Known the world over as the Silicon Valley of India. The South Indian city of Bangalore has gone through a sea change in the last few decades. But look past its high rise buildings, glitzy malls, and glass tinted offices and you will discover the old Bengaluru. The one that harks back to its colonial past and old-time neighbourhoods.
The honour of founding the city goes to Kempe Gowda. He built a mud fort in 1537 in what is now old Bangalore. The British moved into the city in the early 1800s and set up a military cantonment owing to the city’s all-year pleasant climate. The influence of the British can still be seen throughout the city. Streets named Brigade Road and Artillery Road and neighbourhoods named Richmond Town and Benson Town.
What to do and see
Undoubtedly, the most impressive structure in Bangalore is the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state legislature. Built-in the Neo-Dravidian style, it is tough not to be awed by its sheer scale and grandeur. A short walk from this iconic structure is the lungs of Bangalore, Cubbon Park. A green paradise situated in the heart of the city. Cubbon Park is one of the reasons for Bangalore to be dubbed The Garden City of India. The park houses the Attara Kacheri. The Karnataka High Court, the State Archeological Museum and the Seshadri Memorial Library, all structures worth a visit.
History buffs will appreciate a visit to the Bangalore Palace, built in 1874. Sign up for a self-guided audio tour as you walk past its grand staircase, magnificent columns and appreciate the extensive collection of photographs and artwork. Also worth a visit is the Dariya Daulat Palace. The summer palace of the erstwhile ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. Constructed entirely of teak wood, the structure is a shining example of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Wake up early and head to KR Market. It is one of the largest wholesale markets in India. Bales of flowers and truckloads of fresh fruits and vegetables are on display presenting some fabulous opportunities for some colourful photography.
Further south, in the neighbourhood of Basavanagudi, is the Bull Temple or the Dodda Basavana Gudi. The vehicle of Lord Shiva, the Nandi at this temple is a monolith and is considered to be the biggest in the world.
Where to eat
A bustling metropolis, Bangalore is home to swanky restaurants and eclectic cafes serving everything from Italian to the Mediterranean to Japanese. But if it is local delicacies that you want to try, then head to Vidyarthi Bhavan, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms or Brahmin’s Coffee Bar. Packed with locals, these restaurants offer authentic dishes such as fluffy dosas (rice crepes), crispy vadas (a doughnut-shaped, deep-fried lentil dish), and steaming hot cups of coffee in a hygienic, no-fuss environment.
To taste the best street food that Bangalore has to offer, take a walk down VV Puram where you can savour everything from just-off-the-frying pan veggie fritters, tangy chaats, piping hot jalebis and even, Indian style pasta!
Thank you for reading.