Top 10 Things to Do in Bangalore

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Bangalore is the IT hub of India. But look beyond its gleaming glass-and-steel façade and you will discover a city that is steeped in eclectic artistic and cultural traditions evident in its monuments, gardens, streets, and all the nooks and crannies therein. The myriad intriguing and exotic colors, textures, flavors, and sounds of the city are revealed to you only when you visit the sites that have carefully and lovingly preserved the snippets from the region’s past or tuck into food that the locals savor. To discover quintessential Bangalore, take a cue from the following list of top 10 things to do when on a visit to this city.

10. Explore Cubbon Park

By now you may have realized that Bangalore sports many colors and flavors. The various sights, sounds, and must-dos in the city are packed within a tight radius to offer a keen tourist intriguing glimpses into the culture of Bangalore. The Cubbon Park or the Sri Chamarajendra Park located in the Central Administrative Area of the city makes it to the list of top 10 must-dos of Bangalore by dint of being an all-inclusive destination of sorts. The park spread over 300 acres, is dotted with an amazing array of trees and flowering plants, with many rare and exotic varieties that are natives of other parts of the country and places from all over the world.The Park houses the Vishweshwariah Industrial and Technological Museum, the State Archeological Museum, the Venkatappa Art Gallery, the Government Aquarium that is the second largest in the country, and the Jawahar Lal Bhawan amusement park. An exploration of the various attractions at the Cubbon Park is a journey through the corridors, of Science, Art, Botany, and Zoology and is both a learning experience and an opportunity to appreciate Bangalore’s socio-cultural and industrial development.


9. Go in for a Retail Therapy at Commercial Street or M.G. Road

The Commercial Street and the M.G. Road are two of the most popular and bustling shopping destinations in Bangalore. The former is a charming maze of shops selling almost everything under the sun, from clothes to sports goods and from shoes to jewelry. This is THE place to head to in Bangalore if you want to scoop up the best deals at throwaway prices, but be prepared to bargain. M.G. Road is a favorite with tourists who want to shop for silk sarees, traditional handcrafted items, and art objects or want to pick up souvenirs from their travels. A session of retail therapy at Commercial Street or M.G. Road stakes its claim on the 9th spot in the list of top 10 tourist activities in Bangalore for giving you the opportunity to actually own the quintessential flavors, tastes, textures, and some memories of the city. It is worth mentioning here that you might also visit Brigade Road that houses a number of emporiums that sells ethnic fabrics and antique jewelry pieces.


8. Shop at Mysore Saree Udyog

Now that you have stocked up on your experiences of Bangalore and armed yourself with memories of the place to cherish a lifetime, it is time you shopped for something more tangible and quintessentially Bangalorean to take back home. You just cannot leave Bangalore without a traditional silk saree, either for yourself or for a special lady in your life. Head out to the Mysore Saree Udyog on Kamaraj Road, a venerable trading institution in Bangalore since the 1930s. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the magic that is woven within the space of six yards. The intricate patterns and motifs, the vibrant colors, the sheer lusciousness of the fabric texture, and the craftsmanship that goes into the creations make each piece of saree a work of art. The skills have been handed down through the generations and when you purchase a silk saree (or a tie) from Mysore Saree Udyog, you actually come to possess a piece of Bangalorean heritage. This is why, a shopping experience at Mysore Saree Udyog deserves its 8th rank hands down, amongst the top 10 things to do in Bangalore.


7. Visit Bannerghatta National Park

Bangalore will never cease to surprise you. Just when you thought that Mother Nature in Bangalore resided only at few places like the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, you get to know about the treasure trove of flora and fauna at Bannerghatta National Park. Just 20 kilometers away from the city, this sprawling park houses 10 reserve forests! The Park is home to a large number of rare herbivores and carnivores like white tigers, leopards, Bengal tigers, panthers, rhinoceroses, bears, elephants, bison, and spotted deer. The park also houses the very first butterfly conservatory in India and a visit to this enclosure is like stepping into a magical world of colors. A visit to the Bannerghatta National Park rides its way to the 7th spot in the list of the top 10 things to do in Bangalore by offering the nature lover in you the rare chance to appreciate the delicate and lovely natural creations and take pride in the conservation efforts of those men who relentlessly strive to live in harmony with Mother Nature.The Park is closed on Tuesdays.


6. Visit Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

There is a green oasis in the midst of the glass-and-concrete jungle that is slowly enveloping Bangalore. It is the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens with ample botanical and a fair share of historical claim to fame. It was once the private garden of Hyder Ali, one of the most famous rulers in the region. It was eventually turned into a public space and soon the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens became a sanctuary of sorts for city-slickers looking for a refuge in the lap of Mother Nature. The garden houses rare plants and trees from France, Afghanistan, and Iran. Make sure that you ask around and see the carbonized trunk of a coniferous tree that dates back to 20 million years! A visit to the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is the undisputed 6th amongst the top 10 must-dos in the city because it makes you realize what sustains the average Bangalorean and infuses him with the energy to carry on with the dizzying pace of life here.


5. Eat at Nagarjuna

You may have had South Indian food at many joints but a visit to Nagarjuna, at Residency Road, is a must simply because it is an institution in Bangalore patronized by both the locals and tourists. They serve the staple fare of boiled rice, rasam, sambar, poriyals, pickles, papad, yogurt, and buttermilk but the food is finger-licking good here. In fact, by most accounts, it is THE best in Bangalore. That is why, you may as well go in for their unlimited “lunch meal.”As the moniker suggests, you can eat as much as you want for a fixed price. A hearty meal at Nagarjuna gobbles up competition and makes it to the 5th spot amongst the top 10 must-dos in Bangalore by virtue of its spices, seasonings, garnishes, and all that that goes into the creation of the many tastes here.


4. Visit Hampi

It is not located in the city of Bangalore. Rather Hampi is about 350 kilometers away but it would be a sheer crime not to visit this historical site on your trip to Bangalore. The site is a cluster of monuments that date back to 1 CE and are housed within the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire. In fact, Hampi was once the capital of this mighty empire and the grandeur of that era can still be felt in the gigantic and majestic edifices and intricate and exquisitely carved stone statues of Hindu deities. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Virupaksha Temple is the most important monument here. There are many temples at the site but on your visit here, make sure that you do not miss the musical pillars at the Vitthala Temple. A visit to Hampi deserves the 4th position amongst top 10 must-dos in Bangalore because of the immense historical significance of the site and the opportunity it provides to appreciate the rich architectural traditions of India.


3. Visit Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace

Bangalore was the summer residence of Tipu Sultan, the most famous royal of the Karnataka region and undoubtedly one of the most well-known kings of India. The magnificent summer place of Tipu Sultan is not only a living breathing piece of history that provides intriguing glimpses into the life and times of this great king but this majestic edifice, contained within the boundaries of the Bangalore Fort, is also one of the most stunning specimens of architecture found in the country. The king’s summer palace was built from French Rosewood and presents a magnificent sight with its towering pillars, sweeping arches, and sprawling balconies. The complex with its manicured lawns is an ode to beauty. A visit to Tipu Sultan’s summer palace makes a grand entry into the 3rd spot amongst the top 10 activities in Bangalore because nowhere can you get to behold snippets from the life of a king who had shaped India’s history.


2. Hear History Come Alive at the Bangalore Palace

The Bangalore Palace preserves interesting and enlightening snippets from the lives of the Wadiyars, a premier royal dynasty that once ruled the Karnataka region and gives you the chance to understand how their actions have shaped Bangalore’s destiny. A visit to the Bangalore Palace careens to the 2nd spot amongst the top 10 must-dos in the city because nowhere else can you feel history come alive through more than one sense. The Palace conducts an interactive audio tour through portions of this grand Windsor Castle-inspired edifice that once housed the living quarters of the Wadiyar royals. The audio tour is available in English and some other foreign languages and lets you experience history and appreciate its richness in its entirety.


1. Go Off on Heritage and Culture Walks

It is time for some serious myth-busting about where the real Bangalore lies. There is another face of the city quite removed from the usual images of corporate Bangalore that are splashed in the media. This lesser-known Bangalore is steeped in rich history, preserves snippets of exotic cultural traditions that are hardly practiced now, and fragments from an artistic lineage that have influenced all aspects of Bangalorean life—its music, festivals, cuisine, attire, and also the mindset of the people. And the ONLY way to experience this Bangalore is to go off on heritage and culture walks—the absolute must in any list of the top 10 must-dos in the city. An organization named Bangalore Walks organizes these walking tours on the weekends throughout the year, starting at seven in the morning. Bangalore Walks organizes many such walking tours that will take you to the Victorian quarters of the city, the Old City that preserves history from the time when Bangalore came into existence as a medieval fort town, or to the old neighborhoods Basavanagudi and Shankarapuram. A culture and heritage walk around Bangalore marches ahead of all the top 10 must-dos in the city because it affords you the unique opportunity to hop on the time machine and experience history that has shaped today’s Bangalore.



Exploring the Cubbon Park must be the fitting finale in your tour of the top 10 tourist must-visits in the city because of the unique opportunity it affords to appreciate Mother Nature’s bounties in Bangalore and the multi-faceted developmental efforts of the citizens here. Over the centuries, Bangalore has developed into a major financial and capital city of India. The development has led to the city turning into a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions. The above-mentioned top 10 must-dos in Bangalore lets you experience this potpourri and appreciate how the city has absorbed these different strains of influences without giving up its unique identity.


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