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Belonging to the UB Group, UB City is probably one of the biggest landmarks of Bengaluru in present times. This sprawling and urbanized property consist of offices, residential spaces, service apartments and a mall. The towers are namely UB Tower, Concorde, Canberra and Comet. Parking is taken care of completely as there are different levels of parking available to accommodate the heavy car traffic, a problem that the city knows all too well. The property also has been built keeping the green nature of the city in mind, and the architects have done a commendable job with the landscaped gardens that provide much respite to tired eyes. UB City is one of the most expensive spaces in the city, given its prime location but once you enter it, the world seems beautiful and fresh again.
The Venkatappa Art Gallery is a government initiative to promote art amongst the city's people. The gallery is named after K. Venkatappa, the illustrious painter known for his magical landscapes of picturesque southern towns like Ooty, Kodaikanal and others. The entrance to this gallery is from the Government Museum, and the rather scenic walk down to the gallery is over a bridge with pretty pink lotuses in a pond. The paintings are on display on the first floor of the gallery and photography is not permitted here. The artists featured are mostly local, and the temporary exhibitions keep changing every 3 weeks. Most artworks exhibited include watercolor, charcoal and oil paintings.
The Government Museum is an initiative of the Karnataka State Government to preserve the archaeological excavations retrieved from the southern regions of India. The display here consists of interesting pottery pieces, curios, metal coins, musical instruments, and also stone idols of Gods and Goddesses. The premises are well-maintained and the gardens pruned to an impossible perfection. The red building with its majestic columns form a vital aspect to its structure and is an architectural feat from the late 19th Century. On giving prior notice, entry for school students is free. The Government Museum is situated on the Kasturba Road near Cubbon Park. Call ahead before visiting, as the museum is closed on government holidays, Mondays and second Saturdays.
Sir John Meade, a British officer in the Mysore state, envisioned the space usage and Major General Richard Sankey, who also lent his name to Sankey Tank, is associated with this almost 100-year-old park. The park is officially called Sri. Chamarajendra Park. However, the name Cubbon Park is the often seen name on most of the signboards here. Within the premises lie the KSLTA, Venkatappa Art Gallery, Government Museum, Jawahar Bal Bhavan and other prominent buildings. Many statues are erected in the park including those of Queen Victoria and Sheshadri Iyer. The park serves as a recreational area for joggers and those who want to stroll in the green spaces of the city. It is never shut, however, is advisable not to venture after dark as it becomes isolated.
The Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum was an initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Culture, and was set up in 1960 as an independent entity supported by the National Council for Science Museums. The museum is named after Sir Visvesvaraya, the great engineer who has to his credit the KRS dam and Mysore University to name a few. The museum focuses mainly on science and has exhibits that trace the history of engines, biotechnological revolution, dinosaur exhibits, and science for children. It has shows like the fascinating Taramandal Show which is popular and has a separate entry fee that should not deter visitors. There is also a small store within the premises that sells scientific toys for children. Not a very time consuming stopover, the museum is a fun place to stop at with the family.
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.
It's pure poetic justice that the National Gallery of Modern Art is set in a piece of art itself, the Manikyavelu Mansion which was home to the royalty in Mysore once upon a time. As mammoth as it is regal, the palace, which is now converted into the museum, holds some of the most prized and unique pieces of contemporary art in the country. It also includes a cafeteria and an open-air theater.
Brigade Road is located between MG and Hosur Road. It is a busy road outlined with numerous commercial centers, shopping complexes, retail outlets, pubs, cafes, cinemas, restaurants and many other venues of interest. It also transforms as the hub for New year celebrations every year. Its the place to be, where despite the heavy traffic, for a stroll while watching out for the happening places of Bengaluru.
Mahatma Gandhi Road popularly known as the M. G. Road is the lifeline of Bengaluru city and is well connected to all the places within. Many prominent establishments and attractions like the Bible Society of India, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Cariappa Memorial Park and Field Marshal Maneckshaw Parade Grounds, all lie along this busy stretch of road. The M. G. Road bus stop is one of the busiest bus stops around. In fact, the upcoming 'Namma Metro' too will be routing through Mahatma Gandhi Road. Named after the 'Father of the nation', there is at least one M. G. Road in most of the towns and cities in India. And Bengaluru is no exception to this popularly proven fact.
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.
Synonymous with creativity, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (KCP) is a College of Fine Arts which is renowned for many good reasons. The artists taught and trained here, are not only talented but also very skillful with their fingers. The beautiful campus is nestled amidst lush greenery which perhaps gives birth to all of these wonderful creations. They offer a variety of courses in fine arts like Art History, Visual Arts, Painting, Graphics, Applied Arts, Sculpture and more. Apart from a well-equipped library, KCP also has all the learning aids like the latest audio and visual equipment. There are many unique exhibitions held in the KCP galleries, which are both temporary and permanent, and ranging from fine art to contemporary. Both local and national artists feature their artistic creations here. Popular and famous art events like 'Chitra Sante' are participated in by many at the national level too. Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is located near the Lalit Ashok Hotel in Kumara Krupa Highgrounds.
Rightfully known as the 'Garden City' of the country, Bengaluru has at least one pretty garden in every neighborhood. And at the mention of gardens, the Lalbagh Gardens undoubtedly tops the list. These beautiful and much sought after gardens are a must visit with their impressive manicured bushes, shady trees, colorful flowers and windy paths. The 19th Century Glasshouse and the Kempegowda Tower on the raised plateau of the Gneissic rocks attract more and more curious visitors each year. The garden's landscaping is based on the style of grand Mughal Gardens, which is also evident as it was completed by the legendary king, Tipu Sultan. Maintained by the Directorate of Horticulture, these gardens have many rare species of plants. They also make for an arresting backdrop to various events held here, like music shows, fairs or educational sessions on environment and botany. Time spent here is time well spent, especially when accompanied by friends and family.