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Bangalore – Life Beyond Malls

This one dedicated to some friends who say “There is nothing in Bangalore except malls”…

It’s an attempt to uncover places to visit in Bangalore apart from landmarks such as multiplexes, pubs and IT companies.

This blog contains a compilation of places which can be visited in leisure and all the places are well within Bangalore.

1) Bangalore Palace: One of my favorite places. Modeled on Windsor Castle in England, this place is the trademark of Bangalore. The entrance to the Bangalore palace itself makes us feel like entering a European style Garden. Sometimes reminds me of the Marlinspike Hall in Tintin comic books. The railway line connecting Bangalore City and Bangalore Cantonment railway stations is visible from the entrance gates. Bangalore palace was built for the Maharaja of Mysore in the 18th century. Lot of movies have been shot in this palace premises. The creepers around the pillars gives it a classical look. The interiors are equally beautiful with paintings and furniture.

Mythical India Bangalore Palace

2) Kempegowda Towers: Bangalore was founded by Kempegowda in the 15th century. He marked the four boundaries of the erstwhile Bangalore by installing towers each at Ulsoor in the east, near Kempambudhi Lake in the west, near Mekhri Circle in the north, and in Lalbagh in the south. Its nice to locate all 4 towers and capture it in pictures. I leave it to the readers to locate the exact point and explore the places.

3) Kalasipalayam/KR Market: KR Market is one of the oldest markets in Bangalore. One can find vendors from all across the district selling fruits, vegetables and other stuff. The Jumma Masjid just adjacent to KR Market is a marvelous monument built in exquisite Islamic architecture. This is hardly noticed because the traffic and the chaos takes away all the attention away from this monument. Tipu Sultan’s fort is on the southern side of KR Market which is maintained by the archaeological department and the summer palace is just half a km from the fort. The fort has a giant door and has some carvings which are nice to see. The Palace also has nice woodwork and a small museum is also set  up inside. An old Ganesha temple is also present inside the fort area.

Mythical India Bangalore Jayamahal Palace

4) Jayamahal Palace: This is now a hotel situated near Bangalore Cantt railway station was once served as a summer capital of the Gondal royal family. Built by the Britishers, this is built as a mix of Indian and Gothic architecture. As this is a restaurant also, visitors can admire the beauty of this structure while having delicious food.

5) Shivajinagar/Bangalore Cantonment: The old headquarters of the Bangalore Cantonment area. Lot of old British style houses can be seen around Shivajinagar which gives a glimpse of British Bangalore. A walk around the Cantonment areas like Cox Town, Frazer Town, Richards Town gives a great feeling to the old timers. St Mary’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the area and beautifully stands near the busy Shivajinagar area. Shivajinagar is well known due to its proximity to Business and shopping areas like MG Road and Brigade road.

Mythical India Bangalore

6) Malleshwaram and Basavanagudi(Malgudi): Two of the oldest areas of Bangalore and also inspired RK Narayanan to name the ficticious place ‘Malgudi’ in his book Malgudi Days. Malleshwaram has some old temples like Kadu Mallikarjuna Swamy which is around a 1000 years old. Also an ancient site was excavated where an old temple was discovered. This temple is named Nandi Teertha wherein water will be gushing out of Nandi bull continously and is believed to have medicinal value. The source of this water is not known. Basavanagudi has some ancient temples like Gavi Gangadheeshwara which is a cave temple and the famous Bull Temple. Basavanagudi is also popular for the annual ‘Kadalekai Parishe’ or groundnut fair when farmers from across the state and the neighbouring state come here every year and offer their annual harvest of groundnut as offering to Lord Basava. The Bugle Rock formation near the Bull Temple is known to be 3000 million years old. Vidyarthi Bhavan is another popular landmark in Gandhi Bazar which is popular for masala dosas since many decades.

Mythical India Bangalore

7) Begur: The ancient temple of Naganathaswamy or Panchalingeshwara may not be well known to even many old timers but records suggest that this might be the oldest temple in Bangalore based on the inscriptions found by the archaeological survey of India. It was built by the Cholas and maintains the same style and look of the temples belonging to that era.

Mythical India Bangalore begur

8) Mavalli (Lalbagh road): This area which is now dusty and bustling with traffic is home to the well known MTR restaurant. MTR or Mavalli Tiffin Rooms is another success story from Bangalore which has earned reputation across the globe for its pickles and ready to eat food.

9) Ulsoor/Halasooru: This is also one of the oldest areas of Bangalore Cantonment and also the area of the Cholas. The Someshwara temple in Ulsoor was built by the Cholas and the carvings can well tell us about the craftwork of the Cholas. Apart from this there are several other temples in this area and the Ulsoor Lake, Kempegowda tower and the Gurudwara are prominent landmarks of Ulsoor.

Mythical India Bangalore ulsoor

10) VV Puram: This area boasts of the ‘Chaat Street’ or ‘food street’ where one can experience several kinds of chat items across the street. This is quite a sight in the evenings when people of all ages throng this place to please their taste buds.

11) Some Ancient temples: In the midst of modern society we find some ancient temples in Bangalore. One is the 12th Century Chokkanatheshwara temple in Domlur, around 1000 yr old Someshwara temple in Old Madivala built by the Cholas and Vasantha Vallabharayaswamy temple in Vasanthapura where rishi Mandavya once meditated.

Mythical India Bangalore

12) Other prominent landmarks: Landmarks like Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, Attara Kacheri, Lalbagh, Town Hall are well known and can be found in any article on Bangalore tourism so I will not elaborate.

The post was originally published on Payana. Republished with permission from the Author.

Written by Arun

Arun is an avid blogger and maintains his blog about places in and around Bangalore. He also writes about other destinations which he visits in India and outside.
His blog:

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