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Karnataka  Bangalore

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Beautiful garden by an NRI

Beautiful garden by an NRI

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During the first centuries immediately after Christ, the Southern partof the present day Karnataka state, where Bangalore is located, Jainismwas the main religious belief. Once part of the Vijayanagar kingdom,this city was founded by Kempa Gowda in 1537AD. Later, ruled by Tipuand other Mysore kings as well as the British. It was a major militarybase for the British. To date a vast area of the city is retained byIndian military and defense forces and is not open to visitors and thepublic. After independence, the Indian government setup strategicallyimportant defense, telecommunication and aeronautical developmentindustries here, as it is located hundreds of miles away from themainland coast and thus safe from possible enemy attacks. The early1980s saw State (provincial) government initiating a number ofelectronic industries here and later in 1990s this became a natural hubof the Indian Software Industry. A big chunk of Indian SoftwareEngineers are based out of Bangalore. Bangalore has been home to manyeminent 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 morewesternized than many Indian cities. The fact that Bangalore is ahigh-tech place does not mean that it has no interesting sights. It’ssimply an all-round place. You might want to visit the Palace of TippuSultan, once home to the south Indian king famous for battling theBritish, the Bull Temple, the Indian Institute of Science and otherscientific research institutes, Cubbon Park, and the240-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 Indiaand the state of Karnataka in particular. Bangalore is 855 km southeastof Mumbai. It lends itself well to a day-trip to Hampi. There are alsoa number of organized day trips to Mysore, the historic capital of thestate during British India, when it was the princely state of Mysore.

Many international tourists consider Bangalore, one of the fivebiggest Metropolitan cities of India, as just a connecting place toother destinations. They haven’t heard of any interesting places inthis area, especially compared to neighboring Kerala and Goa. Yet, manypeople visit Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Cubbon Park, Vidhan Soudha- thestate 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 tohang-out for the city’s youth.

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

Globalization of market helped Bangalore to emerge as the globalcustomer support business outsourcing hub. It is not rupees that areshaping the new face of Bangalore, but dollars/pounds sterling, etc.Real estate value has shot up several times during the last two decadesmaking lare areas unaffordable for the average Indian. The fastdevelopment of Bangalore has attracted multinational corporations andlarge Indian corporations, pubs and night life, clubs and party halls,multi-storied buildings and highways, broadband Internet and Internetcafes, amusement and lake-side parks, travel business and packagedtours, five-star hotels and resorts, flyovers and shopping malls. Butthis trend also has brought in pollution, corruption, escalation in thecrime rate, drinking water scarcity, mosquito menace, large scale ruralto urban migration, and expansion of slum areas. Business interestsdecide government policies more than the democratic will of the people.The outskirts of Bangalore witnessed massive real estate developmentespecially around the designated area of the proposed InternationalAirport of Devanahalli, and Information Technology Corridor area. Allin all it is a very friendly city.

Things you may feel happy about Bangalore: modern friendly people, arelatively international culture, good climate and availability of foodand consumer items from across the world.

Things you may feel unhappy about Bangalore: The fact that thegarden city is rapidly losing its serene charm, increase in the greedfor money, pollution, corruption, traffic jams, poverty, crime relatedissues, mosquitoes, scarcity of drinking water, lack of long terminterest of authorities and businesses, unclean streets.

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21 Jan 2007

21 Jan 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Monday March 2007