Bangalore, which has more recently started to go by its traditional name Bengalaru, is India's fourth largest city after Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata, so traveling between Mumbai and Banglore is commonly done via many different modes of transportation. When planning a trip around India, you have to remember that this is an enormous country and although Mumbai and Bangalore appear close on the map, they are actually over 600 miles (900 kilometers) apart. That's about the same distance between New York and Chicago in the U.S. or Berlin to Milan in Europe.
The easiest and fastest way to get to Bangalore is by plane. There are many airlines operating multiple direct routes per day between the two cities and the flights are really affordable. It may be slightly cheaper to take the train, but it takes about 24 hours to travel from city to city.
Many seasoned visitors to India will tell you that taking a sleeper train in India is a must-do experience, but there are shorter routes than this one if you just need to get there quickly. It's also possible to rent a car and drive yourself if you're looking for more autonomy and are curious what it would be like to take a road trip through India. If you go by road rather than rail, the journey will be slightly shorter, but you should still account for traffic delays and poor road conditions caused by bad weather. If you drive, there will be no cot for you to sleep on, so you will probably have to stop somewhere along the way to spend the night. There's also a bus, which is faster than the train, but subject to more delays.
How to Travel from Mumbai to Bangalore
- Train: 24 hours, $7+ USD
- Bus: 19 hours, $12+ USD
- Flight: 1 hour, 50 minutes, $24+ USD
- Car: 16 hours, 45 minutes, 611 miles (984 kilometers)
Taking the train to India is an experience in itself. It's an adventure, and not at all a luxurious experience. There are multiple classes with vastly different comfort levels and because this is a 24 hour train journey, you will probably want to invest in the sleeper class, so you can lay down and maybe get some rest in during the ride. To make your reservation, you can either book in person at the train station or using the Indian Railways (IRCTC) website. Here are some of the train lines you could take that go between Mumbai and Bangalore:
- 11301 Udyan Express: Runs daily from CSMT with 33 stops along the way. There is onboard catering, but no pantry car.
- 11013 Mumbai LTT-Coimbatore Express: Runs daily from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Kurla with 24 stops along the way. There's a pantry car, onboard catering, and the food is satisfactory.
- 16339 Mumbai CST-Nagercoil Express: Runs four days a week (Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) from CSMT with 21 stops. You can expect a pantry car and onboard catering, but it's not the cleanest of the trains.
- The Chalukya Express: Runs three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday) from Dadar Station. There's no pantry car, but there is catering onboard.
India has many different bus operators you could use to travel between Mumbai and Bangalore. Because there are so many that all operate out of different places in the city and run different schedules, the best thing to do is to use a comparison website like ComparaBUS to find the route that works for you. Because this is a long journey, you should make sure you book yourself on a sleeper bus so you will have room to lay down. They can be a little cramped and claustrophobic, but they are much faster and more reliable than a local bus. Although many of the busses have air conditioning, few have Wi-Fi.
Many airlines fly direct from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) to Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport (BLR). Airlines like AirAsia, Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, SpiceJet, and GoAir offer extremely competitive rates that start that on the low end hover beetween $24 and $50 USD. Even during the busy travel season, you shouldn't have to pay more than $100 USD for a one-way ticket to Bangalore. Coming in at just under 2 hours long, flying is the fastest possible way to get between Mumbai and Bangalore.
When traveling by road in India, remember that you may come across difficult road conditions and you will probably hit a lot of traffic along the way. You'll want to keep your plans flexible, so you can make stops along the way as needed.
The quickest route to Bangalore from Mumbai is via the NH 48 and there will be tolls along the way. The nice thing about this route is that as long as you stay on the NH 48, you can take it all the way to Bangalore, without having to get on another highway. On the way, you'll pass by the cities of Pune, Kolhapur, and Tumakuru, so you can look to these when it comes time to deciding where to stop for a break along the way.
What to See in Bangalore
As the capital of the state of Karnataka, Bangalore is a huge city with a large business district. Here, you'll find people who speak English, Kannada, and Hindi. The best way to get to know the city and acquaint yourself with its history is by signing up for a walking tour, You could also explore Bangalore via the public train system.
There is loads to see as the city is full of interesting landmarks like Bangalore Palace, The Sultan's Palace, the Lalbagh Gardens, and Ulsoor Lake. Art-lovers, too, might be interested in checking out the National Gallery of Modern Art. There are also many amazing temples and spiritual places in and around the city that are worth visiting like the Someshwara Temple and the Shivoham Shiva Temple, which features a 65-foot tall statue of Lord Shiva sitting in the lotus position.