In the heart of Bangalore’s business district is Cubbon Park, a sprawling 120-hectare garden where Bangalore’s residents converge to steal a moment from the rat race that rages outside.
The private residence of the Wodeyars, erstwhile maharajas of the state, Bangalore Palace preserves a slice of bygone royal splendour. Still the residence of the current maharaja
Built by Kempegowda in the 16th-century Dravidian style, the Bull Temple contains a huge granite monolith of Nandi (Shiva’s bull) and is one of Bangalore’s most atmospheric temples.
Nearby the Bull Temple, the Dodda Ganesha Temple has an enormous Ganesh idol.
A superb gallery with a wide range of Indian and international contemporary art on show, as well as permanent displays of Mysore-style paintings and folk and tribal art from across Asia. A section is devoted to the works of Russian master Nicholas Roerich, known for his vivid paintings of the Himalaya.
Housed in a century-year old mansion – the former vacation home of the Raja of Mysore – this world-class art museum showcases an impressive permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions. The Old Wing exhibits works from pre-Independence, including paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and Abanindranath Tagore (nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, and founder of the avant-garde Bengal School art movement). Interconnected by a walk bridge, the sleek New Wing focuses on contemporary post-Independence works.
Close to the vibrant Krishnarajendra Market stands the elegant palace of Tipu Sultan, notable for its teak pillars and ornamental frescoes. Though not as beautiful (or well maintained) as Tipu’s summer palace in Srirangapatnam, near to Mysore, it’s an interesting monument, and worth an outing when combined with other nearby sights such as the ornate 17th-century Venkataraman Temple next door and the massive Jamia Masjid , as well as the fort and market.
For a peek into India’s aeronautical history, visit this wonderful museum past the old airport, where you can see some of the indigenous aircraft models designed by HAL, sometimes with a little help from other nations. Interesting exhibits include the infamous MIG-21, indigenous models such as the Marut and Kiran, and a vintage Canberra bomber. You can also engage in mock dogfights at the simulator machines (Rs10) on the top-floor.
The remnants of this 1761 fort is a peaceful escape from the chaotic city surrounds, with its manicured lawn and stone pink walls. The fort remained in use until its destruction by the British in 1791, and today the gate and bastions are the only structures remaining. There’s a small dungeon here, and Ganesh temple with its Mooshak (ratlike creature) statue.
Built by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), also referred to as the Hare Krishnas, this shiny temple, inaugurated in 1997, is lavishly decorated in a mix of ultra-contemporary and traditional styles. There are many food stalls here so bring an appetite. It’s around 10km northwest from the centre of town.
For a taste of traditional urban India, dive into the bustling Krishnarajendra Market and the dense grid of commercial streets that surround it. Weave your way around this lively colourful market past fresh produce, piles of vibrant dyes, spices and copperware. The colourful flower market in the centre is the highlight.
Spread over 240 acres of landscaped terrain, the expansive Lalbagh Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1760 by the famous Mysore ruler Hyder Ali. As well as amazing centuries-old trees it claims to have the world’s most diverse species of plants. You can take a guided tour with Bangalore Walks .
Located at the northwestern end of Cubbon Park is the colossal neo-Dravidian-style Vidhana Soudha built in 1954 which serves as the legislative chambers of the state government.
Atmospheric cathredral built in 1812 with distinct domed roof based on St Pauls Cathedral.
Built in 1940 and dedicated to Tipi Sultan this large mosque is one Bangalore’s most impressive.