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.
The Dodda Ganapathi Temple is easily one of the most unusual and eye-catching temples in the city. The legend goes that Kempegowda I, who founded the city of Bengaluru, was on a stroll when he found a rock that had an etching of Ganesha on it. At his behest, an idol was carved out of a single stone and it is this that is now enshrined within the Dodda Ganapathi Temple. Devotees believe that the miraculous idol grew to its monumental size all on its own from the humble sculpture commissioned by the king. On the occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi , a week-long festival venerating Lord Ganesha, the idol is dressed in a variety of ways on each day, the most impressive being Benne Alankara which involves slathering the monolith with a staggering 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of butter. A richly ornamented gopuram marks the entrance of the temple, watching over the scene from a towering height.
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.
Built in the year 1970, the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is a very famous cricket stadium in India that has stood testament to the Indian team's grit and winning spirit. A number of historic matches have been played here. The grounds have even hosted fixtures of the 'Cricket World Cup,' namely the 1987 Reliance World Cup and the 1996 Wills World Cup. It is one of the country's larger stadiums and covers vast grounds within its premises. To facilitate entry and also to manage the crowd better, there are separate gates for the 'Invitees,' 'Executives' or the 'Members.' Various stands called the 'Pavilion End' and the 'BEML End' can be reached through these gates. This stadium is located near Cubbon Park, which is located just across the road. The cricket matches played here are still fresh in the minds of the people of a cricket crazy nation.
Ranga Shakara is a landmark that will be remembered for long in the theater history of Bengaluru. This dream of the late Kannada actor Shankar Nag, it was realized by Arundhati Nag(his wife), who spearheaded the movement for the theater to be accessible to both patrons and troupes alike. At Ranga Shankara they follow the thought of one play a day and therefore there is some action happening every day. They also have an annual theater festival that takes places every year around October. Besides this, they also provide venue space for many other cultural activities happening in the city.
The first thing that you notice about this hall is the unique shape of the building's exterior. Chowdiah Memorial Hall (CMH) is shaped in the form of a violin, as it was built after the renowned violinist Mr. T. Chowdiah. The surrounding areas are spic and span with well-pruned gardens and mowed lawns. With plush interiors and modern installations in the sound system, the hall accommodates a little more than one thousand people in the audience. Famous not only for its architecture but also, for the diverse cultural events that it hosts, this stage has seen numerous musical concerts, recitals, plays, spiritual sessions and classical performances. The venue is often rented for weddings, local events, and other celebrations. Situated behind it, is the serene Sankey Tank, which is a lot more than just a water reservoir.
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.
The red tiled roof the Gallery Time and Space at Lavelle Road speaks of an indelible mark of the old world, in this modern city. The gallery, located next to an old English Bungalow complete with an aesthetic garden, is a pleasant sight to see. The theme, that is evident in its very name, comes out even more strongly by the juxtaposition of the art it displays and space it stands on. What started out as an ode to Contemporary Indian art now stands as one of the richest culture hubs in Bengaluru. The gallery not only holds art exhibitions but it also functions as a venue for many book readings, film screenings, discussions on art sessions etc. Artists featured here include names such as Amitabh Sengupta, Aparna Caur, F.N Souza, Ravindra Salve etc. The gallery includes works of paintings, sculptures, and photography, a window into the world of experimental art. A visit here is indeed a cultural enrichment.