A thriving pub culture, a bustling youth capital and a city that’s often touted as the Silicon Valley of India – many would agree that Bangalore is growing into one of the most happening cities in all of India, without a doubt. It is one of the most sought-after cities for youngsters looking to start out on their own, which in turn, has fueled the party culture. Amidst all this, the city has retained its heritage in utmost pride.
Everyone knows about the party and pub culture in Bangalore but what many people fail to realize is, that there are a lot of places to visit in Bangalore. From sprawling parks and gardens to historic structures that stand tall in the midst of the growing modernization, the city has much to offer that would capture the attention of the traveller.
Apart from the clubs and EDM concerts, which happen so often, there are a lot of places to visit in Bangalore that are gifted with natural, cultural and traditional beauty. Being the capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka, the city is quite well connected. The best part about travelling here would have to be the low fares, owing to the frequency of trains and flights.
Some of the best places to visit in Bangalore are:
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
The first one on the list has to be the gardens of Lalbagh, located in the heart of the city and sprawled over a massive 240 acres. Despite being surrounded by some of the busiest localities in Bangalore, Lalbagh is completely cut off from the cacophony, sheltering some of the most exotic flora found in southern India, many of which are even rare to the country!
The ethereal beauty associated with this place comes from a combination of many ageing old trees that are hundreds of years old, and the rare species of plants and saplings that are imported and tended by the horticulture department. The gardens are developed from the land that once served as the private gardens of the erstwhile ruler of the Mysore kingdom, Hyder Ali. From a jogging park for the locals to the go-to place for science projects for the students, from a sightseeing attraction for the tourists to the location for an extravagant showcase of the rich flora, the gardens are an absolute delight for anyone who visits.
If you plan your trip right, you can be witness to the ever-so-popular Lalbagh Flower Show held twice a year in the Glass House, once during the week of Republic Day on January 26th and that of August 15th, the Indian Independence Day. From centrepieces that are several feet high to innovative ideas for landscaping and a showcase of some of the rarest species of plants in India, exhibits at the flower show attract not just Indians from across the country but around the world as well.
The horticulture department is especially lauded for doing the commendable job of maintaining the gardens in great condition all throughout the year. Botanical enthusiasts from around the world have praised it as one of the best gardens in the east in terms of aspects such as layout, architecture, scenic beauty and for being a great scientific and environmental treasure. While the gardens shelter a variety of fauna, especially birds and butterflies, the lake inside is home to a thriving aquatic life.
The place, with all its scenic beauty, charges a nominal entry fee of a mere 10 rupees for childrens between the ages of six and 12. The fee for adults is 30 rupees. The place is open from 6 am to 7 pm on all days.
A historic temple of great religious importance for the locals, the Nandi temple, or Bull temple as it is also known, makes for a temple visit like none other. This is mostly owing to the massive statue of sacred Nandi, the demi-god who was in the form of a cow, known to be a devout follower of one of the Gods, Shiva. The temple is located in Bugle Park in Dodda Ganeshana Gudi, or Basavanagudi as it is also known, in South Bangalore.
The statue of Nandi is believed to be the largest in the world, measuring 15-ft by 20-ft. The large stone sculpture of Nandi is continually smeared with new layers of butter by devotees. Also located near the Nandi Temple in the park, is the statue of the Hindu God with the head of an elephant, Lord Ganesha.
The best part about visiting the temple, though, has to be the annual groundout fair that’s held once a year, towards the end of November. Mainly a harvest festival for groundnut farmers in the entire region, you will see a plethora of fares on sale, from a variety of groundnut products and sweets to trinkets and toys. Vendors and farmers from across the state haul their produce to the city and often make a killing in the bustling 2-day fair that sees thousands of people from across the city. The 500-year-old festival is believed to be held in honour of the demi-god Nandi, with groundnut offerings in hundreds of kilos made each year.
The very reflection of luxury and piety, this is one location that’s worth a visit, even for non-believers of Hinduism. Though not as historic as Lalbagh or the Bull Temple, ISKCON has grown into what can be termed as a heritage location in Bangalore. The sheer beauty of the white marble architecture will leave you spellbound, not to mention the gold-plated flag post and Kailash Shikhar! The temple is part of the chain of ISKCON temples across the world but happens to be one of the largest in the world.
Dedicated to Radha and Krishna, the temple boasts of extravagant idols of the two deities, studded with precious stones and adorned by devotees from all over the world. From the sprawling nature of the property to the temple on a hillock, to the extravagant shows of devotion one witnesses here is especially during festivals like Krishna Kanmashthami (birth anniversary of Lord Krishna) and Ram Navami (birth anniversary of Lord Ram)
The place preaches the great values of Hinduism and believes in creating the world in which people have happiness, peace of mind and good health which can be attained through the consciousness of God. If not to visit the 6 beautiful shrines at ISKCON, you would at least want to visit the temple to witness the influence of religion and devotion of the common man they have earned over the years.
St. Mary’s Basilica
This famous church is located in the Archdiocese of Bangalore. This is undoubtedly one of the calmest and peaceful places to visit in Bangalore. Being one of the oldest and most popular churches in Karnataka, the place enjoys the luxury of having been promoting to a mini-basilica. This is the only Basilica in Bangalore and allows people of all religions to visit.
The basilica itself is beautifully constructed by a French architect and is in the shape of a cross. The most inspiring feature of this place is a statue of Mother Mary, holding baby Jesus in her arms. Every day, the statue of Mother Mary is draped in a new saree, which is to show the Indian tradition and culture. One of the most striking stories about this place is the fact that there was an attempt to uproot the statue of Mother Mary from outside the church and install it inside the altar. Strangely, the statue could not be moved at all, which ignited the curiosity of many around, making this one of fascinating places to visit in Bangalore.
Best time to visit would have to be during Christmas. The church comes alive with pompous celebrations and a beautiful midnight mass that’s attended by thousands each year.
Bannerghatta National Park
A biological reserve, a zoo, a butterfly conservatory, a safari park, even an aquarium – the Bannerghatta National Park has it all! Founded in 1970 and elevated to the status of a national park in 1974, it forms an integral part of, not just Bangalore’s, but of the ecosystem that extends beyond the region.
Spread over a vast area of 263 square kilometres, the biological reserve forms an integral part of the national park. This place is brilliant in bringing people closer to animals and wildlife and is one of the better places to visit in Bangalore, for all nature and animal lovers. From elephants and leopards, the wild boar and hippopotamus to the endangered Asiatic lion and Royal Bengal tiger, the forests of this conserved national park is home to a vast variety of animals.
The zoo makes for a great weekend getaway from the city if you’re looking to let your children experience the majestic beauty of these conserved animals. The butterfly enclosure is yet another delightful choice to witness the ethereal beauty of nature. The entry fee is just 80 rupees for the zoo whereas the safaris would cost you extra. The safaris are split into two groups: The Grand Safari (Lion and Tiger) and the Bear and herbivore safari. The park also has a lake in the middle, where you can opt for boating.
Located just over 20 km from the hoi polloi of the city, the park is one paradise that is sure to add to your experience of exploring Bangalore.
Without a doubt, it is one of the biggest aquariums in South India and is the biggest and the one in Bangalore. What makes it one of the most magical places to visit in Bangalore for kids is the different kinds of aquatic creatures. From the eels, and goldfish to beautiful ones like the Siamese fighting fish, pearl gourami and angelfish, the variety of ornamental and exotic, cultivable species of fishes at the aquarium makes for a magical experience for the tiny tots! A trip to this place might even wake the inner child in you.
Located in the heart of the city, at the entrance of Cubbon Park near Chinnaswamy Stadium, this is one of the best places to visit in Bangalore if you are travelling with kids. The entry fees is a throw-away at 5 rupees for an adult while is free of cost for kids. The aquarium is open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm but one must keep in mind that the aquarium is closed on all Mondays and the second Tuesday of every month for maintenance.
A location of calm and serenity, the Bangalore Palace is shrouded in a cloak of majestic wonder. It is located in the heart of Vasanth Nagar in Central Bangalore, and a step inside the palace will take you back in time, to a different era, when the city the seat of erstwhile royalty.
This place is enclosed by elaborate, beautiful gardens and is a hub, not just for tourists but also for popular events, important conferences, and meetings. This has to feature in the top places to visit in Bangalore because of its grandeur and for the beautiful engravings that are present on the inner as well as the outer walls of the palace. A fitting reflection of the royalty that once was, the palace now popularly hosts the annual Bangalore Literature Fest.
This is another one of the places to visit in Bangalore which boasts of a rich heritage and is rightfully hailed as being truly majestic. The original mud fort was constructed by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, in 1537. A subsequent ruler, Haider Ali reconstructed it into a stone structure about 230 years later. What stands now a majestic exhibit of the city’s regal heritage.
Though most parts of it were destroyed by the British during their occupation of India, the place still manages to retain some of its historical structure. The fort also happens to be a brilliant example of Islamic architecture and also houses a smaller wooden fort that was built by Tipu Sultan. The place charges minimal entry fees from Indians and foreigners and is open from 10 am to 6:30 pm on all days except Sundays.
Ulsoor, which is also known as Halasuru, is one of the oldest localities in Bangalore, famous for its many temples and the beautiful narrow streets. The place has a beautiful lake which has become integral to the city. It is one of the best places in Bangalore to enjoy the beauty of the rising and setting sun, with a calm and refreshing scenery.
The pristine location makes for great relaxation to just sit by the banks of the lake or to simply take a walk and catch glimpses of the birds sheltered here. It is especially good for artists and creators to draw inspiration from, or just anyone looking for a place to gather their thoughts in solitude, amidst nature. With a garden on each side of the lake, it surely is one of the best places to visit in Bangalore for its scenic, natural beauty. You can even go boating in the waters for an evening with a beautiful sunset.
Be it for a walk in the morning, a jog in the park or simply to enjoy an evening boat ride with your beloved, the lake makes for a great option. This place is also one of the most easily accessible places to visit in Bangalore and is a must-not-miss.
This is one of the most beautiful lakes and is one of the three lakes created by Kempe Gowda in 1537. Especially a great place for bird watchers, the place sees a lot of migratory birds which are vast in number and variety. Often touted as one of the cleanest lakes in the entire city, it offers a breathtaking view of the sunrise. Despite being slightly off the track and hard to access, it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bangalore.
The lake charges a nominal entry fee and charges additionally if you want to avail boating facilities. To sum it up, it is one of the places to visit in Bangalore, where you can feel calm, in the midst of the chaos of the city.
Contrary to popular belief that it has only IT industries, there are actually a lot of places to visit in Bangalore. It is one place that you should definitely not miss out on and it’s high time you checked it off your bucket list of places to visit. So pack your bags and book the next flight to Bangalore!