Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka. A small and sleepy town till not so long ago, Bangalore has undergone a period of rapid and intense change in the last couple of decades and is now one of India’s most modern and vibrant cities. Visitors to the city can expect to enjoy and explore both the traditional and the modern faces of India at Bangalore. With a population of more than 6 million people, the city of Bangalore is one of the most populous cities in India.

Situated at an altitude of 3000 ft. above sea level, Bangalore enjoys a pleasant climate for much of the year. The month of August would see the tail end of the monsoon season with growth and regeneration evident in the greenery in and around the city.

In the 1800s the then British rulers of India moved their garrisons to Bangalore perceiving an advantage in the cooler climate of the area. This appears to have laid the foundation for the cosmopolitan Bangalore of today.  Bangalore remains a magnet for people from all over India and a huge array of cultural and culinary experiences are available to the visitor. Kannada is the local language – spoken by the people of Karnataka. However, English and Hindi (India’s national language) are widely spoken.

The city has much to offer the visitor. Bangaloreans are proud of their public parks and the oldest of them is the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens first commissioned in 1760 by Hyder Ali. Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens are in the South of Bangalore and are spread over some 240 acres of land. Several rare plants are to be found here. Lal Bagh also has one of the oldest monuments in the city – the 16th Century Kempe Gowda Tower. This is one of the four towers built by the 16th Century ruler – Kempe Gowda II.

The 16th Century Kempe Gowda Tower

One of the oldest temples in Bangalore – the Nandi Temple built by Kempe Gowda I (credited with establishing the town of Bangalore) continues to draw a large number of visitors today. There is also the newer and modern ISKCON temple .

Picture of the ‘Nandi’or Bull at the Nandi temple.

The city is known for its culinary offerings. Food from different regions of the state of Karnataka and also the country can be had here. However if you are homesick for food from your own country, there is a good chance you would find a specialty restaurant offering food you are familiar with, as well.

Many visitors to Bangalore also make time to visit the city of Mysore which is about a 3 hour drive away. While Bangalore was for long ruled by Mysore – the balance of power has long shifted to Bangalore. Mysore remains a laid back and historical town popular with domestic and international tourists.

For those planning a longer stay in the state of Karnataka recommended visits would be to the historical town of Hampi. The Western Ghats – one of India’s major mountain ranges runs through Karnataka and for the adventurous and the nature lovers a visit to any of Karnataka’s National Parks would be an enjoyable experience. If you are one of the lucky few you may even see a tiger in the wild.

The General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union (IMU)  is slated to be held in the heart of ‘modern’ Bangalore at the Chancery Pavilion in Residency Road. The hotel is centrally located in the city’s main commercial area, within walking distance of many shopping centers. A word of caution- with work underway on the city’s underground metro system there is some amount of disruption in traffic flow in the area. Unfortunately, like most other modern cities, Bangalore too has a problem with traffic snarls and pollution. Taxis are easily available but if you wish for some local flavour try riding an autorickshaw!

  This page was last modified on July 30, 2010

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