Known as the IT capital of India, Bangalore (Bengaluru) is filled with the vibrancy of the young crowd that flood into the city to claim its riches for themselves.
This city might not be the most historical treasure trove in India but the sense of fun alongside the exotic sights and smells will appeal to those that chase more than ancient monuments.
Well known for its mischievous side Bangalore is young and fresh with a influx of hedonism that has unlocked its potential as a playground for the countries wealthiest inhabitants; a trip to Bangalore will surprise and delight as it offers a glimpse into an unexpected India, an India that will banish your preconceptions and let you see the country through fresh eyes.
With the surge of investment into the cities mass of IT businesses many more hotels have sprung up in Bangalore, with luxury accommodation becoming more and more widely available, a great example of this is the newly opened Alila Hotel in the business district, polished dark woods perfectly set off the natural linens and leafy plants that engulf this hotel; individually designed rooms make this feel like a boutique hotel despite the relatively high number of room.
VT Residency offers clean comfortable air conditioned rooms at very reasonable rates, although a little ‘no frills’ the staff couldn’t be friendlier or more helpful and the vegetarian restaurant although a little lacking in atmosphere serves excellent Indian and Chinese vegetarian food. This is the perfect budget choice and is incredibly popular amongst backpackers and business travellers alike.
Although a global influence can be seen creeping into the city visitors are best served by eating the varied and excellent local cuisine, steamed rices, pickles, spiced potatoes and meat curries are popular menu items although seafood should be eaten with caution as Bangalore is a fair distance form the coast. High tea is an institution in the city with its chai tea and sticky sweet treats that give a sugar rush like no other; as vibrant and exotic as the city itself, the Bangalore cuisine is undeniably brash and none the worse for it.
Olive Bar is part of a chain that can also be found in both Mumbai and Delhi but that doesn’t detract from the amazing food that they serve, amazing curries and side dishes that will make your mouth water are followed by the king of desserts – the coffee bean and kahlua ice cream with almond biscuits alone make a visit worthwhile.
Although not drowning in historical sights there are certainly some places of interest to visit within the city; Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace is a little gem, made entirely from teak with elaborate carvings and elegant structures this is a hint as to the extravagance of the Indian Royalty of years gone by – from the Summer Palace you can easily access the ruins of Bangalore Fort where many battles were raged against the creeping British Raj.
Boating on the man made Ulsoor lake is a very popular pastime in Bangalore, small islands fill the lake which is very popular amongst locals and visitors alike, the boating is slightly like driving though the city and only the quick witted escape collisions, which although a little hair raising just adds to the fun.
Bangalore is hot throughout the year and whilst the annual monsoons (July to September) give the city the greenery that it is known for, this time of year is best avoided; the most pleasant time for travelling is between October and March when the heat is bearable and humidity remains low.
If you can travel in March then you might be lucky enough to catch Bangalore Karaga, nine days of festivities that engulf the city with colour and noise – an absolutely amazing experience for all those that find themselves in the city.