Bangalore Sightseeing : From A Local’s Perspective
If you are visiting the Silicon City of India, then you are in for a treat. Both to your eyes and mind. This guest post by a local from Bangalore shares where you must see if you are visiting Bangalore on your travels.
Instead of suggesting a bunch of places OUTSIDE Bangalore, this guide will dive right into the top things to do in the heart of the urban Bangalore. To get the right feel of Bangalore, I suggest staying a minimum of 2 days.
Bangalore Palace is not as well known to the world as the Mysore Palace. Bangalore palace was constructed during mid 1800s and was bought by the British officials to convert it into a training place for the then young prince Chamaraja Wodeyar. and renovated it.
The palace, which sprawls across 45,000 sq ft area, has the interiors of neo-classical and victorian style. A huge courtyard on the ground floor, an overall of whopping 35 rooms, pool, garden welcomes you to Bangalore’s very own castle.
Have Rava Idli and Masala Dosa at MTR
MTR is well known restaurant chain and food brand that stands for Mavalli Tiffin Room that was established in Bangalore during the 1920s. The small eatery is right near Lalbagh and makes for a perfect breakfast point after a morning stroll.
During World War II, there was shortage of rice and MTR had difficulty in making Rice Idlis. Hence semolina (a.k.a Rava) was used thus giving birth to world’s first rava idli! A pioneer in restaurant and food division, MTR still holds its place strong even with the advent of new age.
Have South Indian Thali on Banana Leaf
Having South Indian cuisines served on a banana leaf is a unique experience to silicon city’s visitors that is not be missed. Visit any of the old/local restaurants in Bangalore such as Pai Vihar, Adigas etc and ask for a South Indian thali on a banana leaf.
You will get to taste everything the local way, salad, dessert, pickle, curries etc. Take your own time to finish it and live to tell the tale.
Visit Cubbon Park
Cubbon park and Lalbagh are the 2 famous public parks located in Bangalore. Cubbon park is an excellent location for a post-lunch/evening stroll. Many couples come here for a pre/post wedding photoshoot. Thick greenery right in the heart of the city will take anyone by surprise. You will see hundreds of Bangaloreans either jogging or just chilling out. A perfect place to even get to talk to one or two locals.
Shop at Flea Markets
Bengaluru has its own share of flea markets at core locations such as Commercial street, Malleshwaram 8th cross, Jayanagar 4th block etc. You will find clothes, books, antiques at a very competitive price! Especially at Commercial street, you will find cutting edge fashionable clothes that are almost priced at unbelievable rates. If you are shopping for salwars, party wear sarees, kurtas, fashion accessories, bangles etc, this is the place.
Visit to Bull Temple Road
The Bull Temple road near Basavanagudi, the south of Bangalore has its own unique vibe. The temple is on the main road itself and is called as ‘Dodda Basavana Gudi’ and hence the name. Bull is referred to as a sacred demi-god called ‘Nandi’ in Hindu culture. Basavanagudi is also very well known for its ‘Kadlekaayi Parishe’ where groundnut (a.k.a Kadlekaayi) sellers throng the place along with devotees from all over the country.
There is also a Ramakrishna Ashram dedicated to the life and preachings of Swami Vivekananda. This is an abode to anyone looking for a spiritual retreat.
Dine at the top of 30th floor
The High Ultra Lounge Restaurant in Yeshwanthpur literally is a high one, perched atop the 30th floor of World Trade Center building. The panoramic view from this rooftop restaurant is almost too good to be true. Arrive by 5:30- 6pm and see how the sun goes down and a twinkling city rises up.
You will see how much of greenery Bangalore still holds compared to other top cities in the world (Bangalore is called as the ‘Garden City of India’).
Check out sandalwood items, shawls, souvenirs at Kaveri Emporium
Karnataka is very well known as the sandalwood state of India. Visit Kaveri Emporium near M.G.Road to buy locally produced sandalwood items, shawls, souvenirs that you would be proud to display back at home. Each marking as a nice reminder of the time you spent in Bangalore.
Buy a Mysore Silk Saree at Chikpet
Chikpet is a famous locality in Bangalore (expect a lot of crowd here) that is famous for silk sarees and sarees in general. Many must have heard about silk brands (named after the origin place) called Kanchi silks, Dharmavaram etc. Mysore silk is one such brand very well known for its pure, simple, soft, chic and light weight silk sarees.
These are lot more expensive than Kanchi and other brands but are worthy enough to be included in the wardrobe. Expect pure Mysore silk sarees to begin with $150-200 price ranges. Visit KSIC showrooms and ask for pure Mysore silk sarees to avoid getting scammed, in case you can’t visit these places with a trustworthy local.
Pubs and nightlife
No dearth of pubs and bars in Bangalore. From top breweries like Toit, Big Brewsky etc, there are umpteen pubs and restaurants in top locations of Bangalore such as M.G.Road, Brigade Road, Kormangala, and Indiranagar. Similar to the ‘The High Restaurant’, there is a restaurant called ‘13th Floor’ which gives you an unparalleled view of the bustling urbanity that is Bangalore.
There are much more things like flying a plane near Jakkur Airfield, Visvesvaraya Museum, HAL Museum, Manchinbele Dam (40kms from Bangalore), Visit Iskon, Take a ride in the Metro etc. Depending on the duration of your trip, pick the ones that suit your taste.
Tips to survive as a tourist in Bangalore:
1. Dress like locals (salwar, jeans-kurta, jeans- full/half sleeved shirts/tops) and be with a local to avoid getting scammed. Especially if you are visiting core places such as Commercial Street, Chikpet etc.
2. Covering up while visiting temples is a must. So do get a shawl and wear a skirt/salwar if possible.
3. Avoid eating out of road side stalls if your stomach is too sensitive.
4. Use cab service apps such as Uber/Ola to book cabs to travel around Bangalore.
If you would like to know more about Bangalore read this by Anuradha from Travel Highway
Anuradha is a techie-turned-travel-blogger who hails from Bangalore. Her safe haven is TravelHighway.com where she blogs to her heart’s content about the places she visits. You can follow her travel adventures on Instagram and Facebook.
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Originally posted in 2017 and updated in 2019