In computer-savvy Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru), you're in India's overcrowded and cosmopolitan Silicone Valley, an IT hub with fashionable bars, international restaurants and shopping malls all around. Wander around colonial Cubbon Park or discover the ancient temples and palaces amid India's futuristic city.
Bangalore's busy city centre has been built up quickly to cope with the huge IT boom. Central Bangalore is the hub of most attractions, with Cubbon Park in the Cantonment area containing the colonial bandstand and museums. To its east, commercial MG Road is lined with gold shops, bars and modern cafes where hip locals gather for entertainment, day and night. To the south you'll find the vast, serene Lal Bagh Gardens not far from the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi.
Head straight to 18th-century Lal Bagh Gardens with 240 acres crammed with tropical and medicinal plants. Climb the Kempegowda Tower for city views. At the Bull Temple, in Basavanagudi, gaze at holy Lord Shiva's granite bull with its garlands of jasmine. It's doused in coconut oil and measures almost 16.5 feet by 20 feet. On the edge of Cubbon Park, see the sculptures from Khajuraho and fourth-century Buddhist figures at the Government Museum.
Browse watercolour paintings of Indian hill stations at Venkatappa Art Gallery, named after the local artist. Enter the faded grandeur of Bangalore Palace, with its turrets, battlements and portrait-filled gallery. Then recharge your batteries at a luxury ayurvedic spa, or seek spiritual revival at ISKCON, the futuristic Hare Krishna temple, north of the city. Shop for handicrafts at government emporiums along MG Road or Karnataka's famous silks at the earthier City Market.
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