A Travel Guide to Bangalore

Bengaluru Airport Directory (BLR)
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Bengaluru is looked as being an epi-centre filled with places to see and numerous things to do. When you arrive in Bengaluru, one of the must visit places in the Hatti Kaapi. It is a famous coffee shop and store wherein Hatti means Home and Kaapi means Coffee. Bengaluru is also known as India’s IT hub and the Silicon Valley of India. 

The city is blessed with a pleasant climate all year round and is considered one of the most progressive and cosmopolitan cities of India. The city has transformed itself over the years from a laidback, old-world city to a glittering city of nightlife and the upwardly mobile. Bengaluru has a very active and vibrant culture of theatre and literature; it is not only a major centre of Indian classical music and dance but also contemporary and rock music. 

Best time to visit

Bengaluru is a year-round destination, however, the best time to explore the city is from September to February.

How to reach Bengaluru

  • By air: Kempegowda International Airport, previously known as Bengaluru International Airport, about 40km from the city centre serves Bengaluru. IndiGo now operates more than 100 daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru to all other important destinations in India and abroad.
  • By train: There are two main railway stations in Bengaluru - Bengaluru City Railway Station and Yeswantpur Junction, connecting the city to all other major cities around the country.
  • By bus: Bengaluru boasts a well-connected network of buses ranging from regular and air-conditioned buses. Several buses are run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation as well as by the private bus operators.
  • Getting around Bengaluru: Buses and auto-rickshaws are among the most convenient and cheapest means to travel within the city. You can also hire taxis, private cabs or even use Nammo Metro.
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7Kg
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Places to visit in Bengaluru

  • Halasuru Someshwara Temple: Begin your tour of the city with a visit to the century-old Someshwara Temple or the ISKCON Temple. This temple dates back to Chola period and is considered to be one of the largest temples in the world. Make time to admire the largest granite monolith of Nandi, the sacred bull at the Bull Temple.
  • Lalbagh Botanical Gardens: Also known as Cubbon Park you can come here and admire the peaceful park. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is basically the lungs of Bengaluru, as you can see many locals enjoy coming here. You can also spot some rare species of birds and plants while you explore the park. 
  • Tipu Sultan’s Palace and Fort: Built-in 1537, the fort is regarded as a testament to the king’s battle against British rule. Now converted into a museum, it houses beautiful paintings, superb sculptures and other artworks. One of the unique features of the palace is the use of teak wood in its construction.
  • Bengaluru Palace: Inspired by the Windsor Palace in the United Kingdom and now owned by the royal family of Mysore, it’s a must-see for lovers of art. You should not miss the interiors of the palace, adorned with stained-glass windows and magnificent paintings. The extensive grounds of the palace hosts various events, concerts and musical shows.
  • Vidhan Soudha: It is one of the most important structures of Bengaluru with 300 rooms reflecting the Dravidian style of architecture. This 46-metre tall building is among the most extensive legislative buildings and a must-see tourist spot.
  • Devanahalli Fort: Built-in 1501, the fort has been under several rules and thus have noteworthy archaeological and historical significance. It is spread across 20 acres of land and features small entrances ornamented using cut plasterwork.
  • Bannerghatta National Park: Located 22km away from the south of Bengaluru, Bannerghatta National Park is a rich natural zoological park, comprising of a butterfly park, zoo, conservation and rehabilitation centre for orphaned animals. It’s a great place to learn and spend time amongst flora and fauna.

Places to eat in Bengaluru

Koshy's Parade Café
Koshy's Parade Café

This popular cafe is located in the MG Road of Bengaluru and widely visited by locals and tourists alike. You can expect lovely environment and delicous food from north Indian cuisine to continental and chinese, as well as spanish cuisine.

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Indian Coffee House
Indian Coffee House

Another favourite with locals is Indian Coffee House, come here and savour steaming hot coffee and some beverage and mutton cutlets. It feels very regal and old-world here with waiters serving wearing turbans on their head like the old days.

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Green Theory
Green Theory

It is a lovely little garden café dishing out wholesome vegetarian, organic food. This is the perfect place for you to unwind while you sip on freshly brewed tea or coffee.

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MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms), Lalbagh
MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms), Lalbagh

How can you leave the city without queuing up for a quintessential Karnataka meal of masala dosa or a rava idli at Bengaluru’s most celebrated restaurant? The rava idli is an edible piece of history in itself. During World War II, raw rice to make idlis was in short supply. The restaurant ingeniously substituted rice with rava. Of course, rice isn’t scanted anymore but try telling that to the hordes who queue up for it in the early hours of the day.

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Karavalli
Karavalli

For authentic coastal food that stretches all the way from Goa to Kerala, a meal at the Karavalli is a must. The story goes that the founding chef knocked at some coastal homes and persuaded home cooks to part with their secret recipes. Try the Alleppey fish curry, and soak it up with steaming appams or a thali to sample the whole caboodle.

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Toscano
Toscano

This restaurant will give you a very Italian vibe, certainly helpful when you want to visit northern Italy without leaving the city. The restaurant’s outlet at UB City is where most loyalists still choose to dine. Under the stars, with a glass of Chianti for a company and a warm spinach ravioli–la vita e bella.

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Harima Japanese Restaurant
Harima Japanese Restaurant

If you are craving some Asian food, visit Harima for excellent sushi and sashimi. There’s also low-table seating if you want to experience Japanese style of eating.

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Shopping places in Bengaluru

  • Varnam: For eclectic and quirky designer wear, there’s Rain Tree (housed in a 75-year-old colonial bungalow opposite the ITC Windsor Hotel), Varnam at Indiranagar where you can find Channapatna’s famous wooden toys and other quirky homeware, Cinnamon in Ulsoor for their furniture range and the newly launched Nicobar at Walton Road, an ode to the globetrotting hipster in you.
  • Orion Mall: It is one of most popular and perfectly planned malls in Bengaluru. It offers something for everyone. Apart from a range of shopping options, the mall comprises bowling, movie hall and a range of multi cuisine restaurants.
  • Phoenix Marketcity: It is one of the biggest shopping malls in the city. It is located in Mahadevapura on the white field road. The specialty of the mall is the open courtyard in the front that hosts multiple musical concerts, live shows, painting competitions and a lot more. The mall offers a wide variety of shopping as well eating options.
  • UB City: One of the only luxury shopping malls in Bengaluru is UB City Mall. From premium brands such as Burberry, Rolex, etc. to UCB, Nike, H&M and others, the mall is offers something for every type of a shopper.
  • Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium: A trip to Bengaluru can’t possibly be complete without taking home a bagful of sandalwood infused soaps, face masks and incense sticks from Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium, MG Road.
  • Mysore Saree Udyog: For silks and fabrics head over to Mysore Saree Udyog on Commercial Street where everything’s available at wholesale rates while you jostle with excited bride-to-be and foreign tourists with mile-long shopping lists.
  • Vimor: One of Bengaluru’s best-kept secrets, Vimor is tucked away in an old home in Victoria Layout. With Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dixit, Shabana Azmi, and Nandita Das as clients, you should drop by as well for their exquisite south Indian temple sarees.

Nightlife in Bengaluru

  • Arbor Brewing Company: A favourite amongs locals and tourists, the 90s music pairs well with the comfort food and beverages offered, including the sweet potato fries, spicy pork chops, chicken wings. 
  • The Humming Tree: Some of the city’s best live gigs take place here. This is where you head, with or without your gang, for a taste of Bengaluru’s legendary music scene. They encourage local artists like Dingus Cheer as well as global bigwigs like Skrillex and Mark Ronson. 
  • Toit Brewpub: This brick-walled microbrewery may not have the best selection of craft beers in the city, but the never-ending crowd says otherwise. Nevertheless, you’ll be mad to miss out on their baked nachos and thin-crust pizza.
  • The Terrace at Windmills Craftworks: Why party indoors when the weather is almost perfect? So come to the Terrace and enjoy with the music and food.
  • The 13th Floor: Make your way here for the best views of the city’s skyline, wind-swept hair, and some inventive beverages. 
  • UB City: Set 16 floors high on the rooftop of one of Bengaluru’s swankiest malls UB City, the lounge is famous for its under-lit floors, unique lighting arrangements, and panoramic views of the city. Sheer elegance, superb service, and outstanding music perfectly describe Skyye.

Where to stay in Bengaluru

Taj

Taj West End This is one of the best hotels with high ceiling rooms and luxurious amenities and facilities. A stay here will definitely heighten you whole experience travelling to Bengaluru.

Escape

Escape Hotel and Spa Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Indiranagar, Escape Hotel and Spa is one of the hipest hotels featuring Mediterranean-styled terrace restaurant, Bricklane.

Aloft

Aloft Bengaluru Zipping through the city on a business trip or carefree vacation? Check into this hotel at the Cessna Business Park, an IT hub that’s home to companies such as Cisco, and feel right at home. Everything about it spells geek, from the high-speed wi-fi in public areas to the electronic ticker in the lobby that scrolls fun bits of trivia.

Casa

Casa Cottage Hotel Run by an Indo-French couple, this is a refurbished 1915 heritage cottage. The trees on site still stand and provide the owners with delicious avocados every year. It is a lovingly restored English bungalow, not a flashy hotel.

Reasons to visit in Bengaluru

  • Exploring the city foot: Time to stretch your legs? Explore Bengaluru on foot. Sign up for the Bungalow Trail or the Cathedral Walk organised by Unhurried Tours that takes you through old English settlements in the city. Alternatively, do a culinary sojourn with Oota Walks.
  • Ranga Shankara: Culture vultures, watch a play at Ranga Shankara. Nurtured by Arundhati Nag, the city’s famous film and theatre artist. This is where the city’s culturally inclined can be spotted and you’ll find no Bollywood movies here.
  • The Ayurvedagram Heritage Wellness Centre: The Ayurvedagram Heritage Wellness Centre in Bengaluru is an emerald oasis. The serene seven-acre property is home to over 200 species of rare medicinal herbs; and to elegant cottages that are evocative of India’s timeless heritage. Brought from Kerala beam by beam, they are Kerala’s traditional ancestral houses – made of exquisite teak and rosewood, and beautiful tiles – that have been re-created in Ayurvedagram, recapturing the rich architectural splendour of the region. Ayurvedagram is renowned across the globe for its authentic Ayurveda treatments and rejuvenation programs. At the Centre Ayurveda works alongside not only Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation but also a purely vegetarian diet to ensure that you are completely rejuvenated and healed from the core. This is true wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
  • Apaulogy: Visit illustrator Paul Fernandes’ gallery Apaulogy located near Richards Park. You’d want to pick up all the framed posters and art that humorously portray a slice of old Bengaluru.
  • Washerman’s village: For an introduction to the city’s local culture, a visit to the washerman’s village will be a unique and fascinating experience. At the washerman’s village – which is much like an outdoor laundry site – you will see people hand-washing clothes the traditional Indian way.
  • Jakkur Airfield: Book a ticket for a microlight flying experience at the Jakkur Airfield. Sit in the cockpit and hover over the garden city as a co-pilot. End the day by dining at the concept restaurant Dialogue in the Dark, in Whitefield. Served by visually challenged staff, the mission of the restaurant is to sensitise diners to the visually impaired while having a thoroughly immaculate dining experience in complete darkness. You know what they say: in darkness, there shall be light.
  • Vineyards: Take a wonderful tour of one of Bengaluru’s finest vineyards. Developed under the ownership of Grover Vineyards and Vallée de Vin, Grover Zampa represents an array of distinguished wine developers and producers who are known for launching leading wine brands in India and internationally. Grover Zampa are not only producing premium quality wine in India by bringing the best French traditions to create the finest Indian wines but also increasing interest in wine tourism and education. On the winery tour, discover the art and science of viticulture in Grover Zampa’s vast vineyards in the gorgeous Nandi Hills around 40 km outside Bengaluru.

Places to visit near Bengaluru

  • Hampi: You can do so much more than gawk at the incredible ruins at this UNESCO heritage site. Cliff diving, coracle rides, cycling tours, the list goes on. Ruled by 23 kings from four dynasties of the Vijayanagara Kingdom over 300 years, the beautiful capital city of Hampi was razed to the ground during the battle of Talikota in 1564-65. It is a World Heritage Site. The ruins of Hampi are spread over 18 km of gorgeous rocky terrain and surrounding hillocks – filled with stunning temples, palaces, and sculptures. The Sacred Centre comprises ancient temple complexes such as the Virupaksha, Vittala, and Krishna Temples. To the right is Hemakuta Hill which also has many temples. At the base of Matanga Hill is a small museum that displays 60 enlarged photographs of Hampi, taken in 1853 by a British photographer. The Kodandarama Temple is about 60 feet above the Tungabhadra river.
  • Mangaluru: The beaches are a treat here and so is the seafood. The Mangaladevi temple has a celebrity following. Don’t leave the city without sampling its unique ice cream, Gadbad.
  • Chikmagalur: Go to relax at some of the loveliest homestays in this part of India. And of course, for the single estate coffee.
  • Puttaparthi: Puttaparthi is around 120 km from Bengaluru, in the Anantapur District of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. It is world-famous for being the birthplace of spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and for the Ashram that he founded – Prasanthi Nilayam. Nestled amidst a chain of hillocks, Puttaparthi houses the mandir (shrine), sprawling residential complexes for devotees, temples, boarding schools, colleges with hostels, a small zoo, and the headquarters of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation and the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. 
  • Mysore: The princely state of Mysore, the seat of the Wodeyar rulers, was renamed Karnataka in 1973. Under the Wodeyars, especially Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar (1673-1704), Mysuru became the centre for art, culture, and learning. It still retains its glorious old-world charm, tradition, and elegance. The highlights of the city are the Mysore Palace, built-in 1912, with rare collections of art, artefacts, and antiques from all over the world; the Sri Jayachamarajenda Art Gallery in the Jagan Mohan Palace, with its collection of ancient musical instruments, sculpture, and Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich paintings; the beautiful Jayalakshmi Vilasa Palace built-in 1905, that houses the wonderful Folklore Museum; the fantastic Lalitha Mahal Palace built-in 1913, now a 5-star hotel; the Rail Museum; the grand 1931 Gothic St Philomena’s Church, Mysuru’s only British edifice; and the Chamundeshwari Temple up on Chamundi Hill, that offers a panoramic view of Mysuru.

Festivals in Bengaluru

Karaga festival: Karaga is one of the oldest and widely celebrated festivals of Karnataka. It depicts the rich cultural and religious heritage of the state and brings to live its legacy. Celebrated in honour of the Goddess Shakt, this festival is widely rejoiced in the city.

 

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