One of India's largest cities, Bangalore offers something a little different to many of the country's other tourist-centric destinations. Also known as Bengaluru, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka exudes a confident air of modernity and cosmopolitan sheen. But then, this vibrant location has always liked to show its cosmopolitan side, right back to its former status as the Garden City in the 19th century.
Visitors come here to witness the new, modern face of India and experience some truly world-class shopping, wining and dining. There are a number of excellent modern shopping malls located here, selling a vast range of high-end authentic designer brands at excellent prices. Of course, no retail shopping experience in India is complete without a browse around a street market and the city does not disappoint in this area, being home to traditional bazaars and modern designer markets. The area around Brigade Road is perhaps the most popular destination for those looking to experience the best of the city's shops, bars and eating establishments.
Despite the undoubted chic ambience which abounds here, the city has not forgotten its historic past. Bengaluru Palace was designed to look like Windsor Castle and remains the residence of the state maharajah. The lavish interiors of the palace and the family's collection of portraits are really quite special. One of the most iconic historic sights in the city is the 16th-century Bull Temple. This aptly named monument has a huge statue of a bull, carved from a single granite boulder, keeping an ever-watchful eye over proceedings.
Bangalore is one of India's most advanced cities, in terms of technology, architecture and culture. Although there are still a number of examples of the city's rich past to be enjoyed, this remains a modern metropolis continually looking to advance forward.
When to fly to Bangalore
Unlike a number of other destinations in India, the city enjoys a relatively mild climate all year round. The ideal months for visiting are between October and March, when temperatures are at a comfortable level and prices remain fairly low. The month of January sees the city hold its famous annual flower show.
Getting around Bangalore
In the city itself, buses are perhaps the most reliable form of transportation and tickets can be purchased upon boarding. Auto-rickshaws are also in abundance and are fitted with fare meters. Another option is taxis but they tend to be more expensive than auto-rickshaws and are only available on call.