Written by Jayant Row in Asia
Viewed by 447 readers since 03-26-2009
Bangalore or Bengaluru, as it is now known, came to its name from ‘Benda Kalu Ooru’ or the place of baked beans. This was the dish given to the king of many years ago by a villager, and he liked it so much, that he gave the place the name Benda Kalu Ooru or Bengaluru. It is the capital of Karnataka a state in South India and is now famous all over the world for the I.T. industry. Its climate is very moderate and it thus has a lot of gardens, lakes and parks, besides all the hallmarks of a big city like malls and pubs and shopping.
Visiting Bangalore requires that you take in all the sights by booking into the various tourist buses that offer guided tours. This allows you to visit many spots and you can take your pick from these spots to visit again at leisure if you so desire. The spots that most guided tours take you to are:
Some magnificent architectural buildings are the Vidhana Souda which houses the State Legislature and the Attara Kacheri or High Court. These buildings build in the Neo-Dravidian style of architecture are recent buildings built in the 1950’s.
No trip to Bangalore can be complete without a visit to the Lalbagh Gardens. The gardens were laid out in the 18th century by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and the gardens enclose a lake of 1.5 sq kms with lot of islands in it. The conservatory of the Lalbagh Gardens is world famous and has some rare and exotic plants. Another park worth a visit is the Cubbon Park which is spread over 300 acres within the heart of the city. It was built in 1864 and the flowering trees, fountains and statues are sure to gladden any heart. Take in the diamond shaped aquarium at the entrance of this park for viewing a fine collection of tropical fish.
If you are inclined to go around museums, one of India’s oldest museums going back to 1860 is the Government Museum. It has a lot of very interesting sculptures, paintings and artifacts even from Mohenjodara, the ancient Indus civilization.
A more modern type of museum is the Viswesariah Technological Museum which is a must see for students and science buffs.
If art is your forte, go to the Venkatappa Art Gallery and the Karnataka Folk Museum. It has some rare masks and costumes and a fine collection of folk music and dances.
The Jawahar Jal Bhavan has a children’s theatre, amusement park and a toy train. Before you plan to take the children there ensure that it is not one of the days when it is closed to the public.
Temples within Bangalore that are worth a look at, if you are so inclined are the Bull Temple where you can see a huge 5 meter high Nandi, the celestial bull and is a reminder of Dravidian temple architecture. Another old temple is the Dodda Ganpathi Temple which attracts a lot of devotees every day of the year. A cave temple, the Sri Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple is known for the sunlight that passes through the horns of the bull to light up the temple on a particular day in the year. This is the 14th of January which is the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
Take in the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium which is an attraction for all amateur astronomers, and also visit the musical fountain nearby.
Also worth a visit is the Iskon temple, the fort of Tipu Sultan, the nearby Venkataramanswamy temple, Ulsoor lake and the Infant Jesus Church as well as the St. Mary’s Bascilla.