Popularly known as the “Silicon Valley” of India, Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is the country's IT industry hub and one of the world’s preferred locations for startup companies. It's also India's third-most populous city.
Unlike other major cities in India, Bangalore experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year, which has earned it the name "Pensioner's Paradise." The official language is Kannada, but most locals are also comfortable in English and Hindi. It is well-connected by air, rail and road to Delhi, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta and other destinations.
Bangalore is not known as a tourist destination, but there are a number of places worth visiting. Major attractions include the Vidhana Soudha, the legislative house of the State of Karnataka. For nature lovers, there’s the famous Cubbon Park. The Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore is also well-known for its boating facilities.
Another famous landmark is Tipu Sultan's Palace, built in 1790. The two-story structure is built mostly out of teak wood, with finely embellished balconies, pillars and arches. It’s open every day of the week. Tickets are Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners.
ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, at Hare Krishna Hill Chord Road in the Rajajinagar neighborhood, is also worth a visit. The temple blends modern technology and spiritual harmony.
Bangalore offers great options for shoppers. UB City and Vittal Mallya Road are popular. The M.G. Road/Brigade Road area is the most frequented by visitors, and these two roads are filled with shops of every kind, whether it's traditional handicrafts or the latest Western wear.
The bar scene is also thriving in Bangalore, and most of the nightlife is located in the heart of city. M.G. Road, Brigade Road, Residency Road, St. Marks Road and Church Street have numerous bars to choose from.
Bangalore has plenty of fast food joints, most serving South Indian vegetarian food. They're usually identified by the small round steel tables you see with diners standing around them. Dosas, idlis, vadas, curd rice, vegetable pulao, rice with sambar and lemon rice are usually reasonably priced.
A guide and car are needed when visiting the city. I hired a taxi, and rates are generally something like Rs 150-250 per hour.