the area, a rabbit turned and attacked his dog. This made a great impression on the feudal lord and he named the place gandu bhoomi (the place of heroes), and in 1537 with the assistance of the local king, he constructed three districts protected by a walled fort on the site.
During the next three centuries, Bangalore existed very much in the shadow of its neighboring city Mysore, and control of the town changed hands many times. The year 1831 marked a major turning point for the city. Claiming misrule by King Krishna raja Wodeyar III, the British took control of the Mysore Kingdom and, possibly influenced by the city's mild climate, moved the administrative capital to Bangalore. New telecommunication systems were laid, rail connections built, fine government buildings constructed and the city's famous parks and gardens established. After independence, Bangalore maintained its postion as Karnataka state capital and continued to flourish.
For many years, Bangalore was known throughout India as the most green, liberal and forward-thinking city. In recent years, these attributes have propelled Bangalore to the forefront of the high-tech industry boom in India, and it currently ranks as India's most developed city and one of the world's fastest growning urban areas.
Bangalore is made up of two districts, Bangalore Urban and Bangalore Rural.
Bangalore, which has gained recognition as the Silicon valley of India has many other epithets to it's credit, which may soon earn it the City with many epithets epithet.
Some Popular epithets
Pensioner's Paradise: reminds Bangaloreans of the time when it was a sleepy old city with very little to zero pollution, no competition for its resources, low crime rate, wide roads lined with shady trees and pleasant weather all ideal for a quiet retirement.
Pub City: With its many pubs and bars, and also with the city being the headquarters of United Breweries, makers of the popular Kingfisher Beer, Bangalore is a drinker's dream.
Garden City: was once the epithet Bangalore proudly showed before raising population and pollution reduced the amount of greenspace and Bangaloreans quietly began referring to their city as the Silicon valley of India.
But of late, there has been an increase in parks around residential areas, which may see Bangaloreans proudly reclaiming this epithet.
365.6 square kilometers
3000 ft. above sea level
Latitudinal Parallels: 12 degree 8' N
Longitudinal Meridians: 77 degree 37' E
March to May (warmest months)
December to January (coldest months)
June to September (rainy - South-West Monsoon)
November to December (rainy - North-East Monsoon)
Highest maximum of 33 degree C to lowest minimum
of 14 degree C
Regional Language: Kannada
English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil are widely spoken and understood
Around 5.3 million
Get in and out
Bangalore has a domestic airport and caters to certain international flights too. Among others, two notable direct flights are between Bangalore and Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and Bangalore and Singapore on Silk Air (Singapore Airlines). The Lufthansa flights are usually full and they do operate a few days in the week. Check airline schedules.
Proposal for an International Airport in Bangalore has been accepted and construction is underway at Devanahalli, 30 km north of downtown Bangalore.
Bangalore City railway station is situated in the centre of the city, around the Majestic Bus stand and all trains, local and out-bound arrive and depart from here. The newly established Yelahanka railway station located in a suburban location, about 10 kilometres away from the main railway station is growing and there are a few outbound trains that regularly arrive and depart from it.
Bangalore also has a railway station in the Cantonment Area, called the Cantonment Railway Station - this is centrally located and in a better part of town. Not all trains stop here, though.
Bookings can be done at either of the railway station or at a few of Indian Railways booking counters at major residential areas. Booking can also be done online from the Indian Railways site.
Make sure which railway station your train departs from.
Bangalore bus stand is well-maintained and conveniently located opposite the city railway station. Officialy named after the founder of Bangalore, 'Kempegowda' but more commonly known as 'the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus stand,' it handles buses that connect Bangalore to all major cities and states in south India. The main bus stand of 'the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC),' which maintains bus services within the city, is located next to the 'Majestic Bus stand'.
Get your own car, go to petrol bunk, fill the tank with with speed high octane fuel and zip away.
Pick up a copy of City Guide when you see it. It is generally available at a lot of places (hotels and stores), but not guaranteed to be found at any! It is a monthly publication, and is a mini yellow pages, but is up to date. Even an older copy is useful--so ask at the hotel desk or at stores.
Buses in Bangalore are cheap and usually frequent. There are 4 major Bus stands: Majestic Bus stand near Gandhi Nagar is close to the railway station and is quite neatly organised and is easily navigable.
City Market is around 2 to 3 kms away from Majestic and could daunt newcomers, since it is very disorganised.
Shivajinagar in the north and Jayanagar 4th Block in the south have Bus stands as well.
Most Bus stops in the city are undergoing a revamp and have good display depicting the buses that frequent the stop and the name of the stop.
Autos are quite frequent and are usually found clustered near bus stands, prominent roads,etc., Autos charge according to the meter, and you should simply refuse to board if the meter is faulty or the driver refuses to use it. Autos add a 50% surcharge after 10 PM and a 100% surcharge after 11PM. Heavy luggage will incur an additional fare, usually around Rs.10 or 20. Unfortunately, auto-rickshaw drivers are generally ill-mannered, and you should be careful when dealing with them. Note that the new digital meters already show the corrected price for the trip (1.5x) after 10PM.
Vidhana Soudha - Picture and details : http://www.kar.nic.in/kla/vds.htm The legislative House of the State of Karnataka, this granite building was built by Sri K. Hanumanthaiya, Chief Minister of the then Mysore state 1951 to 1956. The then Prime Minister Sri Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru laid the foundation on 13th July 1951. It was completed in the year 1956 as a result of relentless work of thousands workers with an expenditure of Rs 1.84 crores. Marvel of neo-Dravidian architecture and one of the most imposing building not only in Bangalore but in India. One of the interesting feature of this building in grand stairs in its front. The grand stairs has a flight of forty-five steps 204 feet wide 70 feet deep giving a direct access to the foyer of first floor leading to an Assembly Chamber. The architecture of the building is based on Dravidian style, comprising richly carved bases and capitals for pillars, deep friezes, kapotha cornices, chaithya arches, heavy pediments domical finials, etc; At the same time, the construction has been on modern designs, making use of the present-day materials like steel, reinforced cement concrete glass, plastic, etc.
Seshdari Iyer Memorial is a distinctive building constructed of red sand stone in Cubbon Park. It houses a public library and the Bangalore High Court, while the grounds include a chidren's recreation area with a toy train, fairground and theater.
The Bull Temple is a typical Dravidian style temple, and is famous for its mammoth bull statue that was carved from a single boulder. Legend has it that the temple was built to appease a marauding bull that stole local crops, and that the offering was effective with the bull subsequently leaving the area. Since then, local farmers have held an annual festival to express their gratitude.
The Lal Bagh is a meticulously cared for garden located on the southern fringes of the city. Throughout its 240 acres, there are lotus ponds, fountains, glass houses and stone formations that date back over 3000 million years. Described as the most romantic garden in India, it was laid during the 18th century by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Cubbon Park is a 300 acre green lung in the center of the city. Sitting in the shade of one its many magnificent trees and watching towering bamboo sway in the breeze, it is hard to imagine that you in the heart of a metropolis of over 4,000,000 people and one of the world's most dynamic and fastest growing cities.
The Maha Bodhi Society has a very active temple in Bangalore. There are teachings on the Dharma in English on the first two and last Sundays of every month from 9:30-11:30AM, while on the 3rd Sunday there is a meditation retreat. Anyone is welcome to attend. The temple also has a good library and a beautiful garden - a great place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis outside. Address: 14 Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar. Tel:2250684.E-mail: email@example.com
The Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium, 45 M G Road. Tel:2558-1118 is a large store, offering a wide selection of some of Karnataka's best hand made products. The carvings made of Mysore sandlewood are an especially good buy.
Royal Arts & Crafts, 21 K.H. Road. Tel:2248-4797 has a particularly wide selection of silk carpets and papier mache products.
Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation, 45 K.S.H.D.C Complex, M.G.Road. Tel: 2558-1118 - specializes in Karnataka handicraft.
The Strand book stall, 1st Floor, Manipal Centre, Dickenson Road, Bangalore. Tel: 25580000. Best known for the latest releases in Art, Design, Architecture and at guaranteed lower prices. Run by the very warm and welcoming Vidya Virkar. More at: http://www.strandbookstall.com/
Gangarams, 72 M G Road. Tel: 2558-6743, 2558-7277. Four floors crammed with books makes this book store one of the largest (as well the most organized) book store in India.
Higginbothams , 68 M G Road. Tel:2558-7359, 2558-6574 - a good selection of maps, postcards, guides and novels
Premier Book Shop, 46/1 Church Street (off M G Road). Tel: 2558 8570. Is a venerable Bangalore institution that has books on every conceivable subject literaly stacked from floor to ceiling. Although the store may appear to be utterly chaotic, the owner knows where every piece of his stock lies - just be careful with those elbows, a slight nudge and the whole place will come tumbling down!
Landmark, in Forum Mall on Luskar Hosur Road, Koramangala - a modern bookshop. A good place to pick up the most recent publications. Various household appliances; CDs and DVDs of music albums, computer and video games (the quality varying from time-to-time) and movies can also be found on the next floor.
* = budget, ** = mid-range, *** = splurge. V = vegetarians catered for
Tijouri: North Indian. Restaurant inside the Hotel Atria.
Karavalli: Kerala and west coast. Restaurant within the Gateway Hotel on Residency Road.
MTR Tiffin Room. Lalbagh Gate. Typical South Karnataka Fare. Known for its breakfast.
Kamat Yatrinivas, Gandhinagar. Serves special N Karnataka meals with jowar rotis
Bangalore literally has hundreds of fast food joints serving south Indian vegetarian food. They usually are identified with small round steel tables and diners standing around them having food. Dosas, idlis, vada's, curd rice, Vegetable Pulao, rice with sambar, lemon rice are usually standard fare.
Quality widely varies, since most of them cater to working people. The following are recommended:
The Adiga's chain of restaurants to the south of Bangalore. Prominent among them are the joints located in:
Jayanagar 4th Block, take the road facing BHS First Grade College.
Sree Krishna joint a little further from the road connecting Lalbagh Westgate with Basavanagudi
SLV chain of restaurants. Prominent among them are located in:
Banashankari 2nd Stage, opposite BDA park
Koshy's - St. Marks Road, below British Council Library.
Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) - 11 Lal Bagh Road. (2222-0022 / 2222-1706). One of the very old traditional breakfast places in Bangalore. We know few people who have been having their breakfast at MTR for the past 15 years EVERY DAY!
The Palms - Highgates Hotel (Mangalorean, Coorgi, Malabari style), 33 Church Street. Phone: 25597172
Shiok Far, 2nd Floor, #12 CMH Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560038 Phone: 5116 1800. http://shiokfood.com Eastern Cuisine and Cocktail Lounge. Food from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and China. The Cocktail Lounge serves the best and most affordable cocktails in town.
Paradise Island, Taj West End.
Chillies - Opp Bangalore Club, Residency Road. Phone: 2207-5050
Kabini - Infantry Road. Phone: 2286-8673
Konkan - Coles Road, Frazer Town. Phone: 2506-6613
Kubay - Koramangala Club Road , Phone: 2552-1530
Oasis Restaurant - 1 Church Street, Off Brigade Road. Phone: 2558-6081 / 2665
There are hundreds of Dhabas catering to all tastes. Both South and North Indian fare is available at most places and is clean and cheap. I A special mention is the green park dhaba on the outskirts on bellary road and Golconda Chimney on the airport road. Try the Chicken Katti rolls and the Biryani.
Here are a few moderately expensive restaurants:
Tandoor: Grilled, clay oven. On Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road.
Coconut Groove: On Church Street you could try the Appams and Kerala Parottas with any Chicken Gravy Dish.
Bangalore is home to numerous pubs and bars - earning it the epithet the Pub City of India.
Pecos, off Brigade road, known for its very 60's retro feel
The Pub - The Inn, Museum Road.
Most hotels have spiffy bars with every imaginable concoction of drinks available.
In the "Majestic Area" near City Rail and Bus Station is a good, cheap hotel called the Sri Rama Krishna Hotel. 170rs will get you a very secure single with morning hot water, phone in room and a good views if on upper floor (request). However, if you have a problem with cockroaches, then you'll probably want to look else where. Also, make sure you bring mosquito netting as there are vents that are impossible to close. The hotel also has a very popular, large restaurant serving South Indian food.
Berrys Hotel, 46/1 Church Street (behind MG Road) 2558 7211 & 2558 7431 - around 700Rs for a single
Nandi Hills is a range of craggy hills (with the highest peak being 1,478 m) studded with the shimmering Amrita Samovar Lake and strewn with walks of sylvan beauty. A popular health resort today, it was also the place Tipu Sultan and assorted royalty retired to when they sought to escape the din of battle and the heat of the plains. Nandi Hills
Located about 79 km. from Bangalore, is about 3940 ft. above sea level. The deviation road at Oordagere on the Bangalore-Tumkur Road can reach it. On the top of the hill, there are temples dedicated to Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha. On the lower hill there is a temple dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha. There is a Traveler's Bungalow and a Kalyana Mantap on the top of the hill and a Forest Lodge and Taluk Board T.B. at the foot of the hill.
A flight of 1,175 steps leads from the base of the hills to the top. On top was Tipu Sultan's summer retreat and remains of Tipu's fort bear this out. Tipu's Drop, a 600 metre high cliff face, where prisoners were hurled down the precipice is an awe-inspiring sight.
Sir Mark Cubbon, when he was Commissioner of Bangalore made this his summer residence. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II were among the other dignitaries who enjoyed their stay here. More recently, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and the SAARC delegates chose this spot for a retreat after their international deliberations. For accommodation at the T.B., contact the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Tumkur.
There is a motorable road to the top of the hill. There is a fairly extensive plateau with a garden. There are well-furnished bungalows for lodging and good catering establishments. For reservation of accommodation, the Director of Horticulture, Lalbagh, Bangalore- 2, (Ph.90 - 080 - 6611925) may be contacted. Hotel Mayura Pine Top, managed by KSTDC is here. (Ph: 90 - 08156 - 78624).
Besides the local trader found on most main roads and in most residential areas, there are a few supermarkets in most areas. Prominent among them are Foodworld with outlets in Basavanagudi, Jayanagar 4th Block, Malleshwaram, M.G.Road and new ones coming up in prominent areas. Other chains with a less prominent presence include Nilgiris(M.G.Road), Dmart(D.V.G Road), etc.,
Beauty Parlours & Hair Salons
Manipal Hospital - Airport Road
St. John's - Koramangala
M S Ramiah - Mathikere
Indira Nursing Home - Banashankari IInd Stage
Shekar Nursing Home - Hanumanth Nagar
Sai Baba Hospital - Whitefield Road
Mallya Hospital - Richmond Road
HOSMAT Hospital (Sports and Orthopaedic Medicine) - near MG Road
Band Box on Brigade road .
Snow white on Mission road
Moochis on Brigade Road
Pharmacies are dime a dozen and you should not have any problem locating one. You do not need any prescription for allopathic Over the Counter drugs and ayurvedic medicine(propreitory and traditional), which are available for most common ailments like fever, headache,etc., But you will need prescription for other medicines, which are categorised as Schedule H drugs.