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Attara Kacheri as it is popularly known in the local language is the office for the Karnataka High Court and is the official venue for conducting high court activities. Attara Kacheri in English means presiding over eighteen offices, all of which are within its glorious premises. Apart from its authoritative prominence in the legal scene of Karnataka, the structure itself is a beauty to gaze at. With a history dating way back to the 19th Century, this red brick building was built with columns, which suggest its inspiration from the mid-eighteenth century's Neo-Classical style of architecture. Attara Kacheri cannot be missed as it is right opposite the Vidhana Soudha on Rajbhavan Road.
The Vidhana Soudha houses the state legislature of Karnataka, its architecture is a vivid amalgam of the old and the new. Envisioned by Shri Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the former Chief Minister of Mysore, the glorious facade of this building is a fusion of Indo-Saracenic and traditional Dravidian styles, ornamented by a gleaming central dome, granite columns and an expansive porch. The stately building also features considerable European influences in its design. With the tricolor fluttering above it, this courtly edifice is fronted by well-manicured lawns, as well as sculptures that command much national significance. Beautifully illuminated each Sunday and on public holidays, the Vidhana Soudha is Bengaluru's pride and one of the nation's largest legislative buildings.
Popularly known as Tipu Sultan's Fort, the Bangalore Fort was originally constructed in the 16th Century by Kempe Gowda of the Vijayanagar Empire. The original mud fort was built upon by Haider Ali in the 18th Century, and although much of the Bangalore Fort was dismantled over the years, the Delhi Gate and two bastions still stand as testaments to its once formidable might. During the Third Mysore War, the fort served as a base for Tipu Sultan before it was taken over by the British East India Company in 1791. The Sultan's summer palace still stands within the fort complex, as does a Ganpati Temple which is over 500 years old.
In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan comes as a pleasant respite. Nestled in the heart of Old Bengaluru, the palace sits amid rolling, well-pruned lawns, and is ornamented with many historic inscriptions which are an escape into its thriving heyday. The palace is an airy building, of which little remains, except for the huge balconies and corridors with elegant columns and grand, Mughal arches. Primarily colored in beige and brown, the palace has many open spaces with a few rooms. The ground floor has two rooms which have been converted into a museum housing old photographs and information plaques about the Sultan and his eventful journey towards building the glorious palace. The tiger motif is a recurring symbol across the palace, and it quite explains the fact that Tipu Sultan was very fascinated by this ferocious and proud beast.
Built by the Wodeyars, Bangalore Palace, with its Tudor towers, well-pruned palace gardens and a magnificent turreted facade, makes for a spectacular sight. Its opulent interiors hearken back to its heyday soon after its construction in the 19th Century. From curios and collectibles to rare artifacts and vintage photos of the royal family, there is grandeur displayed in every nook and corner. The king's and queen's courtyard is charming, as are their private chambers, ornamented with plush tapestries and chandeliers, overlooking well-maintained gardens. Flanked by groves of emerald trees, this palace was once a retreat for the Maharaja, away from his residence in Mysore, and today stands as a canvas of elegance and regalia. Complete with a treasury of exotic paintings, winding staircases and richly-decorated halls, the Bangalore Palace beautifully combines history and architectural finesse.
With a history dating back to the 17th Century, St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral was built by French missionaries in India. The magnificent stone building with arched windows and white domes, make it a mesmerizing sight to behold. On stepping inside, there is an almost palpable peace and tranquility that prevails. Apart from many charitable activities, 'St. Anthony's and St. Rock's Primary School' too was built for the welfare of the community. The church conducts a number of events throughout the year. To organize these better, there is a youth center, conference hall and a parish hall too within the enclave. Just near the cathedral, is the Shrine of St. Anthony and St. Rock which is known to possess healing powers. So let your prayers be answered here, at the St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Cleveland Town.
One of the oldest temples in Bengaluru, the history of the Sri Someshwara Temple dates back to the reign of the Chola and Hoysala kings in the 12th Century. Built by Kempe Gowda, this temple is dedicated to Lord Someshwara, also known as Lord Shiva. The artistic ascending gopurams (monumental towers) with stone carvings and motifs are influenced by the rustic architecture of the historic Vijayanagara empire. Hardly to miss is the tall stone column of this temple known as the dhwajastambha which is often photographed by awestruck tourists. These columns are erected right in front of most of the Hindu temples. Apart form the main sanctum for the Shivalingam, there are stone idols of other Hindu deities too. The Shivaratri Festival attracts numerous worshipers year after year when devotees travel from all over to worship Lord Shiva and seek his divine blessings.
With its origins dating back to the 16th Century, the historically significant Bull Temple or the 'Dodda Basavana Temple' is one of the most famous temples in Bengaluru. The neighborhood Basavanagudi derives its name from this temple, as Basavanagudi in Kannada means Bull Temple. The monolithic stone idol of Nandi, constructed by Kempe Gowda and regarded as one of the biggest of its kind, lies upon the crest of the Bugle hill in Basavanagudi. The ascending gopuram (monumental tower) was built in the Dravidian style. The sacred Nandi bull is worshiped by several devotees, and the farmers offer their harvest to it each year. These offerings see a festive occasion called the 'Groundnut Festival' or 'Madalena Parishe' or 'Kadalekaye Parishe'. The Bull Temple is a must-visit both for its historical importance and to show devotion to Nandi, the sacred vahana of Lord Shiva.
The 17th century built Kaadu Malleswara Temple is the genesis of Malleswaram in north-west Bengaluru. Kaadu in Kannada means forest, which is exactly what surrounded these temples centuries back. There are a number of smaller temples surrounding the main temple which enshrines the holy sanctum of Lord Shiva. Sri Gangammadevi Temple, Nandi Kalyani Temple and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple are a few to mention. The entire complex is purified with the homas and pujas, which are rituals performed by Hindu worshipers. There are some very important homas organized too wherein, the pandits are called from across the country to recite from the sacred texts. In one of the temples, there is a Nandi from which the Cauvery river's water flows miraculously and incessantly. Recently renovated, the new main gopuram (monumental tower) amidst the old forest makes it a must visit in Malleswaram. Kaadu Malleswara Temple attracts more devotees especially during the occasion of Mahashivratri.