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Bangalore, now known officially as Bengaluru , is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka.
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Points of Interest in Bengaluru
Bengaluru has a lot to offer for a visitor. If you only have a limited amount of time in the city, you should consider taking a tour.
Typically, the city tours do NOT include entry fees into the attractions. Bengaluru, as with the rest of India, has a habit of charging foreigners a lot more than locals. For example, Tipu Sultan's Palace, which is on the half-day tour, charges ₹ 10 for Indians and ₹ 100 (or US $2) to non-Indians.
- Vidhana Soudha - The legislative House of the State of Karnataka, this granite building was built by Sri K. Hanumanthaiya, Chief Minister of the then Mysore state 1951-1956. The then Prime Minister Sri Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru laid the foundation on 13 July 1951. It was built at an expenditure of ₹ 18.4 million. Marvel of neo-Dravidian architecture and one of the most imposing building not only in Bengaluru but in India. One of the interesting feature of this building in grand stairs in its front. The grand stairs has a flight of forty-five steps 62 m (204 ft) wide 21 m (70 ft) deep giving a direct access to the foyer of first floor leading to an Assembly Chamber. The architecture of the building is based on Dravidian style, comprising richly carved bases and capitals for pillars, deep friezes, kapotha cornices, chaithya arches, heavy pediments domical finials, etc.; At the same time, the construction has been on modern designs, making use of the present-day materials like steel, reinforced cement concrete glass, plastic, etc. It is not possible to visit the grounds or enter the building.
- Vikasa Soudha - Is it possible to gild a lily? Well you judge for yourself. This ultra modern construction, adjacent to majestic Vidhana Soudha built in the same classic style, is supposed to come fitted with the latest gizmos to help govern the state. It was inaugurated sometime in February 2005.
- Seshadari Iyer Memorial is a distinctive building constructed of red sand stone in Cubbon Park. It houses a public library and the Bengaluru High Court, while the grounds include a children's recreation area with a toy train, fairground and theater.
- Bengaluru Palace was constructed by the Maharajahs of Mysore. For many years the building was neglected as a tourist attraction, but is now open to the public. This is a run down building with paint peeling on the interior and generally a tourist trap to be avoided. The fee is ₹ 100/200 Indian/Foreigner and ₹ 500 to take photos even of the exterior. This includes a guide to point out things like the mounted elephant head, though no mention is made of the numerous nude paintings.
- Tipu Sultan's Palace, which dates from about 1790, is the summer retreat for Tipu sultan. The two story structure is made mostly out of wood with finely embellished balconies, pillars and arches. Timings: From 9:30AM–5:30PM, All days of the week. Tickets are ₹ 10 for Indians and ₹ 100 for foreigners.
In Koramangala, The Koramangala Indoor Stadium, at the National Games Village (NGV) is an important landmark. St.Johns Hospital and College, Jyoti Nivas College and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics are the major educational institutes of the area.
- The Bull Temple, located in Basavanagudi, is a typical Dravidian style temple, and is famous for its mammoth bull statue that was carved from a single boulder. Legend has it that the temple was built to appease a marauding bull that stole local crops, and that the offering was effective with the bull subsequently leaving the area. Since then, local farmers have held an annual festival to express their gratitude.
- The Maha Bodhi Society Temple, (see 'Learn' section) is a relatively new structure, with the main shrine built as a replica of the historic stupa at Bodh Gaya. The temple grounds are very peaceful, and visitors are welcome to stroll around. In addition, the temple houses an excellent library of books on Buddhism, many of which are in English.
- ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Rd, ☎ +91 80 2347 1956, +90 80 2357 8346, fax: +91 80 2357 8625. 3:45AM-8PM. Temple built on a hillock in Rajajinagar atop scenic surroundings, is a perfect blend of modern technology and spiritual harmony. The huge cultural complex was built to promote vedic culture and spiritual learning, and abounds with shops selling devotional items and souvenirs. The annual Krishna and Balarama Rath Yatra is attended by thousands.
- Maruthi Mandir, a Hanuman Temple is located just opposite - 5 min drive from ISKCON temple, in the gate of Mahalakshmi Layout. This is a rock hill with huge idols of Hanuman and Mahalakshmi temples. The annual festival of Hanumad Jayanthi during December is very attractive.
- Gavi Gangadeshwara Cave Temple, located in Gavipuram, adjacent to Basavanagudi, was built by Kempe Gowda. This temple with four remarkable monolithic pillars is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple also has a rare idol of Agni god of fire. The annual festival is on Makara Shankranti and thousands of devotees flock to see the suns rays fall on the Shivlinga. The temple timings are: 7AM-12:30PM and 5PM-8:30.
- VenkataramanaSwamy Temple is a fine example of Dravidian architecture. This ancient temple was built by Maharaja Chikka Devaraya Wodeyar and is situated next to the summer palace of Tipu Sultan.
- Dodda Ganapathi - one of the oldest temples in Bengaluru, is situated adjacent to the Bull Temple.
- Vasanthapura,in South Bengaluru, is a small hillock with an ancient temple dedicated to Sri Vasantha Vallabharaya Swamy.
- Shiva Temple (Shiv Mandir), Old Airport Road. This temple has a massive monolith of Lord Shiva, located in the middle of an artificial pool. There is a cave-like walkthrough behind the statue. It is extremely crowded on the festival of Maha Shivaratri. One can't see or feel any kind of Bhakti in this temple, because at each move inside the temple there will be a person located for collection of money which creates such a disturbance for the concentration on Bhakti. On each step the devotees will be concentrating on the money boxes (Hundi in kannada)/people standing to ask money as offerings. After coming out, one feels as if one has come out of a commercial Shiva temple. So sad to say this. Free entrance, camera ₹ 25.
- Banaswadi Hanuman Temple, constructed in the Dravidian style, attracts a large number of devotees especially on week-ends. It has smaller temples dedicated to Lord Rama, Shiva and Ganapathi within the walled compound.
- Ragi Gudda is a famous Hanuman temple abode in the Jayanagar 9th block, South of Bengaluru. The temple is situated on a mammoth rocky hill, and has very attractive chain of temples like Spathika Shiva, Ganesha and scenery within the premises. This is a very crowd attracting place during the period of Hanumad Jayanthi in December. You get mahaprasadam meals on Saturday between 12 noon-1PM.
- Sri Raja Rajeshwari Temple located in RajaRajeshwari Nagar, just before Kengeri on Mysore Road is a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi (RajaRajeshwari). It was built by a renowned spiritual guru, Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Mahaswaigal. Built in the ancient style with stones, the temple is very spacious. One can feel the peace and satisfaction when visited. Week ends are very crowded.
- DakshinaMukhy Nandeeshwara Temple, located in the heart of Bengaluru is very ancient temple. This is on Sampige Road in the Malleshwaram area. The speciality of the temple is that, the natural (mineral) water flows from the mouth of Nandi (naturally) which is above a ShivaLingam, and pours all over the year as Abhishekam by nature itself. This water, after Abhishekam is taken by devotees as medicinal water, believed to cure many diseases. People from all over the world take this water in small containers with a lot of trust and devotion.
- Mukti Naga temple. In Bengaluru is world's largest monolithic statue of Lord Naaga, about 16 feet tall and 36 tons of weight. The Mukti Naga temple which is run by Shri Subrahmanya Seva Trust, is situated in a serene ambience of Ramohalli, a village on the outskirts of Bengaluru city.
- Meenakshi Sundaram Temple, Bannerghatta Rd, (after Indian Institute of Management), South of Bengaluru. Beautiful, spacious temple devoted to Sri Meenakshi Amma. Built in ancient style with stone structures, this place is very cool and mind refreshing place to see. You will feel that you are in a temple at Tamilnad, when in this temple.
- Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, There are many Ramakrishna Ashrams in Bengaluru, but the special and central one is in Gandhi Bazaar - the place of temples in Bengaluru. This mutt contains a vast meditating hall, a beautiful park, a vedic school and many more facilities. Sri Sharada Devi had meditated on a location in the park in this boundary. This location is preserved as a monument. A stone on which Swami Vivekananda had sat when he visited Bengaluru is also kept as a monument. This is a calm and peaceful place for the people who enjoy the meditation.
- Shree Guruvayurappan Temple at Nettigere, Bangalore South
- Holy Trinity Church, located at Trinity circle at the east end of the MG Rd, is a major landmark in Bangalore. It was built in 1851, for the British Regiment stationed in Bangalore. Built in the English Renaissance style, the church can accommodate 700 people and is regarded as the largest "military" church in southern India. It has a congregation of over 450 families.
- St. Mary's Basilica, St. Mary's Basilica is a basilica located in the Archdiocese of Bangalore in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the oldest church in Bangalore and is the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. It is famous for the festivities held during the St. Mary's Feast in the month of September each year, an event that attracts a number of devotees from in and around Bangalore.The basilica has been built in Gothic-style with arches, ornamental motifs and stained glass windows.Multiple columns and tall spires of the basilica can be seen from quite a distance. The stained glass windows were removed during World War II and were subsequently restored in 1947.
- Shelter House Church, Bannerghatta Rd, Arekeres, The service is conducted in English and starts from 9:30AM in the morning.
The earliest records of a place named "Bengaluru" are found in a ninth-century temple in an area that is now known as "Old Bangalore".
Legend has it that when the feudal lord Kempe Gowda was once hunting rabbits in this area, a rabbit turned and attacked his dog. This made a great impression on Gowda and he gave the place a title of gandu bhoomi (the place of heroes) and in 1537, with the assistance of the local king, he constructed three districts protected by a walled fort on the site.
During the next three centuries, Bangalore existed very much in the shadow of its neighbouring city Mysore, and control of the town changed hands many times. The year 1831 marked a major turning point for the city. Claiming misrule by the king Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, the British took control of the Mysore Kingdom and, possibly influenced by the city's salubrious climate, moved the administrative capital to Bangalore. New telecommunication systems were laid, rail connections built, fine government buildings constructed, and the city's famous parks and gardens established. After independence, Bangalore maintained its position as the state capital of Karnataka. The city continues to flourish today.
For many years, Bangalore was known throughout India as the most green, liberal and forward-thinking city. In recent years, these attributes have propelled Bangalore to the forefront of the high-tech industry boom in India, and it currently ranks as India's most developed city and one of the world's fastest growing urban areas.
The name Bangalore appears to come from an Anglicisation of the native name Bengaluru – an adaptation of the earlier name in Kannada, Benda Kaalu Uru (Town of Boiled Beans). Apparently, this rather humble name was bequeathed to the city by King Vira Ballala. Once while lost in the area, he was offered boiled beans by an old woman, and it was out of gratitude that he named the area after this simple offering.
Unlike other parts of India which are extremely hot in the summer months, Bangalore enjoys a relatively mild climate all year round.
- Summer – February to May (peak temperature is during April and May)
- Monsoon – June to October (the heaviest rains are typically between June and August)
- Winter – November to January (with December being the coldest month)
Summer temperatures can reach 36°C (97°F), and early morning temperatures in the winter hover around 12°C (54°F).
In Koramangala, The Koramangala Club has sports facilities including Tennis Courts. You can join the Swimming club at the NGV. There are dense tree lined streets as well as well maintained parks, so get out and discover your own patch of greenery. The homes are very well designed and tasteful, its very apparent that this is a posh location. It is a really nice and cozy place to stay.
Outdoor activities and sports
- Motorbike. Travel on Menu Tours organizes motorbike tours in and around Bangalore.
- Cycling. Art of Bicycle Trips organizes bicycle tours in and around Bangalore. The tours combine cycling with Indian art, culture and heritage.
- Ultimate Frisbee. Although in a nascent stage, Ultimate Frisbee games are held on Tue/Thu/Sat mornings starting 6:30AM. The teams comprise of players of all skill levels.
- Watch a cricket match, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium (near Cubbon Park). Chinnaswamy stadium is the home ground of the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Royal Challengers Bengaluru which is reputed for having a large, loyal, and loud fan following. IPL season typically is between March and May every year, matches are played in the evenings and last around 3 hours. Scour the daily newspapers for ticket information - note that tickets typically get sold out a week before.
- Hiking, Nandi hills; Rangaswamy betta, Bhimeshwari - Muttati.
- Hill Climbing, Savandurga, Makalidurga, Kavaledurga (Skandagiri), Kabalidurga, Siddarabetta, Nijakal betta.
- Camping, Savandurga, Gunjoor Lake, Bhimeshwari, Rangaswamy betta.
- Cave exploration, Savandurga, Anthargange, Siddarabetta.
- Adventure Clubs: Bangalore is bestowed with rock climbers, aqua sportsmen and aero sportsmen. There are several clubs including Thrillophilia, Nature Admire, Care, Spark, KMA, Capture, Mars, Angel, Wildcraft and Adventure Works.
- Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt. Ltd., 4th Floor, 2628, 27th main, 1st sector, HSR layout, ☎ +91 968-602-0000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thrillophilia arranges for adventure tours around Bangalore which includes rappelling, mountain safari, camping, trekking, dirt biking, rafting, jumering, river crossing and quad biking. Micro light flying and paragliding can also be arranged on demand basis. Sep – May is the best season for most of the adventure activities. Prices start from 1000 INR per person.
- Trash Trail, Daily Dump, ☎ + 91 80 41157311, e-mail: email@example.com. On this journey through the story of waste we will meet people who silently clean up and transform all the stuff we throw! We wil visit places you haven't imagined existed!
Nature and parks
- Visit the beautiful lakes in Bengaluru.
- Bannerghatta National Park
- Lalbagh botanical Garden and lake inside-the lake offers a pleasant view and is home to some water birds
- BangaloreWALKS, ☎ +98 80 671192. A great way to discover unique areas of Bengaluru. Whether a visitor, or a long time resident, one can discover unknown facets of the city. The walks include Traditional Bengaluru walk, Victorian Bengaluru walk & the Lalbagh walk.The walks include breakfast/brunch at famed Bengaluru eateries. ₹ 300-500.
Fairs & exhibitions
- Kadlekai Parishe (Peanut fair), Every year, sometime during the months of Nov-Dec, the area around Bull Temple Road in South Bengaluru hosts a peanut fair. Centuries ago, the villages in and around this area used to cultivate peanuts and the custom was to dedicate the first crop to Nandi (the Bull at the temple). Although the villages of yore are today residential areas, the tradition continues as peanut farmers congregate to sell their crop. The 2 day traditional fair has many stalls that sell peanuts, trinkets, bangles, pottery, dolls etc. There are also a number of food stalls.
- Chitra Santhe (Paintings market), An annual exhibition, held on the last Sunday of every January, the Chitra Santhe on Kumara Krupa Road (near Golf Course) brings together artists from all across Karnataka. Paintings, pottery, and sculpture are all on an exhibition-cum-sale. The road is closed to traffic on that day, making it possible to have a leisurely stroll, admiring and buying the items. (It is proposed that from 2012, the venue would be shifted to Freedom Park.) Prices range from ₹ 100-20,000. Bargaining is recommended, but not too hard. Pay a fair price. (Credit cards and foreign currency are rarely accepted, so carry sufficient cash in Indian currency)
- Aero India, Held in the second week of February every alternate year (the next one is in 2011), this is Asia's premier air show. Spanning 5 days (W-Su), the show at Yelahanka Air Force Base in the northern part of Bengaluru comprises a defence exhibition and air show. Fighter jets from around the world are on both, flying and static display. Normally, there are two air shows every day - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Tickets can be purchased online or at select outlets - scan the newspapers for more information. (Purchasing a ticket at outlets requires you to show a photo identification and tickets are non-transferable. For the 2011 edition, Pakistani nationals are not permitted to register via the website)
Arts and theatre
- Concerts at Bengaluru Palace Grounds, Check the local listings to see if any concerts are happening. Most international acts happen at Bengaluru Palace Grounds and the venue has hosted Metallica,Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Joe Satriani, Mark Knopfler, Aerosmith, Sting, Uriah Heep, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Machinehead, Scorpions among others.
- Rangashankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, J.P. Nagar, 2nd Phase, ☎ +98 80 26592777. Evening shows start at 7:30PM. Many local groups perform here, although more often shows are presented by traveling groups touring India. Quality of the performances varies, but most plays are worth seeing, especially the ones by Indian playwrights and / or directors, as they can show you an "Indian" (or let's say "non-western") perspective. Shows are in various languages, so it is a good idea to double-check whether the play is in English before buying / reserving (“blocking”) tickets. Tickets cost between ₹ 45–100.
Take in a movie at one of the innumerable theaters around the city.
- PVR Gold Class Cinema.
- Forum Mall (PVR)
- Inox theatre.
- Garuda Mall (Inox)
- Nani Cinematheque. Has film series almost every weekend programmed by local film clubs.
Foreign film series and cultural events.
- The Alliance Francaise. And
- Goethe Institute.
Spa & massage
Massages & Spas are very much a part of Bengaluru's east-meets-west culture, new ones spring up across the city all the time.
- The 5th Element. Spa near Dell office on Inner Ring Rd. All practitioners are from Thailand and offer authentic Thai massage, scrubs, and wraps.
- Aroma Home Spa. Brookefields, ITPL Main Rd, Near Whitefield. Natural eco-friendly products in use. Hydro therapy massage in addition to therapies suited to individual needs.
- Aayu Siddhi. Traditional Indian Ayurvedic massage.
- Kenko Reflexology & Spa. Offers a variety of massages and a fish spa.
- SPA.ce. Cunningham Rd. Run by an expat Brit offers a variety of massages, scrubs, and facials.
- Akaasa. High-end boutique spa.
- Ayur Sukha. Malleswaram. Very nice, clean and professional spa in a nice neighborhood. 1 hr basic Ayurvedic treatment (massage and steam) is about ₹ 1,000.
In Koramangala, Legend's of Rock is located near the Pizza Hut on 80 ft. Road. Also great is the Jimi's Beer Cafe nearby, has a really nice ambience. Firangi Paani at Forum Mall is a nice but expensive option. Costa Coffee, Barista and CCD have their presence near Maharaja Hotel. Young working people spend a lot of their time here. You can get a truly multi national multi cultural feeling as there are several restaurants serving Spanish, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mexican food. Hence, it is really popular with expatriates. The area around Jyoti Nivas college is a popular hangout for the college going crowd, with a lot of eateries and cafes in the area. This area has a very hip/ fashionable feel to it.
- Travel on Menu Café. Popular for TOM Coffee.
- Café Coffee Day, ☎ +91 80 4001 2345. Popularly known as CCD, first established in 1996, at Brigade Road, Bangalore The chain has over 1,000 cafes through out India. It is found all over Bengaluru.
- Barista Lavazza, ☎ +91 80 4207 5023. An Indian startup cafe chain established in 1997 and more commonly known as Barista and now owned by Lavazza. The chain has more than 200 stores in India. It is found all over Bangalore with 32 retail outlets, most of them near IT corporate offices.
- Costa Coffee, ☎ +91 80 4348 8888. British coffeehouse chain. Koramangala 4th Block, in Indranagar and another opposite Goethe-Institut, RMZ Eco Space on Sarjapur Rd and Sigma Mall, Brookesfield, Cunningham Rd, JNC Rd, and Jayanagar. Besides Coffee, Costa lays heavy emphasis on food with sandwiches, paninis, tostatos, pastas and many kinds of deserts, English muffins, a wide variety of cakes and desserts.
- Caffe Pascucci, ☎ +91 080 4091 2134. Italian coffee chain brand. In 2010, Pascucci set up its own coffee retail shop in India with 10 outlets in Bangalore at prominent localities like Jayanagar, Malleshwaram and Indranagar.
- Cake Walk, #297, 100 Feet Rd, Indra Nagar, ☎ +91 80 2520 5393.
- Coffee World. Can be found all over Bengaluru.
- Coffee Workers Co-op, Church St's Brigade Gardens. A venerable Bengaluru institution, with waiters in traditional uniforms and customers slowly savoring the age-old tradition of coffee drinking - though there are just two choices of coffee: black or white.Have some delightful "masala dosa" here.
- Java City, Church St. Pleasant old Bengaluru atmosphere. Offers a wide variety of tea, coffee from all over the world including pizza, pasta, pastries, cookies, you name it they have it plus you get to see a unique sense of humor in their menu and on the walls. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, there is live music, rock and guitar. This place is simple, expatriate friendly and not at all pricy. There is another Java City near Lavelle Road.
Pubs and bars
The pub scene is concentrated around the commercial business district in the heart of Bengaluru. MG Road, Brigade Road, Residency Road, St. Marks Road, and Church Street have numerous pubs. Happy hours is typically between 6-8PM and at most pubs, the time for the last order is around 10.30PM. Formerly having a reputation as the Pub City of India, Bengaluru's buoyant pub and nightlife has been curtailed by police and regulatory action, and all bars and nightclubs must now close no later than 11.30PM.
Most bars and pubs in the city are somewhat upscale, but many inexpensive restaurants serve beer and good quality food.
If you just need to go out you could go to one of the bars, but if you would like to have a great social experience and are in the city for a considerable period of time consider becoming a member of one of the social expat clubs in the city. The IVES Club  offers a meeting for it's members every Saturday at one or the other popular nightclubs in Bengaluru, its members are interns, expats, volunteers and exchange students residing in the city.
- Pecos, Rest House Rd (Off Brigade Road). 60s retro pub with a mural of Jerry Garcia. Often crowded on all 3 floors, including the pleasant roof-top seating area. Free popcorn with every pitcher of beer. Cards are available for frequent customers which make every tenth pitcher of beer free, but you may have to ask several times in order to acquire one and to get it updated.
- Beer Joint Pub, (aka BJP), Indira Nagar
- Lock N'Load Pub (The Texan Pub),(Inside Chairman's Resort)Sahakar Nagar Hebbal
- Nasa, Church St.
- Tavern at The Inn, Museum Rd.
- Styx, (next to Cauvery Handicrafts on M.G. Rd) - They put the "Heavy" in heavy metal!!
- Purple Haze, Residency Rd. Popular for the classic rock that's played there. Now there is a new Purple Haze off Hosur Rd, Koramangala (close to Jyothi Niwas College).
- Sparks, Brigade Rd extension, next to Brigade Towers.
- Ego's, Castle Street, off Brigade Rd.
- J'Cubez, Banshankari 2nd Stage, opp. BDA complex. For rock lovers.
- The Bunker, (off Residency Rd).
- Jimi's (Residency Rd and Koramangala 80 Rd). A nice dark cozy bar along with Rock music and video. Best visited during weekends and is not hard on your pocket.
- Legends of Rock, 80 Foot Rd, 6th Block,Koramangala, ☎ +91 80 4130 3232. Watch the Legends perform on large format TVs.
- Olio, Koramangala, ☎ +91 80 4092 7888. Great ambiance with beer, wines and continental food.
- Opus, Palace Cross Road, near Sankey Rd, ☎ +91 80 2344 2580. A chilled-out, ex-pat friendly lounge with a large outdoor space. Has karaoke on most Sun and Wed (Kroaknights) as well as regular live music and DJ dance nights. You may need to book ahead on theme nights.
- Sultanate Of Swing, 4th floor, Garuda Mall, Free entry, mainly plays Rock, Retro, Heavy Metal and has a Video DJ.
- Bull n Bush:4th floor, Garuda Mall, ₹ 500/- cover Charge, Plays hip hop, house and occasionally trance.
- Le Rock Pub Cafe, Rest House Rd (off Brigade Rd), ☎ +91 80 4123 1001. Open from 10AM-11:30PM. The latest watering hole in Bengaluru. Rock music across the board screened on large plasma panels; every song can not only be heard but seen as well. Coffee, Kingfisher beer, cocktails, food and Bengaluru's first oxy bar.
- Windsor Pub, Vasanth Nagar. (off Mount Carmel's in Kodava Samaja Building). A small place which serves only beer, good food and is nice for a family outing. But only limited tables.
- Carpe Diem, Church Street (off Brigade Rd) It's a Power Metal haven.
- B11, Jayanagar 4th Block (above Hotel Pavithra and next to Cool Joint)
- New Night Watchman, (corner Church and Museum Rd's), Little bit dingy but helpful bar staff - satellite TV has the Australia Network so you can watch Rugby Union and AFL games.
- Take 5 54, MSK Plaza, HAL II Stage Indiranagar. A Jazz themed restaurant that serves great American style food and offers a large selection of beers. They don't always play jazz but the food and drink is consistentlygood.
- Zeus, #174 2nd Floor Manohar Crest, Brigade Rd (on top of health n glow), ☎ +91 80 2532 3355. 11AM-11:30PM. Sports bar and lounge.
Most hotels have spiffy bars with every imaginable concoction of drinks available.
- Kosmo, Formerly Cosmo Village on Magrath Rd is now f bar and kitchen 2011. 3 separate areas including a terrace. 81 Ali Askar Road Cross (Off Cunningham Rd). This nightclub is a remodeled colonial villa on a quiet lane, with excellent DJs and expensive drinks, and attracts a wealthy clientele.
- 13th Floor, Barton Centre, M.G Rd. Make a reservation. amazing view from the 13th floor
- "The Biere Club, Vittal mallya Rd on lavelle road, (opp Sunny's). Bangalore’s first craft brewery and a popular place for beer lovers.
- The Beach, 100 Foot Rd. Indiranagar. Make a reservation. Starts with retro music, plays some good hip-hop and house towards the end. Makes you feel like you are in Goa.
- Aura, Cunningham Rd.
- Athena, The Leela Hotel, Airport Rd. Really popular on most days of the week. The upper VIP lounge is the best part of the club, but the rest of the club is beautifully appointed and attracts a hip crowd.
- Blue Bar, Race Course Rd. On weekends you need to buy drink-tickets for ₹ 1,500 to enter. Excellent drinks if you make sure Joel makes them. Officially they have a couple's only policy. Spontaneous dancing likely next to the bar.
- F-Bar, (inside Le Meridien). Fashion Bar is a theme bar by FTV
- Fuga, Richmond Town. The best place for house music lovers. Expensive and fashionable.
- Firangi Paani, Forum Mall, Koramangala.
- Geoffrey's, Airport Rd, (Royal Orchid). Really nice place.
- Hint, 5th Floor Bengaluru Central, M.G Road. Tuesdays is ladies night (couples permitted).
- iBar Park Hotel, M.G Rd.
- Manchester United Restaurant Bar, (Opposite Forum on Christ College side). A ambient and trendy Restaurant Bar that serves a wide variety of cuisine, most notably for their kababs, pizzas and cocktails.
- Taika, Church St. (Off Brigade Rd). Usually open past midnight and has a huge dance floor. 3 bars and a lounge area. Entrance varies each night.
- Tuscan Verve, (Off Brigade Rd).
- Vaayu, Cool bar on the 5th floor of Eve Mall on Brigade road. It has comfortable lounge seating, and is open air, giving some nice views over the city.
In Koramangala, Do your wardrobe shopping at Lifestyle mall at Sony World Junction. Has a really good and fashionable collection of all major brands. There's a huge cosmetics secion at the ground floor. The PolyNation food court seems to have closed down, but it was a really nice place with a huge multi-culutural, multi-national selection. The Croma electronics showroom is situated right opposite to Lifestyle mall. eZone, Reliance Digital, Pai, Sony, Panasonic etc. electronics showrooms are all located within the kilometre from here. So this is the ideal location if you want to do a survey before making your next expensive LCD/LED TV purchase. You can do your grocery at Nature's Basket or Spar, Spencers, More, FoodWorld, options are huge, all on the 80 ft Road. At the 1st block you can find grocery shops more suited for the local residents, if you want it the traditional way! Forum mall is very famous and sort of a nerve cantre of the area. It has the PVR Cinema hall as well as KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut restaurants. Landmark book shop is one of the biggest books/magazines outlet. Crosswords is also located near the Masjid, near Aiyappa Swamy temple, Madiwala.
Bengaluru provides a wide range of options for shoppers. One can buy many things ranging from clothing to electronic goods and vehicles. Being an IT city, Bengaluru provides all kind of services but one might find things to be costlier.
Many visitors come to Bengaluru searching only for sandalwood carvings and silk saris and so miss out on the true Bengaluru shopping experience. Here is a low down on shopping - Bengaluru style:
- The UB City and Vittal Mallya Road are Page-3 shopping areas. You'll find brands like Versace, Louis Vuitton, Kimaya in the UB City. Vittal Mallya Road's got shopping places like The Collective which is a shop only for men, too bad!. Armani, Versace, Boss, you name it they have it. There's even Canary Blue and Esprit on the same road.
- The M.G Road/Brigade Road area is the most popular place for tourists, and these two roads are filled with shops of every kind, whether it be traditional handicrafts or the latest western wear (this is especially true for Brigade Road).
- Bannerghatta Road, newly improved. You have 'Grasshopper,' a space that exhibits clothing designs from the most experimental designers in India and also showcases other ideas - lighting design, products, theatre, music - an open space for expression! If that's too boring, you can keep driving and you have a thousand ways that you can take to enjoy the wildlife and the myriad reservoirs strewn across the area - you can still find your very own private haven. Enjoy
- Brigade Road used to be where British soldiers bought their necessities. Today Brigade Road is the centre of yuppie Bengaluru; you'll see hordes of college students on the road anytime of day or night. Some of the stores on Brigade Road include: Planet M (a huge music store with everything),Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Phillipe, Pepe Jeans, Levis,Lee, SanFrisco Jeans, Nike, Titan (great Indian made watches) just to name a few.
There are also many eateries on the road and on the side roads that lead off of Brigade road, so that you can refuel yourself for shopping. There are your fast food outlets: KFC (right at the entrance), Pizza Hut at the other end of the road and many cafes including the Indian Coffee Chain Cafe Coffee Day. Also includes a tattoo studio.
- Commercial Street a legacy of the British is another shopping mecca that sells international brands (similar to Brigade road) alongside locally produced items. Commercial Street has more of a bazaar feel than Brigade Road. In addition, it is famous for its body piercing centers. The price of goods here is very competitive and it is a great place to pick a bargain.
Malls and markets
Go shopping at one of Bengaluru's many malls and traditional markets. Malls typically have high(er)-end stores retailing apparel, footwear, and consumer electronics. Many malls also have food courts (with international cuisine) and movie theaters. Finding a parking spot for your car may not be easy though, especially on weekends. Some of the more popular malls in Bengaluru are:
- The Forum (Koramangala)
- The Forum value mall (Whitefield)
- Orion Mall (Rajajinagar)
- Garuda Mall (Magrath Road)
- Mantri Square (Malleshwaram)
- Phoenix Market City (Whitefield Road)
- UB City (Vittal Mallya Road)
- Lido Mall (Ulsoor)
- Gopalan Innovation Mall (Bannerghatta Road)
- Gopalan Mall (Mysore Road)
- Royal Meenakshi Mall (Bannerghatta Road)
- Bengaluru Central (Residency Road, Jayanagar 9th block and Outer Ring Road, Be)
- Sigma Mall (Cunningham Road)
- Poorva Mall (Old Madras Road)
- Mega Mall (Vyalikaval)
- Malls in India are a recent phenomenon, the first opened back in 1999, since then there has been a boom with malls around every corner in large cities (now also in smaller cities). Bengaluru is no exception. Here is list of the major Malls in Bengaluru, but beware that there are at least a dozen in the planning and construction stages.
- Forum Mall - The Forum on Hosur road is in the upmarket suburb of Koramangla, fast becoming a key shopping hub in Bengaluru. It is the largest mall in Bengaluru, covering an area of 650,000 ft² (60,000m²) of retail space. Again like other shopping areas, you can find anything at the Forum, high international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski crystals to traditional Indian Khadi clothing at the Khadder. Other brands with outlets include: United Colours of Bennetton (much cheaper here than in the west), Pepe Jeans U.K, William Penn, Wrangler Jeans, Weekender and of course Nike. The Forum incorporates the clothing from international brands as well as haute couture boutiques including: Mustard, Isis, B and the Chai shop. For books head straight to Landmark and huge store has everything from books to perfumes and music. On the top floor of the mall you will find a PVR multiplex comprising 11 cinemas. For eating there is everything, Fast food (KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway) Cafe Coffee Day and a food court with world cuisines including: Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican and Italian and Indian. Not to be missed is the Indian cuisine at Sahib Sindh Sultan and the British style pub, Firangi Pani. So that is a forum for all your shopping needs under one roof. Its just a must see, especially the outside.
- Garuda Mall - Located on the corner of McGrath and Commissariat Roads, is the newest and the second largest mall in Bengaluru.
- Bengaluru Central - Opened around the same as the Forum, Bengaluru Central is more of a large department store than a mall with separate retailers.
- Safina Plaza - The sale capital of Bengaluru, located on Infantry Road. Every week there is sale going on of any type. One week it might be home furnishings and the next men's wear. Good place to find some bargains. Many exhibitions are also held here, although there are retailers (Dockers, Lee Jeans, Titan too name a few) here too. So for quiet shopping come here (much less crowded than the other malls). Its best to visit during end of season sales (summer, monsoon) or during festivals (New Year, Christmas, Ganesh Chaturthi).
- Lifestyle - A two-story store on Victoria Road in the heart of the new mall shopping district with malls like Garuda Mall, Bengaluru Central and Globus, all within easy walking distance and was one of the most coveted stores until the malls came along. It's an easy place to go shopping when you don't want too many options to confuse you or when you're tired and don't want to visit too many shops - you can get everything under one roof here. Good for clothes, cosmetics, watches, jewelry, shoes etc. You also get stylish furniture and other home and living items for a decent price.
- Mantri Square - It is located in Malleswaram.
- Sampige Road, Malleswaram - Sampige Road is the heart of Malleswaram and connects Sheshadripuram to IISc. Sampige Road is around 2 km, has a wide range of shops that sells books, electronic items, silk sarees, handicrafts, cloth materials, Hindu pooja materials, sweets and all the trivial things you can buy on earth. Also try Malleswaram 8th cross on Sampige road (aptly named Brigade Road of Malleswram) for a vibrant shopping experience. Sampige Road is also home to best flower market and fruits market in Bengaluru. If you are tired of going to individual shops you can go for the best departmental stores in Bengaluru like Fabmall, Foodworld and Nilgiris.
- Marathahalli Main Road and Factory Outlets- Located a distance from central Bengaluru (although not difficult to reach), is Marathahalli (a village in a previous life). The main road of this suburb is now a haven for factory outlets for all major brands: Nike, Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Killer Jeans, Louis Phillipe, Levi's, Reebok etc. You can expect prices here to be cheaper than in the Malls, at least 20-30% price difference but can be up to 50% cheaper when it comes to some of the major denim brands. As if India wasn't cheap enough. Although this is the best place to go to for factory outlet shopping, there are smaller factory outlets scattered across the city. Also look out for sales held by the major brands to get rid of end of season stock (again end of summer or end of monsoon), these are usually advertised in newspapers or look for signs posted on major roads.
- Metro shopping mall, (near Yashwanthpura railway station and ISKON temple).
- Jayanagar Shopping Complex, From antique Jewellery (the famous Bhavani's, the more recent Kushal's, The Gallery), the authentic gold jewellery stores, saree stores (Kalamandir, Kalaniketan, Mysore Silk Udyog), sweet meat stores (Sri Krishna Sweets, Arya Bhavan), classic Iyengar bakeries, dress stores (Paridhan, Rangoli, Bafna's, Vinayaka Collections), through to fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and butter.
- Gandhi Bazaar, (in the heart of Basavangudi). One of the oldest shopping areas in Bangalore, Gandhi Bazaar stretches for a short kilometer or so, bordered on both sides by shops selling everything from saris and clothes to plastics and kitchen utensils, fronted by vegetable and fruit stalls. Do not forget to visit Vidyarthi Bhavan whenever you come here for this is the best South Indian restaurant in Bangalore selling the most heavenly dosas.
Apart from the malls one should not forget to visit Commercial street, Brigade Road which are excellent shopping and hanging out places.
The traditional markets have mom-and-pop stores that sell everything from fruits, vegetables, groceries to electronics, music, and mobile phones. The city's largest vegetable and fruit market is in the heart of the city and is called "KR Market" or "City Market". Smaller but more lively traditional markets can be found in residential areas such as Gandhi Bazaar, N R Colony, Banashankari, Malleswaram, Jayanagar, and JP Nagar & Shivajinagar. For people looking for Girls party wear dresses Magic Threads in Richmond town very close to the popular shopping area of Brigade road is a must visit.
- President's Groom Concepts, firstname.lastname@example.org (B.v.k. Iyengar Rd, Kamraj Rd, Rajajinagar, Basveshwarnagar), ☎ +91 80 4147 0910. 11AM-8:30PM. A chain of Fashion stores catering exclusively to men's wear in Bengaluru. Bespoke suits and made to measure clothing. Traditional Indian apparel also on offer.
- C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons (Diamond Flagship Store), 2-1 Main Cross Rd (next to Safina Plaza), ☎ +98 80 4000 1869. 14,000 sq ft dedicated to the finest gold and diamond jewellery, spread over two floors.
- C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons-The Heritage Store, 35 & 36 Commercial St, ☎ +98 80 4000 1869. Dedicated to gold and silver.
- Giantti Luxury Ensemble (at Shop No. C9, Level 2, The Leela Palace), ☎ +91 80 4115 9766. Diamond & gold jewellery along with silver articles and idols.
- Chandi - The Divine Gallery, MG Rd (Shop No. 12, First Floor, Public Utility Building), ☎ +91 80 4112 3590. Specialising in Indian divine figures in all mediums. Claims to have the biggest collection of Ganeshas in Bengaluru. High-quality and locally-priced wares, no pushy salesmanship.
- The Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium, 45 MG Rd, ☎ +91 80 2558 1118. A large store, offering a wide selection of some of Karnataka's best hand made products. The carvings made of Mysore sandalwood are an especially good buy.
- Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE), MG Rd. A government run store promoting traditional Indian hand crafts. The CCIE has major outlets in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.
- Royal Arts & Crafts, ☎ +91 80 2248 4797. 21 K.H. Rd. Has a particularly wide selection of silk carpets and paper mache products.
- Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation, 45 K.S.H.D.C Complex, MG Rd, ☎ +91 80 2558 1118. Specializes in Karnataka handicraft.
- Kala Madhyam Store', 2nd floor, Flat No 2, Benson Town #77/8, Nandidurg Rd (Benson Cross Rd corner), e-mail: email@example.com. Folk and tribal art paintings, handicrafts from across India, clothing for women. Specialises in wall murals of folk and tribal art as well as terracotta.
- Gangarams Indiranagar, 330/9 Axis Road Domlur Inner Ring Rd. Domlur Layout. Near Indira Nagar Flyover, ☎ +91 80 4038 3838, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-8PM Monday to Sunday. Open from Monday to Sunday. A wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, including textbooks and professional works, Stationery, Multimedia, Movies, Toys, Art Material and Gifts.
- Gangarams Mg road, Triumph Tower, 2nd Floor, 48 Church Street (Opposite High Gates Hotel and Mainland China. Church Street is parallel to Mahatma Gandhi ("MG") Road), ☎ +91 80 2512 7888, e-mail: email@example.com. Open from Monday to Saturday. A wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, including textbooks and professional works.
- Goobes Book Republic, 46-1-1 Church St, Karnataka (in the basement of Church Street Inn, Budget Hotel, near MG Rd,), ☎ +91 80 4112 4956, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Secondhand and new books on a wide variety of subjects and a very cost effective library option and buy back used books.
- Bookport, Casa Andree II, Ist floor, No 18/3, Andree Rd (near Yellamma Dassappa Hospital, Shanti Nagar), ☎ +91 80 4112 4956, e-mail: email@example.com.. They stock hand picked books on art, literature, philosophy, gender&sexuality, film, feminism, current critical thinking, fiction, travel. Also do art & literature events.
- Axis Books, 330/9 Axis Rd (Domlur Inner Ring Rd. Domlur Layout. Near Indira Nagar Flyover), ☎ +91 80 4038 3838. Started by one of the members of the Gangarams family. They stock books, stationery, multimedia, movies, and toys.
- The Strand book stall, Dickenson Rd (1st Floor, Manipal Centre), ☎ +91 80 2558 0000. Best known for the latest releases in art, design, architecture and all at good prices.
- Crossword, Residency Rd (ACR Towers, opp. Gateway Hotel), ☎ +91 80 2558 2411-16. A hot spot for books of various genres combined with seating areas, spacious racks- music and movie section, children's section and a coffee shops; this proves to be a wonderful hangout to read, browse and shop.
- Higginbothams, 68 MG Rd, ☎ +91 80 2558 7359. This bookstore has a good selection of maps, postcards, guides and novels.
- Premier Book Shop, 46/1 Church St (off MG Rd), ☎ +91 80 2558 8570. Is a venerable Bengaluru institution that has books on every conceivable subject literally stacked from floor to ceiling. Although the store may appear to be utterly chaotic, the owner knows where every piece of his stock lies - just be careful with those elbows, a slight nudge and the whole place will come tumbling down. This store however, will shut down shortly.
- Landmark, Luskar Hosur Rd, Koramangala (in Forum Mall), ☎ +91 80 2206 7777. A modern bookshop. A good place to pick up the most recent publications. Various household appliances; CDs and DVDs of music albums, computer and video games (the quality varying from time-to-time) and movies can also be found on the next floor.
- Blossoms, Church St (parallel to MG Rd and nearby Coconut Grove Restaurant), ☎ +91 80 255 9733. There are 3 full floors of those rare, hard to find old books. All 2nd hand, good condition and at low rates.
- Select Bookshop, Brigade Rd. (off Brigade Rd Behind Curzon Court Hotel). Used to be the only old bookstore. Mr Murthy, who runs the bookstore, is one of the most knowledgeable people. His grandfather started the bookstore. He also has a collection of lithographs, stained glass paintings and collectors copies of antique books.
- Oxford Book Store, At the Leela Galleria (next to Hotel Leela Palace). Has some of the latest collection of books and magazines but, doesn't offer any discounts. It has a Chai Bar attached offering 69 blends of tea.
- Tata Book House, At the Indian Institute of Science, Malleswaram. Has a large collection of technical books, on which it offers a flat 20 percent discount. Lots of books in a small place. Also worth visiting just because it is in IISc.
- Streelekha, 33/1-9, Thyagaraja Layout, Jaibharath Nagar, ☎ +91 80 2549 2783. This is a great bookstore to explore the feminist literature and activism that is being produced in India, as well as other texts on the research and work of Indian NGOs. The atmosphere is relaxing and inviting.
- Sapna Book House, 3rd Main Rd, near Kamat Yatri Nivas, Gandhi Nagar, (Walking distance from Majestic Bus stand), . This is a large bookstore, they also have branches in three other locations Sadashivnagar, Jayanagar, and Indiranagar. Sapna Book House also provides online book delivery.
- Fusion Rental. Online renting of books & movies. Vast collection of both books & movies at one place. Free pick up & delivery all over Bengaluru.
- The Bookworm, (in one of the by-lanes perpendicular to Brigade Rd, near McDonalds). This is a small used book store. Good bargains on used and new books are available here.
- Elloor Library, Blue Cross Chambers, Infantry Rd, (close to Commercial St). A circulating library that has a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, including new titles. Requires membership which includes a deposit.
Apart from the numerous malls that have taken Bengaluru by storm, the essential element and soul of the city comes through in its myriad small and unique boutiques that are all over the city, usually tucked away though. Have tried to list the must check out stores..
- President's Groom Concepts, B.v.k.iyengar Rd and Kamraj Rd, ☎ +91 80 4147 0910. Two Menswear fashion stores, established 25 years. Fine fabrics for made-to-order and a large ready-to-wear collection. Bespoke suits and made to order clothing including tuxedos, business wear to traditional Indian kurtas and sherwanis.
- Mahendra Textiles, ☎ +91 80 4124 9900. Sarees and dress materials from Surat, Mumbai, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Varanasi, Kerela and Srilanka.
- Levitate-InDiA in A RooM, 100 Ft. Rd, ☎ +91 80 6452 8190, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Silver & costume handcrafted Jewellery, Bohemian apparel, Indian kitsch, lifestyle accessories.
- Chilli Billi, ☎ +91 92 4179 9105. Great for women's westernwear', especially the dresses, good collection of bags, shoes and jewellery. They also offer home decor solutions.
- Native Place, Behind Museum Rd Post Office, Museum road. Loads of interesting merchandise, crafts made by NGOs, c/o The Only Place Restaurant.
- One G, ☎ +91 80 4123 1231. (Jewellery) Hatworks Boulevard, Cunningham Rd.
- Marmalade, Magrath Rd (Adj to Spratt Salon. Left before Coffee Day, on Brigade Rd Extn), ☎ +91 80 4122 1814. Loads of affordable young designer wear.
- Arnav, ☎ +91 80 2656 8416. The quaint little jewellery store located at Ashoka Pillar, Jayanagar makes for very interesting jewelry buys, a range of antique, restored, contemporary and fusion jewelery are on display. They could help you design a piece of jewellery to suit your needs, an in-house jewelery consultant could help you choose your jewellery.
- Necessary Evil, 12th A main, HAL 2nd stage, Indiranagar, ☎ +91 80 4163 8757. Casual luxury has finally reached Bengaluru with the opening of it's newest concept store. Necessary Evil will be offering shoppers the latest international brands such as 7 For All Mankind, Splendid and Alice+Olivia. Some of which are in India for the first time. They also offer and exclusive line of fine jewelry and home furnishings. This is definitely a space not to miss - so come see, be seen and get fabulous call in advance for a personal shopping experience.
- Sakhi by Chandras, 6th main, HAL 2nd stage, Indiranagar, ☎ +91 80 4115 5551. Combines traditional fabrics and craftsmanship with contemporary themes. Sakhi’s sarees, salwars and kurtis combine kanchivaram, tussar, chiffon, georgette, crêpe, organza and cotton with traditional techniques such as cut work, block print, kalamkari, badla, mirror work, chamki (sequins) and embroidery in a mélange of colours.
- Stritva near ITPL, 294, 8th main, BEML Layout, ITPL Main Road, ☎ +91 963 222 1615. Sells readymade salwar suit / kameez, kurtas, dress material, sarees and nightwear. The store has a good collection at good prices.
- Aura Creations, Shop No.3, Plot No. 2 Nandagokula Layout, Shampura Main Road, ☎ +91 8553637531. Designer Boutique with exclusive dress materials.
Music and movies
- Habitat, "Movies and Music", Church Street, Off Brigade Road is tiny compared to other retail music/movie stores, but its a delight for lovers of good music especially Jazz. Has an excellent and varied selection of DVDs for rent as well, though membership is currently closed.
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