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. There is also a small store within the premises that sells scientific toys for children. 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.
Known as the 'Garden City' for the pretty gardens found here, Bengaluru is also home to the Lalbagh Gardens. These beautiful and sought-after gardens are a must-visit with their impressive manicured bushes, trees, colorful flowers, and tranquil paths. The 19th-century greenhouse and the Kempegowda Tower attract curious visitors each year. The grand Mughal Gardens inspired the layout and design of the Lalbagh Gardens, and Tipu Sultan contributed to the gardens' completion. Maintained by the Directorate of Horticulture, these gardens have many rare plant species. They also serve as an arresting backdrop to various events held here, like flower shows or educational sessions on environment and botany. Time spent here is time well spent, especially when accompanied by friends and family.
Perched majestically atop the Hare Krishna Hill, the ISKCON temple is one of the most prominent attractions of the city. The famous temple, which features ascending gopurams (monumental towers), is dedicated to Lord Krishna and imparts teachings written in the Bhagavad Gita. In the evenings, the entire enclave is illuminated by lamps. Besides this, there are also boarding facilities for devotees at a nominal rate. The in-house restaurant called Annakuta serves the prasad or the food offerings made to the Lord. Festivals are celebrated here on a grand scale, especially Janamashtami and Deepavali, during which people flock here in large numbers. ISKCON also holds many programs such as youth programs, weekend yoga retreats, and Gita quiz competitions. They also undertake food programs such as Akshay Patra, where food is made and sent to underprivileged schools in urban and rural Bengaluru.
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.
The city's green lung, Cubbon Park is a botanical wonder, replete with thousands of plants and trees of various species. 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. The park is home to several statues, including those of Queen Victoria and Sheshadri Iyer. The park serves as a recreational area for joggers as well as those who simply want to enjoy a peaceful stroll in the evening.
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.