The best things to do in Bangalore!
Bangalore, or Bengularu, is the capital of the state of Karnataka and the biggest city in South India. Is often described as India’s silicon city as it is the major center of India’s IT industry. Due to Bangalore’s booming IT industry the city has quite a modern and westernized feel and there are many things to do in Bangalore.
Bangalore might not see alot of tourists but the city has a wonderful blend of peoples, cultures and food from all over India and Bangalore seems less crowded, dirty or chaotic than other cities I’ve visited here. This makes Bangalore a great city to start your Indian adventure in.
I’ve been volunteering in Bangalore and living her for a few months. So I’ve had a chance to check out all the best things to do in Bangalore.
Here’s 10 things to do in Bangalore:
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
One of my favourite things to do in Bangalore is to escape the buzz of the city with a relaxing stroll through the 240 acres of the beautiful Lal Bagh botanical gardens.
These enchanting gardens feature a majestic glasshouse, similar to London’s Crystal Palace and rare collections of tropical trees and plants.
It is also a great place to just sit on the rock enjoying views over Bangalore or to people watch as families relax and take photos by the fountains.
You would be forgiven for thinking you were in England when visiting Bangalore Palace with it’s beautiful, Tudor style architecture and the castle like, fortified towers, elegant woodcarvings in its interiors and green lawns outside.
The palace was built in 1887 by Chamaraja Wodeyar and it is no surprise to learn that it was inspired by England’s Windsor Castle. It is a popular place for the most incredible and opulent weddings and one of the top tourist attractions in Bangalore.
The grand Vidana Soudha is a landmark of Bangalore. Built in 1954 this enormous, grand building is an example of neo-Dravidian architecture.
This massive building houses the legislative chamber of the Karnataka government. It looks stunning when illuminated at night and is always a sight to behold with its grand domes on all four corners.
Bangalore used to be known as the ‘Garden City’ but with the rise of the IT industry some of the greenery is starting to be lost, but not Cubbon Park, which still occupies 300 acres in the heart of city.
Cubbon Park is a great place to chill out and laze around in the lush green parklands and admire the different species of exotic plants. It’s also a popular place for walkers, joggers, kids and nature lovers and also has an aquarium.
Tipu Sultan’s Palace
Tipu Sultan’s elegant palace of dark teak pillars and frescoes is beautiful, quite small for Indian palace standards but learning about Tipu Sultan, who is considered a state hero for resisting the East India company, is very interesting.
A visit is worthwhile as you can also visit the ornate Venkataraman Temple next door and nearby a massive mosque, the Krishnarajendra city market and the remains of Kempegowda’s Fort.
The colours, patterns and fabrics used in Indian clothing and the cheap prices make shopping here a paradise. It”s a good idea to pick up some Indian clothes to help you blend in a little – a couple of kurtas (long tops), churidars (leggings) and dupattas (scarves) is a good start.
There are many modern malls (try Mantri Mall on Sampige Road next to the Leave Ur Mark apartment!) or the UB city collection mall, which are chilled out places to shop or try the buzzing Commercial Street or MG Road for a more ‘full on’ Indian shopping experience. Maybe pick up a sari, some jewelry or handicrafts for souvenirs and presents to take home – just don’t forget to haggle.
Also check out the fruit and vegetable KR Market for a unique, cultural Indian experience and be wowed by the hustle and bustle and the assault on the senses of the sights, smells, sounds and colours of the market.
With people from all over India living in Bangalore you can try all kinds of food here, from dishes from all regions of India, traditional South Indian food (you must try dosas, idlis and a thali), western favourites and fast food chains to Chinese, Thai and even sushi!
The areas of Koramangla and Indiranagar have a good dining and eating scene. Just be careful with the street food as levels of food hygiene on the streets of India leave a lot to be desired.
Check out the Pub Scene
Bangalore is a pretty modern and westernised Indian city, possibly because of the impact of the IT industries and the impact of westerners living here. Bangalore has become known for it’s Pub scene and is also known as the rock and metal capital of India.
Check out some micro breweries like Toit in Indiranagar, Arbor on Brigade Road and Prost in Koramangla. Pubs like Watsons and Church Street Social Club popular and cheap or try Bierre Republic or Pecos. Try to catch a gig while you are here check out Hummingtree of the Sugar Factory.
Visit some Temples
While you’re in India you have to check out some temples! Bangalore has a mix of cultures, religions and temples and there are also churches and mosques here too and variety of Hindu temples from traditional to modern dedicated to an array of deities.
Check out the ultra modern ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna-Chandra Temple, the huge Shiva statue at the Shiv Mandir Temple and the Bull Temple with a huge Nandi or the atmospheric Dodda Ganesha Temple with it’s huge Ganesh idol.
Bangalore also has several good museums you can visit. A trip to the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum is entertaining just to see school groups of children running around excited trying out the interactive hands on science displays.
There is also the Government Museum of Bangalore is in the red building next door or you could also check out the National Galley of Modern Art or the Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum.
Just take it all in
India is an incredible destination and although it may seem a little crazy at times there is always something to shock, surprise and fascinate around every corner.
Sometimes just wandering down the street or taking a rickshaw ride through the buzzing streets of the city and watching people go about their daily lives can be fascinating.
There is always something to see in India and yes, even in Bangalore there are cows in the middle of the road! Sometimes the very best thing to do in Bangalore is just to observe the street life!