Bangalore Travel Guide

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The Forum Shopping Center

The Forum Shopping Center

David C

Bangalore is the English version of Bengalooru, the way it is pronounced in the local language Kannada. It is said that the word Bengalooru originated from the sentence "Bendakaalooru" meaning "City of baked-beans", as the color of the soil resembled that of baked bean. During the first centuries immediately after Christ, the Southern part of the present day Karnataka state, where Bangalore is located, Jainism was the main religious belief. Once part of the Vijayanagar kingdom, this city was founded by Kempa Gowda in 1537AD. Later, ruled by Tipu and other Mysore kings as well as the British. It was a major military base for the British.

To date a vast area of the city is retained by Indian military and defense forces and is not open to visitors and the public. After independence, the Indian government setup strategically important defense, telecommunication and aeronautical development industries here, as it is located hundreds of miles away from the mainland coast and thus safe from possible enemy attacks.

The early 1980s saw State (provincial) government initiating a number of electronic industries here and later in 1990s this became a natural hub of the Indian Software Industry. A big chunk of Indian Software Engineers are based out of Bangalore. Bangalore has been home to many eminent personalities like Dr C V Raman, Girish Karnad, Narayan Murthy, Prakash Padukone, G R Vishwanath etc.

Bangalore is famous for its booming IT and Internet industry. The city has a large Anglo-Indian minority and is considerably more westernized than many Indian cities. The fact that Bangalore is a high-tech place does not mean that it has no interesting sights. It's simply an all-round place. You might want to visit the Palace of Tippu Sultan, once home to the south Indian king famous for battling the British, the Bull Temple, the Indian Institute of Science and other scientific research institutes, Cubbon Park, and the 240-acre/100-hectare Lal Bagh botanical garden: its pools, terraces, fountains, trees, and herbs are highlights.

Bangalore is also an excellent starting point for exploring Southern India and the state of Karnataka in particular. Bangalore is 855 km southeast of Mumbai. It lends itself well to a day-trip to Hampi. There are also a number of organized day trips to Mysore, the historic capital of the state during British India, when it was the princely state of Mysore.

Many international tourists consider Bangalore, one of the five biggest Metropolitan cities of India, as just a connecting place to other destinations. They haven't heard of any interesting places in this area, especially compared to neighboring Kerala and Goa. Yet, many people visit Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Cubbon Park, Vidhan Soudha- the state assembly building, International Tech Park at WhiteField, Vishweshwariah Industrial Museum, Bannerghatta National Park, Shopping Streets like MG Road, Brigade Road and Commercial Street. Malls like Forum and Bangalore Central are the latest places to hang-out for the city's youth.

The important tourist destinations of South India are easily accessible from here: Mysore Palace, Nandi Hills, Coorg,Ooty and Kodaikanal hill-stations, Bandipur National Park and other reserved forest areas, Hampi and Hassan district's ruins of medieval sculptures, Jogfalls and other fascinating waterfalls, scenic backwaters and the ayurvedic relaxation centers of Kerala. The main attractor of tourists to Bangalore is its nice climate (except in March - May) and its large, English speaking, modern-minded, population. One sees a mix of different Indian linguistic groups here. Most of the local shopkeepers speak four to five languages. It is one of the few cities in India, where one can easily get by without knowing the local language. The rapid pace of development during the last few decades caused hundreds of thousands to migrate here from rural areas and other Indian states.

Globalization of market helped Bangalore to emerge as the global customer support business outsourcing hub. It is not rupees that are shaping the new face of Bangalore, but dollars/pounds sterling, etc. Real estate value has shot up several times during the last two decades making lare areas unaffordable for the average Indian.

The fast development of Bangalore has attracted multinational corporations and large Indian corporations, pubs and night life, clubs and party halls, multi-storied buildings and highways, broadband Internet and Internet cafes, amusement and lake-side parks, travel business and packaged tours, five-star hotels and resorts, flyovers and shopping malls. But this trend also has brought in pollution, corruption, escalation in the crime rate, drinking water scarcity, mosquito menace, large scale rural to urban migration, and expansion of slum areas. Business interests decide government policies more than the democratic will of the people.

The outskirts of Bangalore witnessed massive real estate development especially around the designated area of the proposed International Airport of Devanahalli and Information Technology Corridor area. All in all it is a very friendly city.

Things you may feel happy about Bangalore: modern friendly people, a relatively international culture, good climate and availability of food and consumer items from across the world. Bangalore is an upcoming spa destination due to its excellent weather .The 5th element spa on Inner Ring road is the only Thai spa in the heart of the city on Inne ing Road .Relax yourself there whenever you are in angalore.A small place but very professional and very authentic Thai.

Things you may feel unhappy about Bangalore: The fact that the garden city is rapidly losing its serene charm, increase in the greed for money, pollution, corruption, traffic jams, poverty, crime related issues, mosquitoes, scarcity of drinking water, lack of long term interest of authorities and businesses, unclean streets.

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