Bangalore, the third-largest city in India, is also known as Bengaluru. It is boasted as the most liveable city in the country by popular vote over New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, all very fine cities in their own right. At one time, Bangalore was deemed the most progressive, liberal, and flourishing city in India, so much so that it was called the Garden City of India and Pensioner's Paradise. Today, however, the growth of the city has diminished the natural spaces. The city's working class has increased significantly and the technology industry has also rapidly increased in recent years, making it a fast-growing bustling metropolitan that is largely known as the Silicon Valley of India.
Bangalore Airport Image: Samrat Mondal (flickr)
Bengaluru International Airport, abbreviated BLR, is about 25 miles from the city's business district and has become the busiest and most updated airport in the nation. As a host to over 30 airlines, domestic and international, the airport connects the city directly to nearly 50 destinations around the world. Many flights to and from this airport are serviced by Kingfisher Airlines, JetLite, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoAir. Some of the international airlines flying in and out of Bengaluru International Airport include Air India, Emirates, Jet Airways, SriLankan Airlines, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Air Mauritius, and AirAsia. Departures from many airports in India can be a bit time consuming and are general by the book, so it is important to arrive early and bring all of your prepared paperwork. From Bengaluru International, travelers will do well to check restrictions on baggage check-in time, and bringing a printed boarding pass will save a lot of time, stress, and trouble, as it is nearly impossible to even pass through the front doors in many India airports without your boarding pass. Early morning flights often require a significantly early baggage check, as much as two-and-a-half hours in advance.
Commissioned by the first principal of the Central High School, Rev. Garrett, the Bangalore Palace covers an area of 45,000 square feet, along with the 454-acre grounds. Construction began in 1862 and ended in 1944. Ownership of the palace changed hands a number of times during those years. Made up of 35 rooms, Bangalore Palace is modeled after Tudor architecture, featuring turrets, fortified towers, and battlements on the outer facade and wood carvings, relief paintings, floral designs, and moldings around the ceiling. In recent years, the structure has been renovated and is now open to the public. The palace grounds have hosted many parties, events, and concerts. Some of the notable guests and performers that have graced Bangalore Palace with their presence include Mark Knopfler, the Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, Metallica, Iron Maiden, The Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, No Doubt, Akon, Machine Head, Elton John, and Enrique Iglesias.
Dining venues in Bangalore vary across a broad spectrum of choices, from budget diners catering to the thin pocketbook to fine restaurants for the elite crowd. Vacationers are advised to choose restaurants with care, especially when going to a small local budget cafe, as these vary in cleanliness.