Bangalore is the pleasant and easy-going capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka and is also India’s fastest growing city. This is a city of fascinating contrasts, where modern shopping malls sit side by side with bustling traditional markets, and age-old temples share urban space with modern ‘tech parks’. Known as the “garden city”, Bangalore has many sprawling parks and botanical gardens which offer a soothing break from busy city life. It also has a vibrant arts scene: from music concerts to dance performances, film screenings and exhibitions of contemporary art, and international arts festivals to theatre productions, something seems to be going on all the time.
Day 1: Historical Bangalore
A visit to the Bangalore Palace is a good introduction to the former Mysore Kingdom which ruled over a large part of South India. A one-hour audio tour takes the visitor through the grand ballroom and up the ornate staircase for a peek into the palace’s many bedrooms and a glimpse into the lives of the former royal family. One of Bangalore’s oldest neighborhoods is the area around the Krishnarajendra Market (KR Market) in Chamrajpet. A stroll through this busy marketplace is a great way to experience the sounds, colors and ambiance of a traditional local market.
Day 2: Green Bangalore
Bangalore’s many beautiful parks and streets lined with exotic flowering trees make it one of the greenest cities in India. Located right in the center of town is Cubbon Park, offering 300 acres of flora and fauna. Another favorite with nature lovers is the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, the home to many tropical trees, plants and exotic flowers and several species of birds. Another peaceful haven from the busy city streets are the lush grounds of the National Gallery for Modern Art. Have a cup of tea in the garden café after exploring their excellent collection of Indian contemporary art.
Day 3: Day trips from Bangalore
A trip to scenic Srigangapatna makes for an easy day trip from Bangalore. This town is actually an island in the middle of the Cauvery River and is an important historical and cultural center. Here you can see the remains of the former fort and important buildings built during the reign of Tipu Sultan like the great mosque and mausoleum, and his stunning summer palace.
The nearby city of Mysore’s many magnificent palaces are a testament to its glorious past as the former capital of the Mysore Kingdom. Don’t miss a visit to the exquisite Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore’s biggest attraction and one of the most visited monuments in India.