Bangalore is also known as the Silicon Valley of India because of its booming information technology industry. It is the third most populous city in the country. Situated at a height of 3000 feet, Bangalore is best known for its salubrious climate and the number of tourist places situated in and around the city. The city is also among the top most preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world.
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Bangalore also has a glorious historical and cultural past. Once ruled by the Hoysalas, the Cholas, and the Western Gangas, the city offers a great opportunity to experience its past through its ancient buildings and monuments.
A trip to Bangalore is one that you will never forget. From shopping malls to historical sites, the city has a lot to offer. If you are wondering which places to visit during a trip to the city, do not worry. From amusement parks to historical monuments, there is a huge list of places in Bangalore that you wouldn’t want to miss. The city offers a complete vacation with the right amount of entertainment and learning. If you are a history lover, there is a lot in store for you in this beautiful city.
Here are some of the popular places to see in Bangalore:
1) Cubbon Park
Cubbon Park is situated in the heart of the city in the Central Administrative Area. It was originally created in 1874 and named Meade’s Park, after the then acting Commissioner of Mysore Sir John Meade. The park had originally occupied 100 acres and then post expansion, the current area under the park is around 300 acres.
The park was renamed as Cubbon Park in honour of the longest serving Commissioner of the time, Sir Mark Cubbon. Later in 1927, to commemorate the silver jubilee of Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore, its name was changed to Sri Chamarajendra Park in honour of the 19th century ruler Sri Chamarajendra, during whose reign the park came into existence.
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The park is known for its beautiful landscaping. Naturally occurring rocky outcrops have been beautifully integrated with lush green thickets of trees, sprawling flower beds and impressive bamboo groves. The greenery is interspersed with neatly bricked pavements to allow passage to tourists and visitors. Due to the presence of this park, the city of Bangalore is often called the ‘Garden City’. A number of indigenous and exotic plants are found in the park. The park is home to as many as 6000 plants and trees belonging to 68 genera and 96 species.
There are several historically significant buildings situated in the Cubbon Park. These buildings include the Ottawa Chatter, the Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall, Tennis Pavilion, Jawahar Bal Bhawan, Century Club, and the Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library. There are several statues of important persons too inside the park. Marble statues of Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar, Major General Sir Mark Cubbon, Sir K Seshadri Iyer and Queen Victoria can be seen in the park. Cubbon Park is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore.
2) Vidhana Soudha
The Vidhana Soudha is one of the important places to see in Bangalore. It is the seat of the State Legislature of Karnataka. The building is noted for its beautiful architecture which is called the Neo-Dravidian style and has elements of the Dravidian and Indo-Saracenic styles incorporated into it.
The Vidhana Soudha is the largest legislative building in the country. The foundation for the legislative building was laid down by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951. Kengal Hanumanthaiah is credited with the conception and construction of the building. He visited Europe, USA, Russia and several other countries and drew inspiration from the architectural styles of buildings there.
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The building has four floors above and one basement, and is quite grand in terms of area and size. The Eastern face of the building has a porch which has 12 granite columns. The central dome of the building bears a resemblance to the Indian national emblem. The front of the building has an inscription that reads “Government’s work is God’s work.” The building is illuminated on public holidays and Sundays. It looks stunning during the Karnataka Rajyotsava when the entire building is lit up with a million lights.
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The cost of construction of the building was around Rs 17.5 million. However, today the cost of maintenance alone amounts to more than Rs 20 million. Following the attack on the Indian Parliament, security was tightened around the Vidhan Soudha. The fencing near the footpath was replaced with strong steel fencing.
Watch towers, scanning equipment and screening systems were installed in the building to ensure safety and security. The Government of Karnataka has also created a replica of the building which is called Vikasa Soudha. It serves as an annexe, and houses some of the administrative and legislative offices of Karnataka.
Wonderla is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore. It is a very popular amusement park situated near Biddadi, about 28 km from the city of Bangalore. Sprawling over 82 acres, this amusement park has been promoted by the V-Guard Industries based in Cochin.
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This park, which has been operational in Bangalore since 2005, is the second theme park by the group in the state. Wonderla is one of the most popular weekend getaways for people in Bangalore. The amazing rides and wonderful atmosphere is perfect for relaxing and forgetting about the worries of work life by indulging in some water sports.
The amusement park has 53 land and water-based rides. It also has other features such as a virtual reality show, laser shows, a musical fountain, and other fascinating attractions. The most attractive feature at Wonderla is the dance floor which has electronically controlled rain showers.
Especially for children, Wonderla has a free fall ride which is quite gentle and unusual. During winters, the amusement park uses solar heated water for all its pools. It also has a conference room which can accommodate as many as 1000 persons. There are five restaurants within the park and these have a total seating capacity is around 1150.
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Wonderla also has locker rooms, a first aid facility and a paging system. The amusement park is one of the two parks in the country which have implemented the OHSAS 18001:2007 safety standards. It has five water treatment plants to process and filter all kinds of water.
The company has also taken several steps towards environment sustainability. As many as 2000 plants have been planted to create natural shade in the park. It also has an elaborate rainwater harvesting system. The park uses solar energy to heat water in the swimming pools and kitchen use.
4) Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills is among the most popular places to see in Bangalore. Also called the Nandidurg, it is a hill fortress situated in the Chikaballapur district, which is at a distance of 60 km from the capital city of Bangalore. The hills are situated between Muddenahalli, Kanivenarayanpura and the town of Nandi. The River Arkavathy is believed to have originated in the Nandi Hills.
The Nandi Hills are of great cultural and historical significance. There are several stories related to the origin of the name of the hills. While one story says that during the rule of the Cholas, the hill was called Ananda Giri meaning the Mountain of Happiness, another story states that the hills were named after Yoga Nandeeshwara who performed penance here.
The hills have an elevation of 4851 feet and are situated close to the newly built Bangalore International Airport. The ideal location of the Nandi Hills is making it a hub for development and investment. It is a very popular tourist place in Bangalore and attracts a large number of visitors and travellers from all over the country and the world throughout the year.
There is also a garden at the hills which is maintained by the state horticulture department. Skandagiri, which is another popular tourist destination, is situated quite close to the Nandi Hills. Some of the important landmarks at the Nandi Hills include Tipu’s Drop, the place where prisoners of Tipu Sultan were thrown down to their death; Tipu’s Summer Palace and Fort; Horse Way, the secret escape route; Gavi Veerbhadra Swamy Temple; and Nehru Nilaya.
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Apart from these places, there are several other destinations including Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple, Baananthi Bande, Antargange, Anjaneya temple that are situated near Nandi hills. The Nandi Hills is also the place of origin for rivers such as the Palar, Ponnaiyar and Penner.
5) ISKCON Temple
The ISKCON temple situated in Rajajinagar in North Bangalore is one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world and is a popular tourist place in Bangalore. Also known as the Sri Radha Krishnachandra Temple, the temple houses the deities of Radha and Krishna.
The temple is a huge complex inaugurated in 1997 with an objective to promote spiritual learning and Vedic culture. The inauguration was done by the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma as per the wishes of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The temple has six shrines. The temple was the culmination of the movement initiated by devotees in different parts of the country around 1976.
The devotees organised Sankirtans in the streets, arranged programmes in houses and large scale events in public pandals in cities such as Bangalore, Hubli, Madras and other places. The temple was finally inaugurated in 1997. The temple in Bangalore has six shrines dedicated to Radha Krishna, Balaram, Nitai Gauranga, Srinivasa Govinda also known as Venkateswara, Prahlada Narasimha and Srila Prabhupada.
The temple also celebrates a number of festivals such as Ramanavami, Brahmotsava, Narasimha Jayanti, Panihati Chida Dahi, Ratha Yatra, Balaram Jayanti, Jhulan Utsav, Vyasa Puja, Sri Radhastami, Deepotsava, Govardhan Puja, Vaikuntha Ekadashi, etc. The temple has a gold plated flag post known as dhwajastambha and a beautiful gold plated kalash shikhara. Visitors can get free prasadam from the temple during darshan hours.
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The temple committee also conducts a number of social service activities. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an initiative taken by the temple, is responsible for providing mid-day meals to children in government and government aided schools in India. The programme works on a Public Private Partnership basis and since 2003, the foundation has been successfully carrying out the programmes in different parts of the country, with help from the Central and State Governments. The temple also provides free meals to the needy and the poor.
6) JN Planetarium
The JN Planetarium or Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium was founded in 1989 by the Bangalore City Corporation. The planetarium has a dome with a diameter of 15 metres and has some of the finest equipment. It is fitted with a Spacemaster Planetarium projector by German Carl Zeiss and has a seating capacity of 210.
The planetarium is currently run by the Bangalore Association for Science Education. The projector installed at the planetarium projects the night sky on the dome. It can also display pictures of constellations. Besides entertaining visitors, the planetarium is also used for teaching astronomy. The other equipment at the planetarium includes special effect projectors, video projectors and slide projectors.
One of the most popular shows at the JN Planetarium is the Sky Theatre show. This show attracts as many as 2 lakh visitors per year and comprises of cartoons, paintings, video clippings, computer animations and special effects. This programme is supported by exhibition of posters which are of high educational value. The posters are usually astronomy photographs, cartoons, paintings and quotations. The JN Planetarium offers a number of interesting programmes for children and hence is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore.
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The planetarium also has a science park. Visitors can learn basic elements of science in a fun way at the Science Park. The park also has some very interesting models on display for children. The models that have been put up on display include those of a PSLV rocket, giant kaleidoscope, sun dial, whispering dishes, resonant swings, DNA, etc.
Some of the important events that take place in the JN Planetarium include viewing of special astronomical events, and identification of stars and constellations. Visitors can view comets, solar eclipses and planetary transitions at the planetarium. Portable telescopes are made available to the public and the images of such events are displayed on a large screen using a video projector.
7) Big Banyan Tree
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The Big Banyan Tree is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore. Also known as the Dodda Alada Mara, the tree is a grand old tree with a thousand branches. This colossal 400 year old tree is spread over an area of 3 acres and is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The crown circumference of the tree measures around 250 metres and has more than one thousand aerial roots. The main root of the tree died due to natural disease and thus the entire region appears to comprise of several trees.
The Big Banyan tree is situated at a distance of 28 km from the capital city of Bangalore. It is situated along the Bangalore Mysore road and hence can easily be reached. There are regular buses from Majestic to Kengeri and from Kengeri to Dodda Alada Mara.
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There are direct buses too to Dodda Alada Mara that stop right beside the tree. If you do not wish to take a bus, you can hire a private taxi or autorickshaw. The tree has been protected on four sides with fencing. However, there are benches where tourists can sit and relax. There is also a restaurant run by the tourism department where you can get food and water.
8) Tipu Sultan Fort
Tipu Sultan Fort is also known as the Bangalore Fort. It was originally built as a mud fort by a feudal lord called Kempe Gowda, who was the founder of Bangalore. It was converted into a stone structure by Hyder Ali and later became the stronghold of Tipu Sultan.
During the third Mysore War, the fort was captured by the British East India Company. The only remaining gate of the fort is the Delhi Gate which is situated on the Krishnarajendra Road. The gate bears a marble plaque marking the place which gave way to the British takeover of the fort.
There is also a wooden palace of Tipu Sultan which contains his armoury. The fort served as the backdrop for the movie Riddle of the Seventh Stone. The fort dates back to 1537. The fort is more or less in ruins and retains only the Delhi Gate and the remains of two of the bastions.
The fort was dismantled by the British from 1791 and continued till the 1930s. Ramparts and walls were torn down to make roads and arsenals and other buildings were brought down to make schools, colleges and hospitals. In 2012, workers of the Bangalore Metro unearthed two huge iron cannon balls bearing the seal of Tipu Sultan.
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The Bangalore Fort is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore and attracts a large number of tourists and travellers from all over the country and the world. The fort holds great historical and cultural significance and hence is of great tourist value.
9) MG Road
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MG Road or Mahatma Gandhi Road is one of the most important streets in Bangalore. The road runs from Trinity Circle in the East to the Anil Kumble Circle at the other end of the city. The road was previously known as the South Parade during the pre-Independence period. It was renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi Road on February 26, 1948.
It is one of the busiest roads in the city and is lined with retail stores, restaurants and food outlets. There are also a large number of office buildings, theatres and shops on the road making it one of the popular tourist places in Bangalore. A large number of banks and important buildings are also situated on the Mahatma Gandhi Road.
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At present the road is under reconstruction as the development work of the MG Road Metro Station has just been completed. The services of the MG Road Metro Station were launched on October 2011. The Bangalore Metro Line connects the Eastern part of the city, passes through MG Road and meets with the Western part of the city.
10) Bangalore Palace
The Bangalore Palace is one of the most popular tourist places in Bangalore. It was built by the first Principal of the Central High School, which is now known as the Central College, Reverend Garett. The construction of the palace began in 1862 and was completed in 1944. It was then bought by the Maharaja of Mysore and is still in possession of the royal family.
Very often, it has been mistakenly stated to bear resemblance to the Windsor Castle in England. The palace is spread over 454 acres and is built in the Tudor style of architecture. The interiors of the palace have exquisite wood carvings, cornices and floral motifs.
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The palace originally had 35 rooms, most of which were used as bedrooms. After the renovation work, stained glasses and mirrors imported from England were added to the structure. The ground floor of the palace has an open courtyard and a ballroom. The courtyard has several granite seats that are covered in fluorescent blue tiles. The first floor of the palace has a spacious Durbar Hall, which can be reached through a flight of decorated stairs. The interior walls of the palace bear paintings from the 19th century. One of the major attractions within the palace is a dining table which belonged to the Diwan of Mysore.
The sprawling grounds of the Bangalore Palace have been used as a venue for public meetings and events. Several international bands such as the Backstreet Boys, Elton John, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Lamb of God, Black Eyed Peas, and others have performed at these grounds. There is also an amusement park situated in the grounds precincts called the Fun World.
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