Bangalore does the balancing act with the hip and the traditional coming together Heritage Sites -
Forts and Monuments
One of Bangalore's best-known landmark, this majestic building houses the legislative chambers and several other offices of the State Government. It comprises of 22 offices in its 300 rooms. This imposing structure in all granite was built in 1956 and is a fine example of Neo-Dravidian Temple Architecture. Stunning stone carvings, ornamental motifs and intricate woodwork are some of the highlights of this pride of Bangalore. Four domes are located in the four corners of the building and a large central dome in front. The iconic four headed lion, a symbol of India's sovereignty rests on top of this central dome. The door to the cabinet room made entirely of sandalwood is another exquisite feature of this building.
Vidhan Soudha looks spectacular when it is all lit up every Sunday evening and on public holidays. Entry into the building is restricted and requires prior permission.
Built in 2005 as an annex to the Vidhan Soudha, this building covers an area of 7.5 acres. The building has provisions to house 15 ministers and their departments. Vikas Soudha also has an exclusive media center for the Chief Minister.
The arches, turrets, towers, gothic windows, battlements are all inspired from the Windsor Palace in London. A fine example of tudor style architecture, the palace was originally built by Rev. Garrett, the first principal of the Central High School now College. In 1884, the palace passed onto the then Maharaja of Mysore Chamaraja Wodeyar. Spread over an area of 430 acres, the palace is known for its beautiful carved woodwork. The interiors are done tastefully and have floral motifs, cornices, mouldings, relief paintings on the ceiling. The huge palace ground is a popular place for exhibitions, cultural shows, concerts etc.
Fort and Tipu Sultan's Palace
Built in the Indo-Islamic style, the fort of Tipu Sultan is located just opposite to the city market. Originally a mud fort built by Kempe Gowda in 1537, the fort saw several fortifications done on it. First Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan's father added extensions to it and fortified it and then Tipu Sultan himself further fortified the place. The fort houses an ancient Ganesha Temple and has an exquisite carving of Lord Shri Krishna playing the flute. The fort is open to the public from 9AM - 6PM.
Close to the fort is Tipu Sultan's Palace. This wooden palace built in the 18 th century was one of Tipu Sultan's summer retreats. Scalloped arches, floral motifs, pillars mark this beautiful palace. The Western and Eastern side have square balconies known as the seat of the state. This was from where Tipu Sultan conducted his darbar. A wooden screen has an inscription, which says "Abode of Peace." There are fountains in front of each face and the palace has a well-maintained garden.
It later passed onto the British and was used as their Secretariat till 1867. The palace now a museum has an art gallery consisting of a large collection of historical photos and artifacts from the time of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.
The State High Court located opposite the Vidhan Soudha literally means eighteen offices or departments. This two-storeyed red building in stone and brick is a magnificent example of Greco-Roman Architecture. It was built in 1868 at a total cost of Rs. 4.5 lakhs.
Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall
This red sandstone building in the middle of Cubbon Park was built to commemorate K. Seshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore from 1883-1901. It houses the State Central Public Library.
Run under the auspices of the Gandhi Samarak Nidhi, this museum, which captures the life and teachings of the father of the nation, is located on Kumara Krupa Road. The museum has an impressive collection of photographs, letters of Gandhiji from his childhood right till his last days.
One of the oldest museums in the country, beautiful Corinthian columns mark the outside of the museum. The interiors have a vast collection of coins, paintings, sculptures and other excavated items. It also houses Bangalore's famous Venkatappa Art Gallery.
The museum is open on all days from 10 AM- 5PM except Wednesdays.
Visveswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum
An airplane and a steam engine placed in the compound foretell the story of the brilliant exhibits that one can see and learn from once they enter the museum's portals.
A storehouse of fact and information in science and technology, the museum houses exhibits, schematic diagrams, working models in electronics, motor power, properties of wood and metal. Regular seminars, demonstrations, film shows are organized and it draws a large number of people.
Karnataka Folk Museum
The Karnataka Janapadha Trust runs and manages this museum. The folk museum is known for its treasured artifacts, rare masks and costumes. A large collection of folk music and dance videos can also be found here.
Religious Places - Temples
Bull Temple - This 16 th century typical Dravidian style temple is famous for its mammoth idol of the bull carved from a single granite rock. Dedicated to Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva, the monolithic bull is considered to be even older than the temple itself. Kempe Gowda built the temple.
Located on a sprawling area of 7-acre in the Hare Krishna Hills in Jayanagar, the Isckon Temple is one of the important religious places in Bangalore. The temple is tastefully done with towering gopurams, gold chandeliers, intricate woodwork and ornate sculptures. The temple provides accomodation facilities and has an open-air amphitheatre and a multi-vision Vedic Theatre.
A 65-feet tall idol of Shiva on Airport Road marks the area for this temple. Lord Shiva is seen here seated in a meditative position with Mount Kailash, the heavenly abode of the Lord in the backdrop. The Holy River Ganga is seen flowing through his locks.
The idol looks magnificent when it is lighted at night. The temple bears a festive look on occasions of Holi, Mahashivratri and other important festivals.
A holycave known as the Amarnath Yatra is located behind the temple. The cave is open from 9 AM- 9 PM and is visited by a huge number of devotees.
This 300 year old temple is located adjacent to Tipu Sultan's Palace in Bangalore. Built by Maharaja Chikkadevaraya Wodeyar, the temple is known for its interesting carvings of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva on the walls and the idol of Venkataramana in the sanctorum.
The Maha Bodhi Society Temple
The main shrine of this temple is built as a replica of the historic stupa at Bodh Gaya. The temple houses a good library and conducts courses on Dharma and offers meditation retreat as well.
Gavi Gangadhareswara Temple
Located on Bull Temple Road, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. The temple is located inside a cave and it is said about the two paths inside the cave that one leads to the temple town of Shivaganga in Tumkur District and the other leads to Kashi.
Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti, a unique phenomenon is witnessed in the temple. At a particular time in the evening the sun's rays passes from between the horns of the stone, Nandi bull, the mount of Lord Shiva, placed outside the temple, thereby illuminating the Gavi Gangadhareswara idol or the Shiva Linga inside.
Located in the busy KR Market area of Bangalore, this mosque is the oldest in the city. The highlight of the mosque is its intricate jail work and floral motifs on the façade of the mosque. Tall granite pillars line the elevated main prayer hall. During festivals, the mosque is completely lit up which adds to the beauty of this brick and mortar structure.
This five storeyed white marble beauty near City Market is known for its ornate jail work.
St. Mary's Basilica
Located opposite to the Russell Market Square in Shivajinagar, this elaborate gothic style structure started out as a small chapel in 1818 and gained its present form in 1882. It was elevated to the status of a Basilica in 1973. Beautiful stained glass windows, majestic and stately arches are the main highlight of the basilica.
Every year on September 8 th , huge crowds gather to celebrate the feast of the Virgin Mary. An annual car procession is organized as part of the celebrations.
St. Marks Cathedral
Located on Mahatma Gandhi Road, the Bishop of Kolkatta consecrated this church in 1816. This colonial style marvel has well maintained external bells and Roman arches. The entrance, ceilings and the domes are noted for their exquisite carvings and elaborate woodwork.
Holy Trinity Church
One of the largest garrison churches in Southern India, the place is one of the historical landmarks in Bangalore. Built close to the Cavalry Barracks between 1848-1851, it served as the church for the British troops stationed in Bangalore.
The walls of the church are lined with ornate marble murals and tablets. Pair of wooden carved angels, a baptismal pond outside and stained glass windows depicting the baptism of Jesus are some of the other highlights of the church.
Parks and Gardens
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
Located at the southern fringe of the city, the 240-acre garden was laid out by Haider Ali in 1760 and his son Tipu Sultan developed it further by planting rare trees bought from Persia, Afghanistan and France. The gardens originally got its name from the vast number of red roses that bloomed here every year.
The highlight of Lalbagh is the glass house placed right at the centre. Inspired by the Crystal Palace in London, the glass house was built by John Cameroon. The glass house looks spectacular when illuminated at night. Another attraction is the giant floral clock with snow white and the seven dwarfs surrounding it. Annual Flower Shows are held at this venue every January and August. These shows are extremely popular.
Located adjacent to the Vidhana Soudha, the park is named after Sir Mark Cubbon, Bangalore's longest serving viceroy. The tranquil, serene atmosphere is very popular with morning walkers, joggers and fitness enthusiasts. Apart from that the place has several other attractions including a rose garden, doll museum, a toy train etc. The confines of the park also hold some of the noted landmarks of Bangalore including the Attara Katcheri, Central Library, Aquarium.
Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park
Located in the heart of the city on Raj Bhavan Road, the park is extremely popular with tourists and Bangalore residents alike. The park's main attraction is the computerized fountain, which uses the latest multimedia technology to dazzle spectators with 15 formations and 27 combinations of fountains. The beautiful patterns generated by the fountain are projected onto a big screen.
The shows are held every evening at 7 PM and 8 PM and are of 30-minute duration each. All Mondays and second Tuesdays are holidays.
Extending over an area of 1.5 sq. km, this lake is located very close to MG Road. Boat rides are organized at the lake to the many islands that dot the area. Built originally in the 2 nd century by Kempe Gowda, the lake today is a major tourist attraction in the city.
Amusement and Theme Parks
Kids of all groups can enjoy their time at the numerous theme parks in the city. Fun games, rides are some of the attractions at these parks. India's largest amusement park Wonder La is located here in Bangalore. Water Rides, Land Rides are all part of the exciting and thrilling package offered at Wonder La.
Jaamba Jungle, Neeladri Amusement and Water Park, Crazy Waters, Fun Land, Alley 365 are some of the other popular theme parks, sure to send you on a roll.
International Tech Park
Located in Whitefield, a distance of 12 kms from the Bangalore Airport, the tech park is the city's hub for all technological innovations, which helps put Bangalore in front on the world map. It comprises of five buildings named Discoverer, Innovator, Creator, Explorer and Inventor.
Some of the biggest names in Electronics and Technology field have set shop at the Electronic City. This innovation hub is located on National Highway 7 at a distance of 23 kms from the City Centre.
Chowdaiah Memorial Hall
Built in the shape of a violin, this hall is a centre for arts and cultural activity in the city. Located below the Sankey Tank Bund Road, the hall is named after Karnataka's violin maestro T. Chowdaiah.