Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, is another Indian city that's undergoing a change back to its traditional name, Bengaluru. It's a contemporary, fast growing and prosperous city that's home to India's IT industry. Many multinational corporations have set up their Indian head offices there. As a result, the city is full of young professionals and has a vibrant air about it, with a flourishing pub culture.
There's been a huge population growth in Bangalore in recent years. About 12.5 million people now live there, making it India's fourth largest city after Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata. Although Bangalore isn't regarded as a must-visit tourist destination in India, many people like the city because of its greenery and interesting buildings. Unfortunately, some its appeal has been lost to growing traffic congestion and garbage disposal issues though.
Find out what to know before you go in this Bangalore guide.
Planning Your Trip
- Best Time to Visit: Due to its elevation, Bangalore is blessed with relatively pleasant climate. Daytime temperatures remain fairly constant, between 26-29 degrees Celsius (79-84 degrees Fahrenheit), for most of the year. The temperature usually only exceeds 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the hot summer months from March to May, when it can reach around 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters in Bangalore are warm and sunny, although the temperature does drop at night to around 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter mornings can also be foggy. September and October experience the most monsoon season rain.
- Language: Kannada and English. Hindi is also widely spoken.
- Currency: Indian rupee.
- Time Zone: UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) +5.5 hours. Bangalore does not have Daylight Saving Time. Read more about India's time zone.
- Getting Around: The new Bangalore Metro train, Uber and Ola Cabs have revolutionized transport in the city. Previously, getting around the city could be challenging, as taxis are only available by prior booking and auto rickshaws are notorious for trying to cheat tourists. Read more about transport options in Bangalore.
- Travel Tip: Stay in the Central Business District to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams.
Bangalore has a brand new international airport that opened in May 2008. However, it's located 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city center. The travel time to the airport is between one and two hours, depending on traffic. Read more about Bangalore airport and hotels hear Bangalore airport for all budgets.
Bangalore City railway station receives long distance trains from all over India. Here are the best trains from Mumbai to Bangalore.
Neighborhoods in Bangalore
Bangalore's Central Business District is situated around M.G. Road, which extends east from Cubbon Park and the imposing neo-Dravidian-style Vidhana Soudha (seat of the Karnataka government). It includes UB City, the city's biggest luxury commercial development project that's become a hot place to shop, dine, and party.
Koramangala in south Bangalore and Indiranagar in east Bangalore are other hip and stylish neighborhoods renowned for their nightlife, restaurants, and pubs.
Malleswaram, in northwest Bangalore, dates back to the 1890s and is one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. It's a great place to explore on foot, as it has well-maintained sidewalks (a rarity in India!).
Bangalore's main IT hub is located in Whitefield, about 20 kilometers (18.6 miles) east of the city center. However, this rapidly evolving neighborhood has also become an upmarket residential district with gated communities, spacious villas and luxury apartments.
Thing to Do
The city's parks and gardens are a big attraction. Bangalore also has some insightful walking tours for those interested in history and heritage.
If you feel like venturing further afield, there are also some popular tourist places near Bangalore.
Where to Eat and Drink
If you love beer, you'll love visiting the many brew pubs and sampling craft beers. The Biere Club near UB City is Bangalore's first microbrewery. However, arguably, better beer can be found nearby at Arbor Brewing Company (India's first American-style craft brewery) on Brigade Road in Ashok Nagar, and the Bier Library in Koramangala.
Foodies won't be disappointed either. Head to these iconic Indian cuisine restaurants in Bangalore for all budgets.
Where to Stay
Luxury travelers will be pleased to know Bangalore has some fabulous five-star hotels, ranging from colonial to chic, and they're among India's finest. These ones are all located in areas handy for sightseeing. Purple Lotus is a modern boutique hotel in the heart of the action. Electric Cats is a cool place to stay for backpackers and budget travelers.
Culture and Customs
Bangalore was founded in 1537 by a local chieftain, who upon being given the land by a Vijaynagar emperor, built a mud fort and temple there. Over the years, the city has undergone a massive transformation. Its earlier days saw it passed from ruler to ruler, until the British Raj took hold of it and located their south Indian administration there in 1831. The British constructed considerable infrastructure. After India gained independence, Bangalore grew into an important center for education, science, and information technology.
Bangalore is a relatively safe Indian city and organized crime is almost non-existent. The city is also quite liberal in its attitude compared to many Indian cities, resulting in better treatment of women and less staring. However, be careful of pickpockets in tourist areas. You may also be approached by men to pose for selfies, which you can refuse if you don't feel comfortable.
The usual tourist scams also operate in Bangalore, but again, to a lesser extent than in many other Indian cities. Overall, Bangalore is a friendly city to visit.