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About Bangalooru
 

Historical Journey

Bangalore, is now what we call India's Silicon Valley and the country's health hub capital, along with aerospace research, biotechnology and dozens of premier education institutions it is perhaps the most westernized city in India. But very few actually know much about the history of this pleasant and beautiful city.Legend has it that a prosperous King of the 11th Century, Veera Ballala the 2nd, was on a expedition when he lost his way in the thick forest. After a long and tiring search for some habitation, the hungry King came across an isolated hut. He knocked on the door and was warmly welcomed by a poor woman. The woman had nothing to offer the King except some boiled beans. The King sumptuously ate the humble meal and left the hut gratefully after a short rest. He later named the town that sprang up in the region 'Benda Kalooru' or town of boiled beans. The name changed as time went on and what we are presently left with is a corrupted version of the original, but a name that we Bangaloreans simply love.

In the year 1537, Kempe Gowda designed the present day city. His son Kempe Gowda II built the famous towers at the four corners of the old city. In 1638, Shahaji Bhonsic, the father of Shivaji captured the

City. In 1687 Aurargzeb's army captured the City and sold it to the Wodeyars for a paltry sum of 3 lakhs, three years later, the city is gifted to Wodeyar in 1759, he built the famous Lal Bagh, one of Bangalore's most beautifully laid out gardens. In the beginning of the 19th Century, the General Post Office was opened. Nine years later, in 1809, the Cantonment was established. The British made an entrance into Bangalore and took over administration in 1831. The first 'Train' chugs out of the city in 1859 and five years later, in 1864 the lovely Cubbon Park is built by Sankey. The end of the century saw the building of Attara Kacheri and the Bangalore Palace. While the 20th century arrives on the first motorcar in the city the same time sees India's first electric bulb.From then on the city has grown in magnitudes, emerging into what you see it and know it. The city has slowly found a place in the country's history and off recently a place on the world map.

WHAT TO SEE...

(Traditional Temples, Monuments, Gardens, Wild Life, Hill stations & Art Museums)

Bull Temple :
A typical Dravidian style temple, built by Kempe Gowda. It has a mammoth

monolithic bull 4.5m height and 6.5m long. The Nandi bull is revered for being the vahana (vehicle) of Shiva. The popular story is that the temple was built to appease a vagrant bull, which persisted in devouring all the groundnuts grown in the surrounding fields despite the villagers' best efforts to keep it at bay. The handsome Bull Temple was built and the bull apparently took the hint and stayed away from the groundnuts. The thankful farmers continue to hold a Groundnut Fair (kadalekayi parishe) near the temple premises every year, to show their gratitude.

Sri Gavi Gangadareshwara Temple :

Every year on 14th/15th January (Makara Sankranthi day) a ray of sunlight passes precisely through the horns of the stone bull outside the temples to illuminate the deity inside the temple. This unique phenomenon attracts a large number of devotees.

Dharmaraja Temple :
The temple, housing two exceptionally fine images, one of Sri Dharmaraja Swami, the hero of the epic Mahabharata, and the other of Lord Krishna, is best known for its association with Bangalore's colourful Karaga festival. The Karaga, a symbol of Draupadi, is kept in the Dharmaraja temple. On the day of the festival, usually falling in March/April, it is carried in a procession, which starts at 02:00 hrs and returns 06:00 hrs after covering a distance of 20-25 kms. Only members of the Thegala community of gardeners may carry the deity on their shoulder. Interestingly, a visit to the dargha of the Sufi Saint Tawakkal mastan is a 'must' for this Hindu-oriented procession, which attracts people of all ages and religions by its earthy exuberance and hypnotic music.

Venkataramanaswamy Temple :
This 300-year old temple, built by Maharajah Chikka Devaraya Wadiyar, displays some of the best features of Dravidian temple art. The ornate stone pillars, supported by splendid lion brackets, still bear the imprint of the cannon balls, which ruined portions of the temple during the Third Mysore War (1790-1792). After the fall of Tipu in 1799, the Wadiyar dynasty restored the temple to its original grandeur. Maharajah Chikka Krishna Devaraya is said to have performed his thanksgiving puja at this temple before holding at Tipu's Palace in 1811.

ISCON-Sri Radha Krishnachandra :

Temple has already become one of the most popular and sought after destinations in this region. The beautiful temple building and surroundings, the gorgeous deities of the Lord, and the pure spiritual atmosphere make the pilgrimage a lasting memory. The steady increase in the tourist inflow, both domestic and international, has inspired the state's tourism department to include ISCON in its city tour itinerary. The state public transport corporation has introduced special services connecting the temple to different parts of the city. Since inaugration, the ISCON temple has over 4.5 million visitors. At present, there are an average of 54,000 people visiting every week.

Nrityagram Dance Village :

Hesaraghatta the rural district of Bangalore India's only village for classical dances. Winner of the best "Rural Architecture Award", designed by Gerard da Cunha winner of the "Architect of the Year", conducted tours with explanation of India's philosophy, culture, lecture/demonstrations in dance, and vegetarian lunches (chemical free, home grown vegetables).
Nrityagram conducts the Vasantha Habba or the festival of spring. Leading musicians (like Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia) and dancers from all over the country participate and this brings the students as well as the connoisseurs and common man in touch with the best musical talents in the country. You can also stay here overnight to get the feel of this rustic Indian charm.

The Fort and Tipu's Palace :

A fine example of 18th century Indian military architecture. This fort constituted the stronghold of Hyder Ali and later his son Tipu Sultan, witnessing several fierce and bloody battles during their times. The fort was last used for military purposes as recently as 1888.


 

Vidhana Soudha :

The imposing granite building, houses both the Secretariat and State Legislature and several other offices. Built in a Neo-Dravidian style of architecture, it is one of India's most magnificent public buildings and when flood-lit on Sunday evenings, presents a truly breathtaking picture.

Visveswaraya's Industrial & Technological Museum :
See an unconnected tubelight glow, actually watch your voices as you speak, learn how to make motion pictures, paper and burglar alarms. These are just some of the fascinating aspects of a museum that is a wonderland of information about the marvels of science.

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium :
A visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is an experience that you will never forget. Once you explore the fascinating world of astronomy through our shows, you are sure to be inspired - to learn, explore, discover. Soon you will be bursting with your own ideas and theories. Who knows, maybe someday you may be the one to uncover another of the many secrets of our universe.

Lal Bagh :

Bangalore isn't called the Garden City of India for nothing. Trees, flowers, bushes and plants follow you wherever you go in Bangalore. The flower show at these gardens is a sight to behold! A plethora of colours welcome you into the greenhouse where the flowers and plants are arranged in striking patterns.There is a lot more to be seen at the gardens, the lake, a sit-out on a hill-top and a fascinating nursery for all you folks out there with a green thumb. Lal Bagh is artistically landscaped with an eye for ordering nature's beauty without confining or stultifying it. It has expansive lush lawns, a profusion of flowerbeds, lotus pools and tinkling fountains.

Cubbon Park :
The park is a lush, grassy expense fringed with flower beds, shady bowers and flowering trees, where literally thousands can take a stroll without bumping into each other. In the evenings the illuminated fairy fountains light up and a restaurant in the center of the park serves light refreshments. It contains various species of trees, some of which are grown anywhere in India and have been specially imported. The trees are meticulously labelled with their scientific names and their ages. Also within the park is an aquarium with a multitude of fishes, the City Central Library which contains rare books, a children's playground, and a quaint old toy train called the Puttani Express which takes you on a ride all around the park,The Jawahar Bal Bhavan is a children's centre where kiddie movie are screened, and courses ranging from pottery to aeromodelling are offered.

SIGHTS TO CONSIDER NEAR BANGALORE

MYSORE (140 km)
City of silk and sandalwood, of fantasy gardens and fairy-tale palaces, Mysore has changed very little

since its days as the princely city that several royal families made their headquarters and were proud to call 'home'. The Maharajah's Palace has an ancient appearance. The palace is a surprisingly recent building, being constructed in 1911 to replace one that was partially burnt down. Illuminated by countless tiny lights on Sunday nights, the place is an outstanding piece of architecture. Other than these you can see the Government sandalwood and silk factory, Mysore zoo, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Chamundi Hills, Krishnarajasagar dam, Srirangapattana, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and many more.

SRAVANABELAGOLA (160km)

A little gem of calm, unspoiled township tucked away between the large Indragiri and the smaller Chandragiri hills. Sravanabelagola has remained a great Jain center and the goal of thousands of pilgrims who flock to see the magnificent, gigantic statue of the Jain saint, Lord Gomateswara. The statue of Gomateswara is carved out of a single stone. It shows the hermit completely nude, in the Jain tradition, and being 17m.(55 ft) high, is visible from 30km away. It is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world.

SOMANATHPUR (Around 100 KM)

A sleepy little village that is the site of a spectacular Hoysala masterpiece. The Prasanna Chennakesava temple, one of the three superb, most famous Hoysala temples, the other two being those at Belur and Hallebid, this one is the newest, dating from around 1268.



NANDI HILLS (60 KM)
A range of craggy hills (with the highest peak being 1,478 m) studded with the shimmering Amritha Samovar lake and strewn with walks of sylvan beauty. A popular health resort today, it was also the place Tipu and assorted royalty retired to when they sought to escape the din of battle and the heat of the plains.

BANNERGHATTA NATIONAL PARK (11 KM)

Numerous wild animals roam freely in this densely forested, hilly area- bisons, elephants, lions, baboons, panthers, wild boars, all sorts of buck, jackals and lion-tailed monkeys. It also has over 100 species of birds, a crocodile farm, a serpentarium, pets and many more.

 

 
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