Bangalore was listed as one of Lonely Planetâs top 10 cities to visit in 2012, describing the city as packing in âthe best brews, the scrummiest cuisines, and the liveliest arts and music sceneâ. Our Bangalore guide gives you the essential advice you need to plan a visit.
Bangalore is located in the South Indian state of Karnataka, lying 1000 m above sea level. It is now called Bengaluru. As a major transport hub it is east to get into and around Bangalore.
In 1120 AD, King Veera Ballalla ruled South India. During a hunting trip through the forest he became lost and an old lady in the forest offered him shelter for the night. As gratitude for her kindness he constructed a town called, Benda Kalooru, meaning town of boiled beans, which is what she had served him. Kempe Gowda gave it a modern shape in 1537 and four watch-towers built during his rule to make the boundaries of the town are still in existence today.
By 1759 Bangalore was under the rule of Hyder Ali and his kingdom of Mysore. His son, Tipu Sultan came to power and bringing much glory to the kingdom. The great king was killed in the fourth Anglo-Mysore War, after this Bangalore became a part of the British Raj.
In 1906, Bangalore became the first city in Asia to have electricity. Bangalore experienced rapid growth in the decades 1941â51 and 1971â81, which saw the arrival of many immigrants from northern Karnataka. By 1961, Bangalore had become the sixth largest city in India. In 1985 the first multinational corporation set up base in Bangalore and other information technology companies followed suit establishing the city as the Silicon Valley of India.
Prior to developments in the last few decades, Bangalore was a well laid out city with many spacious gardens, sometimes referred to as The Garden City. Today, the city administration manages to maintain several excellent parks including Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh.
Ask your homestay hosts more about the history of Bangalore to discover more about the city.
The regional cuisine is a fusion of flavours from the world over. Pub culture prevails in Bangalore and hence finger food and beer rule the evening. Udupi restaurants are very popular. This is a world-renowned cuisine of South India comprising of dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. Bangalore homestays can offer guests a variety of meals depending on personal taste and preference.
The native language is Kannada. But as this is a thriving metropolis and India's IT hub, English is spoken very commonly, even more so than Hindi.
Witnesses to Bangaloreâs glorious history are The Bangalore Palace, which was built by Mysoreâs Maharajahs and was recently opened to the public, and Tipu Sultan's Palace, which is over 220 years old and served as a lavish summer retreat for the king. Bangalore is often called âthe city of gardensâ due its many sprawling parks such as Cubbon Park, Lal Bagh and Lumbini Garden. Cubbon park is spread in over 300 acres and serves as a lovely picnic spot for families. It has a childrenâs park, toy train, theater and other facilities, which children simply adore. Lal Bagh was built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century and is considered countryâs most charming and romantic park. Lumbini Garden is located along the Nagvara Lake. Here, people can enjoy boating, a wave pool and a children's park. For a full guide of what to see in Bangalore check out our listing Bangalore sights and attractions. Read more