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Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka State, is one of Indias most charming cities. Aptly named "Garden City", it boasts of an amazing number of flowering trees and parks. With splendid pink cassias and golden acacias blooming, with jacarandas flowering in purple majesty and the gulmohurs lighting the roads, with their flame-orange brilliance, the city is a sheer delight to simply wander around in. From a sleeping city, to the Silicon Valley of India, the momentum of India's 5th largest city's industrial and commercial growth remains unequalled in the country.

History : Behind Bangalore's modern appearance, lies a glorious past. The local Chieftain Kempe Gowda, founded the present capital of Karnataka, Bangalore in the sixteenth century. Two centuries later, Bangalore became an important fortress city, under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The British made it their regional administrative headquarters in 1831, and the town, began to take the look of a British cantonment. But it was in 1949, that the city and cantonment areas of Bangalore, were amalgamated to form the present city of Bangalore. Around the sixth decade of the 20th century, it became the science and technology centre of India, and home to many multinational companies.

Places to See :

Whitefield : A must-see for those who revere Satya Sai Baba. Brindavana, an Ashram established by the Baba, is a tranquil place. Special bhajans are organised on Sundays and Thursdays, when Sai Baba is in town. The International Technology Park is right here, so you can view the area, from where part of the IT world is born.

Nrityagram Dance Village : This dance village, 30 km north-west of Bangalore, was established in the early 1990s, to revive Indian classical dance. Under the auspices of well-known Odissi dancer, Protima Gauri, it offers the long-term study of classical dance and its allied subjects, such as choreography, philosophy, music, mythology and painting. The village, designed by award-winning Goan architect, Gerard Da Cunha, welcomes visitors and accommodates guests.

Cubbon Park : Cubbon Park, Bangalore TourIt can be called as an oasis of greenery, in the heart of modern Bangalore. This beautiful park, is the haunt of the seeker of pleasure and tranquillity, and is highly popular with walkers, joggers and nature lovers. Complementing the natural beauty of the park, are the red Gothic structures of the State Central Library and the High Court. Situated close to the High Court, is the State Central Library, worth a visit for its rare treasure of books and the building has the pompeian red colour and architectural style of stone and fluted pillars, with walls finished in lime plaster.

Mekedatu : Mekedatu in Kannada means Goats Leap. It is so called, because at this point, the mighty Cauvery river, squeezes itself, through a rocky channel, across which a goat could leap. At the confluence of the Cauvery and the Arkavathi, is Sangameshwara Temple. It is a beautiful picnic spot where one can fish or laze around.

Nandi Hills : This hill station, 68 km north of Bangalore, was a popular summer retreat, even in Tipu Sultans days. Tipus Drop, a 600m high cliff face, not only provided a good view over the surrounding country, but it was also a convenient place to dispose of enemies. There are two notable Chola temples here. The cottages run by the Department of Horticulture, are the cheapest places to stay, for which you can make a reservation in Bangalore. There are KSRTC buses to Nandi Hills, from Bangalores Central bus terminal.

Government Museum : It is a beautiful 1877 structure, with Corinthian columns. Being one of the oldest museums in the country, this museum, boasts an exquisite collection of coins, sculptures, inscriptions, old paintings and excavated items. The Venkatappa Art Gallery, adjacent to the Museum, is named after Late K. Venkatappa, a noted artist. You will find a selection of his famous paintings, Plaster of Paris works and wooden sculptures. Also on view, are works of various contemporary artists.

Bangalore Palace : Only parts of the fort remain, standing in mute testimony to the struggle of Tipu Sultan, against British domination. The fort is noted, for its beautifully carved arches in Islamic style, and for the well preserved Ganapati temple. Further, Tipu Sultans Palace, close to the fort, is now a museum. Further, an inscription on the wooden screen describes the palace as" the Abode of Happiness".

Vidhan Sabha : This imposing edifice, built almost entirely of dressed Bangalore granite, is a tribute to temple architecture. Housing the Legislative Chambers of the state government, this 46 meter high seat of the government, is Bangalore's best known landmark. There are four domes on all the four corners. The main entrance is overshadowed by the four headed lion, the symbol of Indian sovereignty. It houses 22 departments and 300 rooms.

The Bull Temple : This 240 acre expanse of greenery, forms one of India's most beautiful botanical gardens. The credit for this, goes to the rulers, Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, who laid out an 18th century paradise, with rare trees, brought from far off Persia, Afghanistan and France. At the heart of the gardens, is situated the Glass House. Its design was obviously inspired by the Crystal Palace, London. Flower shows, are held here every January and August, with an impressive participation.

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