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Bangalore (South India) - City Guide

Located 1000 m above sea level, is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, a major industrial and commercial centre of the country. The city was founded by Kempe Gowda in the early 16th century. Two centuries later, it became an important fortress city under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The ruins of those periods can still be seen on the Bellary Road, at Lal Bagh, Ulsoor and Gavi Gangadhareswar Temple.

Bangalore is a very happening city these days. What was once a quiet pensioner's paradise, with beautiful gardens, sidewalks, cafes and a colonial air, Bangalore, today is buzzing with young techies, latest automobiles, neon lights, trendy lounges and bars and huge glass structures kissing the clouds.

Bangalore is India's answer to the Silicon Valley, it generates maximum employment among all Indian cities-mainly due to the explosion of Information Technology in the 90s.Bangalore always was industrially inclined. Post independence, in the early 50s, Bangalore had evolved into a manufacturing hub for heavy industries such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Indian Space Research Organization.

There is lots to see and do in Bangalore, check out our below mentioned Bangalore and around sightseeing section to know more.

Access by Air:

Bangalore international Airport, known as 'HAL Airport' is situated on Airport Road and well within the city- about 6 kms from MG Road -the city centre. A busy Airport with over 70 international and domestic flight landings everyday, this airport is divided into two terminals. Terminal I contain the Departure lounge for the Domestic Flights and Terminal II is for Arrival of Domestic Flights. International Terminal handles Departure and Arrival of International flights. The airport is a major hub in South Zone for traveling and for the feeder routes. Flights operating out / to Bangalore airports with other parts of India are to Mumbai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai, New Delhi

The main flights operates are Indian Airlines and Air India. The Departure area contains elevators to take the luggage to the Indian Airlines/Air-India Counters. It also has Child Welfare Room. The security section is well appointed with cushioned chairs. Small refreshment counter and foreign exchange service counters are also present.

Access by Rail:

Regular train services connect Bangalore to all the major cities in India such as to Mumbai in Western India, New Delhi in North India, Cochin in South India, Kolkatta in East India etc.

Access by Road:

Bangalore's National Highway connects it to the major cities of India. The National Highway connecting Bangalore is superbly made with long driving and motels in between kept while upgrading the highway for the welfare of the drivers in mind.

Vidhana Soudha is one of the most splendid architectural creations, India can boast of. Located at the north - west end of Cubbon Park, it is a granite structure built in the neo - Dravidian style of architecture.

Lal Bagh, was laid out in the 18th century by Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. Spread over an area of 240 acres, the park contains a variety of plants and trees, a deer park, and one of the largest collections of rare tropical and sub - tropical plants, in the country.

Cubbon Park, laid out in 1864, a brainchild of the British, covers an area of 300 acres. Within its premises are the Public Library, the High Court, the Government Museum and the Visveswaraiah Technological & Industrial Museum.

Sightseeing around Bangalore:

Srirangapatnam :

Visit Srirangapatnam, which is renowned as the capital of Mysore Rulers - Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan and also known for the bloody struggles against the British in the late 18th century. The southern entrance to the fort is the Mysore gate where about 10, 000 captives seized the opportunity afforded by Cornwallis's in 1792 to break out of the city. Close by, to the west lies a picturesque Elephant gate and a marble slab which carries a fulsome Persian inscription. Also visit the Jami mosque which was built by Tipu Sultan and is a graceful affair with pierced minarets crowned by onion domes, containing narrow staircases. The circuit ends at the Garrison cemetery which is an appropriate place to contemplate the bloody history of Srirangapatnam.

Belur & Halebid :

At Belur visit the Chennakeshava temple - one of the early masterpieces of the Hoysala period. Entirely built of grey-green chloride, the temple itself consists of a sanctuary with minor shrines on three sides and a columned mandapa partly open as a porch. Beneath the overhanging eave, angled brackets carved as maidens are supported on the column capitals. These bracket figures are the finest examples of Hoysala art.

In Halebid, visit the Hoysaleshvara temple, which belong to mid 12th century. Both architecturally and artistically renowned, the temple represents the Hoysala style. Two identical temples are linked to form a complex with two sanctuaries and two mandapas. In the grounds of the temple are collections of sculptures gathered from all over the sites. Also visit the Kedareshvara temple dating back to the 13th century.

Sravanabelagola :

This is one of the most celebrated Jain religious sites in southern India. The monuments and temples are located on two granite hills as well as in the village that lies between. Visit the Gommateshvara image - this monolithic sculpture representing Bahubali, the son of the first Tirthankara (ruler). At 58 feet, this is the highest freestanding sculpture in India, carved out of a single stone.

Badami :

Badami, also identified as Vatapi, was the capital of the early rulers during the 06th to 08th centuries. Today Badami is better known for its Hindu & Jain cave temples. The temples at Badami provide important evidence of the formative stages of southern Indian architecture. Examples of the later evolution of early Chalukya architecture are at the nearby sites of Aihole, Mahakutta & Pattadakal. Of the structural temples at Badami the Mahakuteshwara and Naganath Shivalaya Temples are worth visiting for its remarkable architectural beauty. Visit the Badami Fort which comprises a lower fort enclosing the town, commended by two strong forts on the hills above, the northern one known as the 52 rocks fort and the southern one known as the battlefield fort.

Mysore :

Once the capital of Wodeyar kingdom, Mysore is still one of the finest cities of southern India. The frangance city of sandalwood and jasmine, this city is a blend of palaces, temples and gardens. The City Palace, the seat of Wodeyar dynasty was built in 1897 and is a contrasting mixture of Indian and Victorian architectural style. Visit the well-laid out Brindavan Gardens which is worth a visit at night when it is floodlit. Other interesting places are the Zoological Gardens, Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre.

Hassan :

115 kms from Mysore, this calm and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Sravanbelagola, Belur and Helebid.

Hampi :

Hampi was the capital of Vijaynagar is situated on the southern banks of river Tungbhadra. Vijaynagar reached its pinnacle of glory under its greatest scion, Krishnadevaraya. Here one can visit Queen's Bath - an engineering feat, Vijay Bhawan, Stone Trough, Hazaarama Temple - a sculptural master-piece, Zenana Enclosure, Elephant's Stable, Narsimha Monolith and Lotus Mahal - exemplifying synthesis of Hindu Islamic style.