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Karnataka

Travel Destinations: Bengaluru

Bengaluru, or the old Bangalore, is the Capital of Karnataka State. With abundant greenery and parks, the city has a salubrious climate. At the same time it is also called India's silicon capital, being one of the 10 top IT destinations. Its long history has been made by Kempegowda, Mysore Wadiyars, Tipu Sultan and the British. It is dotted with monuments and temples. Bengaluru is also a centre for science and industries, and is a sought-after destination for higher education of all kinds. The city also offers a variety of cultural and recreational options. Here one can shop for indigenous silks and sandalwood as well as brands at world class malls.

Places to see:

Tipu's Palace: The palace was Tipu Sultan's summer retreat. It was built in 1791, of fluted pillars and cusped arches. Today it is a museum of artefacts of Tipu regime.

Bangalore Palace: Modelled on the Windsor Castle in England, it has turreted parapets, battlements, fortified towers and arches.

Attara Kacheri: The building, overlooking Vidhan Soudha, is made of red brick and stone in the Graeco-Roman style of architecture. It houses the High Court.

Lalbagh Garden: This 240-acre park has India's largest collection of plants and centuries-old trees. It has a Kempegowda watch tower. The garden has a glasshouse modelled on London's Crystal Palace. Timing: 8 am to 6 pm; Entry fee: Rs 10

Cubbon Park: This park has 300 acres of sprawling greenery. It houses the State library.

Ulsoor Lake: It has picturesque islets. Boating facility available.

Sankey Boat Club: Idea place for boating.

Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain: The fountains here dance to music. Timing: 7 pm to 7.30 pm; Sundays: 8 pm to 8.30 pm; Closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays; Tel: 080-2286 4125

Bull temple: Situated in Basavanagudi, it has a huge monolith of Nandi. It was built by Kempegowda.

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium: A place for star gazing. It holds Sky Theatre Shows in Kannada and English; Timing: 10 am to 5.30 pm; Closed on Mondays and Second Tuesdays; Entry fee: Rs 25, Children Rs 15; Tel: 080-2220 3234

Dodda Ganesha temple: Below the Bull temple, it has a 18-foot high Ganesha idol.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple: The cave temple built by Kempegowda has a granite moon, sun-disc monoliths, a stone umbrella, a Shivlinga and three cave passages. During Makara Sankranthi, a ray of light passes between the horns of the stone bull outside and illuminates the deity inside the cave.

Ragi Gudda Sri Prasanna Anjenaya Swami temple: On the hillock called Ragi Gudda (Maize mountain), the Hanuman temple attracts large numbers of devotess. There are also three rocks representing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Jamia Masjid: In the heart of the city market area, this 5-storey mosque can accommodate a staggering 10,000 worshippers at a time.

EXCURSIONS

Brindavan, Whitefield (18 km): This was the summer ashram of the late Sri Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.

Bannerghatta National Park (25 km): In 104 sq km, the park offers tiger, lion and elephant safari. It has a crocodile farm, a snake park, a butterfly park and a nature camp.

Big Banyan Tree (28 km): It is a botanical wonder on way to Mysore.

Nritryagram Dance Village (30 km): Founded by the late Odissi dancer Protima Gauri, the dance village at Hessarghatta offers study of classical dance. Other facilities are dance demonstrations and lectures. Tel: 080-2846 6314

Sri Siddalingeswara Yoga Vana Hills, Kanakapura Road (30 km): The facilities provided include Vanamoolika Vydya (herbal treatment), meditation, pranayama, massages, yoga; Tel: 080-2271 7898

Pearl Valley (38 km): Here we can see a waterfall of jets of water spurting from a height of 90 m.

Magadi (40km): It is the taluk headquarter of Bangalore rural District. Kempegowda when forced to leave Bengaluru in 1638, made this headquarter.

Ghati Subramanya (45 km): An ancient pilgrim center of Karnataka, there is a Subramanya temple. It is the starting point of night trek to Nandi Hills. So carry a powerful torch, water and other travel items. Trekkers must have cotton clothing.

Ramnagara (50 km): This is called the Mecca of Rock Climbers. Falls on Bengaluru-Mysore highway.

Nandi Hills (60 km): It was the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan and the British. One can trudge to Tipu's Drop, a 600 m high cliff from where condemned convicts were pushed to death.

Savanadurga (60 km): On way to Magadi, it has gigantic hills and dense vegetation. Rarely, leapard and bear move around after dark.Carry water, food, first aid and other travel items. Move in groups. Trekking and biking is done here.

Kolar (70 km): Good for exploration, this was once the Capital of Ganga kingdom. The Kolaramma temple here is famous. Also see Hoysalas' Someshwara temple. Kolar is reputed for its country blankets (Kambli). A must shopping!

HOW TO REACH

Distance from Bengaluru to: Puducherry - 320 km; Chennai - 334 km; Hyderabad - 566 km; Goa (Panaji) - 570 km; Thiruvananthapuram - 761 km; Mumbai - 1033 km

ROAD:- Kempegowda Inter-State Bus Stand: 24-hour service to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. KSRTC bus stand Tel: 080-2287 3377; 080-2287 1261;

RAIL:- From MG Road, City Railway Station (Tel: 080-2200 0971) is 8 km, Cantonment Railway Station (Tel: 080-2226 8554) is 3 km, Yashwantpur Railway Station (Tel: 080-2337 7161) is 10 km. Well-connected to all major Indian cities.

AIR:- Bengaluru International Airport is 40 km from the city. It is well-connected to all major domestic and foreign airports. Tel: 080-6678 2425; 080-6678 2251; 080-6678 2255

www.karnatakaholidays.net

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