Bangalore ( Bengaluru ) , also known as the Garden City and Silicon Valley of India is the capital of Karnataka state. Traditionally Bangalore was known for its wide shady avenues , relaxed lifestyle and cooler climate. Thanks to the industrial boom, especially in IT field , Bangalore has grown exponentially. The first casualty was the city’s outlook title as a pensioner’s paradise. Traffic jams and pollution which as unknown to this city at that time made a rude entry.
With close to 9 million people living in it , arguably Bangalore is the most cosmopolitan city of south India. The city measures about 740 sq. km (285 sq. miles) , or approximately 15 km ( 9 miles) across.
Bangalore of home to a large number of business entities, government institutions and academic centers.
Traveling withing the city is a slow and tedious affair, especially during the peak hours. Nevertheless the city is well connected with bus and taxi services. The much touted metro rail service is still under construction.
The airport of Bangalore (BLR) is in the northern outskirts of Bangalore. Devanahalli, where the airport is located is about 40 kilometers ( 25 miles) from Majestic, the city center. Be aware that Bangalore has many airports. As a regular passenger you would be using the one located at Devanahalli. This airport is called BIAL Airport ( Bangalore International Airport Limited ). This is a relatively new airport. All the international and domestic flights operate from BIAL.
The older airport , also known as the HAL Airport is no more in use for the regular passenger flight operations. This airport is located at the eastern fringes of the city. So if you are asking for directions to the airport, be specific which airport you wants to go.
Bangalore Railway Stations :
The main railway station of Bangalore called Bangalore City ( station code : SBC) is located right at the city center and adjacent to the Majestic Bus station. There’s a subway that connects the bus station with the railway station. A large number of long distance and local trains are operated from Bangalore City railway station. It is usually crowded and arrive well ahead of time if you are planing to buy ticket directly at the station.
Yeswantpur Junction (station code : YPR) is located in the northern part of Bangalore. National Highway 4 ( Tumkur Road ) passes by the Yeswantpur railway station. Some long distance trains operate from Yeswantpur.
Bangalore has a large city bus service. The main bus station is located in Majestic , right opposite to the Bangalore City railway station. Ask for the platform number and the bus number to catch the right bus. Apart from this there are many smaller bus stands scattered over the city.
For intercity bus services get to the Kempegowda bus stand (which is located next to the above mentioned city bus stand ) or to the new KSRTC Satellite Bus Stand, which is towards the southwest of the city by the side of Mysore Road. KSRTC ( Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation ) operates numerous services from these two bus stations.
There are also a large number of private bus operators who ply intercity and long distance services from Bangalore city.
Auto-rickshaws are popular means of transport in Bangalore
It’s there everywhere in the city. These are the three-wheeled taxis that can accommodate 3 passengers and a little bit of luggage. Usually they charge based on the meter reading. That is about Rs7 to 8 per kilometer (about 1 USD for 4 miles ). The rate are a bit more during night ( and also when it rains! )
It is not unusual either for them to charge the passengers on an ad hoc fashion. The city bus station and railway station has a prepaid booth for the Auto-rickshaw service. You can tell the destination and get the fare printed on the slip along with the Auto-rickshaw’s number. The service charge is one rupee. The fare printed on it to be paid to the driver at the destination. Keep the slip with you ( it’s printed on the slip). Since the destination and the Auto-rickshaw’s registration numbers are printed on the slip, the driver don’t demand excess fare. Because there’s a telephone number too printed on the slip to make a complaint. So it works trouble free!
The prepaid Auto-rickshaw booth is right outside the railway station building as you come out of the platforms. For the city bus stand, it is a little bit difficult to find out. But you can always ask for a help to locate the booth at the fringes of the bus station.
Brigade Road in Bangalore is a popular hang out.
Tourist attractions are not one of the prime highlights of Bangalore as a city. Nevertheless there are many popular attractions in Bangalore, some are traditional attractions like gardens,palaces, museums and temples while the rest are things like pubs, shopping malls , restaurants and so on. Having said that, there are a large number of places near Bangalore, that are popular tourist attractions.
Attractions in Bangalore include :
Vidhana Soudha : This imposing building in the heart of the city houses the legislative assembly of the State of Karnataka.This long granite built structure is a pleasant blend of the ancient Dravidian style with the modern style architecture.
Seshadari Iyer Memorial This houses the High Court of Karnataka and the State Central library. In its appearance this red sand stone building carries enough of the colonial legacy.
Cubban Park : A sprawling greenery inside a bustling city. Seshadari Iyer Memorial is located inside this park.
Bangalore Fort : Originally built by Kempa Gowda, the founder of Bangalore in 1537 is located in the heart of the city.
Bangalore Palace : The palace of the erstwhile Mysore kings. Now a major tourist attraction.
Tipu Sultan Palace : This 18th century palace was the summer retreat of the warrior king of the region . The two storied building is made mostly in wood, to keep it cool.
Lalbagh : Once this was ( and still is) the star attraction of Bangalore. This well planned garden houses an exotic array of flower beds, fountains , glass houses and so on. Lalbag is located at the south of the city.
Aerospace Museum A impressive museum located near to the old airport in Bangalore. The countryside’s aerospace history is vividly on display in terms of the decommissioned air-crafts as well as through massive collection of rare photographs.