Big B Of Indian Cities
V elaborates on why Bangalore is evolving into India’s most
cities in the world can boast of such an eclectic blend of
time-honoured heritage and modern day technological advances
as Bangalore. Fondly referred to as Silicon Valley,
IT capital of India, and Garden City
by the local populace, the city is now an established global
business hub. So much so that the city plays host to more
than 50 chip design companies, 170 multinational and Indian
software firms including the likes of Infosys, Wipro, Intel,
IBM, Texas Instruments to name a few. In one word, it is home
to more than half of the worlds top software companies.
This apart, it encompasses more than 75,000 highly qualified
IT professionals, which is complemented by the presence of
around 21 engineering colleges, the highest for any city in
the world. The citys software exports touched Rs 9,903
crore in 2001-2002 and is expected to be a whopping Rs 17,000
crore by 2002-03. Such is the technological and financial
prowess of Bangalore.
flora like this no wonder Bangalore is called the Garden
the advent of IT has helped Bangalore emerge as a global business
hub, the city has a plethora of assets and surprises to offer
a tourist in terms of leisure, entertainment, shopping etc.
A multitude of factors have led to dramatic transformations
in the peoples lifestyle and attitude. The mantra today
is style and fashion. There has been a stark metamorphosis
in standard of living, entertainment, hobbies, lifestyle and
Though the radical shift in the citys culture and lifestyle
has to some extent been conditioned by the new global order
in business, the city has more than retained its original
heavenly self. In contrast to the rapid technological
advances, culture is more important than ever
and societal ethos are more pertinent. This explains the peace
and serenity that has pervaded the city. People here are more
friendly, soft-spoken and make no fuss about being busy.
Says Dr C Manohar, a leading industry analyst, The four
most exotic ingredients that make up Bangalores character
are its people, culture, architecture and history. The free
spirit and new world enterprise the city engenders has given
it a whole new identity, that enables it to quickly adapt
to new ideas, cultures and environment. Flavoured with cosmopolitan
influence, the city is also home to several corporates, MNCs,
IT titans, etc.
It boasts of an intriguing mix of temple complexes, architectural
landmarks, palaces, parks etc. which are in perfect harmony
with the vibrant modern day advances. It is considerably easy
to gain access to destinations in and around Silicon Valley
and moreover it is very cost effective. A trip to the Garden
City will be incomplete without a visit to Lalbagh Botanical
Gardens, Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park, Nandi Hills, Tipus
Fort, Bangalore Palace, Nritya Gram etc. It is a veritable
paradise for shopping and offers some of the most exquisite
variety of silks, handicrafts, handlooms etc. This apart,
the city has an uncanny reputation of having a very high number
of pubs, cocktail lounges and restaurants in the country.
one of the hot new pastimes of the city
In keeping pace with the changing profile and tastes of a
discerning traveller, the hotels and resorts of Bangalore
have undergone a profound transition in the last several years.
Buoyed by a booming local economy several hospitality majors
across the world are making a beeline to set up shops in the
city. The hotel scene is brimming with exciting deals for
a business traveller. A customer can easily avail world class
hospitality services at seemingly down to earth prices. A
variety of attractive holiday and conferencing offers are
floated by individual hotels, resorts and travel operators
throughout the year. In recent years there has been a proliferation
in the number of budget as well as mid-range hotels targeted
mainly at middle class travellers. Notable among the newer
hotels which has created ripples in the market is The Leela
Palace, Bangalore. The property has already been adjudged
as one of the best new hotels of 2001 by Forbes Magazine.
The property, which is designed on the lines of the world
famous Mysore Palace, has already become a sort of landmark.
City of Fairs & Exhibitions
Drawing on its inherent strengths as a viable business hub,
Bangalore has virtually become a gateway to India for hosting
major international conferences, seminars, industrial and
consumer exhibitions. Some of the high profile events include
the likes of IT.com, Bio.com, the CII event, Componex, Air
Show and a host of other fairs and exhibitions. The city has
played host to as much as 15-20 international fairs and conferences
in the recent past during which there was a sizeable increase
in the number of trade visitors. Direct flights have also
enhanced Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions
(MICE) tourism to and from Bangalore.
Says Pervin Shivji, GM, Trails, Bangalore gives a more
modern and open feel than any other Indian city. Its climate
adds to the attraction. Its choice of budget as well as luxury
hotels gives it the added edge over other cities in the country.
According to a comprehensive survey of tour operators, hotels
and tourism authorities carried out by Jones Lang Lasalle,
growth in tourist arrivals in the city was relatively high
between 1995 and 1997 before slowing down in 1998 and 1999.
On the other hand, arrivals from UK have grown at a relatively
consistent rate from 1985. The growth arrivals from US was
estimated to be higher in the later part of 90s.
There are so many interesting and charming places to see that
one would hardly know which to pick out as the best. The roads
are wide and are adorned on either side by magnificent trees
and heritage buildings.
Soudha, seat of the state government in the heart of Bangalore
The city is equally famous as a leisure destination and is
surrounded by many attractive places like Bannerghatta Nature
Camp, Nandi Hills, Sai Baba Ashram. The Bannerghatta Nature
Camp is situated within a national park and offers to visitors
all the sights, sounds and action of 25,000 acres of carefully
preserved jungle. The nature camp is a strategic corridor
for pachyderms traversing the Western Ghats. No visit to the
Silicon Valley is complete without a visit to the newly established
Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum. Also the city has
a rich tradition of culture and heritage, which is best showcased
in all its richness and splendour at Janapada Loka (folk culture
world) or at the Nrityagram. The Janapada Loka, located on
the city outskirts, has a huge art gallery, open-air theatre,
studio, museum and a variety of other activities. The Nrityagram
on the other hand is a unique destination whose primary concern
is to promote classical dances like Bharatanatyam, Odissi,
The citys commercial supremacy has transformed it into
a virtual shopping destination with a dazzling variety of
shopping malls, lifestyle outlets, plazas and arcades mushrooming
every fortnight. There is a constant influx of international
visitors at major shopping centers located in MG Road, Commercial
Street, Brigade Road. On offer are some of the most exotic
varieties of silks, exquisite handicrafts, sandalwood, etc.
which makes shopping a truly pleasurable experience. The state
has a rich tradition of exquisite craftsmanship and handicrafts.
These handicrafts are very popular among foreign tourists
and are available at a moderate cost. Some of the well-known
shopping destinations include Cauvery Arts Emporium (a subsidiary
of the government of Karnataka), Central Cottage Industries
Emporium (GOI), Karnataka State Silk Industries Corporation
(GoK), Nalli Silk Arcade, Kidskemp etc.
The citys close proximity with Kolar Gold Fields has
made it the hub for some of the most famous jewellery houses
in the country. Some of the well known destinations for gold
and jewellery include Tanishq Jewellery Showroom, Jewels De
Paragon, Navarathan Jewellers, Neel Kanth, C Krishnachetty
city is teeming with hundreds of eatouts and cocktail
lounges, which have proliferated in high numbers owing
to the enhanced spending power and mobility of the younger
generation. Visitors frequent the citys nouvelle
fine dining outlets and cocktail lounges expecting a
whole new dining experience that would inevitably leave
them spellbound. Truly so, tourists are bound to discover
a few exhilarating places in the most mystical and magical
moments. Deluxe hotels, golf courts, shopping malls,
health resorts, bowling alleys, coffee bars add to the
already enchanting mix of the handicrafts, Mysore silk,
Phoenix - One of most happening spots of the city,
its fare is eclectic and delectable. The ambience
is another major plus with this joint.
St Marks Hotel
Moksh - A first of its kind in the country, this
interactive pan-Indian vegetarian restaurant serves
timeless recipes rediscovered from the past.
The Chancery, Lavelle Road
Citrus - This multicuisine 24-hour brasserie at
The Leela Palace often plays host to the whos
who of Bangalore.
Monsoon - This premiere designer restaurant offers
a very strong element of ethnicity and food styling.
The menu encompasses ethnic delicacies from Thai,
Vietnamese, Indonesia, Malaysian, Japanese and Indian.
MG Road, Bangalore-560042
Mandarin - One of the oldest oriental eat-outs
in the city this restaurant was once the preferred
base for the crème-de-la-crème. It is
hard to resist this restaurant for its food and serene
The Grand Ashok,
days few tourists leave Bangalore without expressing
admiration at the sheer number of resorts and clubs
across the city. The resorts, with their ravishing blend
of luxury and health related services, makes your stay
a truly memorable experience. On the other hand Bangalore
has had its fair share of club culture, which dates
back to the Raj era. Some of the well-known names of
that era include The Century Club, Bowring Institute,
The Bangalore Club.
Angsana Oasis & Spa (AOSR) - A first of its
kind resort in the country, the AOSR provides an idyllic
setting to help ease the tensions of everyday life.
Tel: (080) 8468898, Fax: (080) 8468897
Golden Palms Resort & Spa - Adorned with a
Mediterranean style ambience, this spa resort has
taken luxury facilities to new levels.
Tel: (080) 8394074/ 8398407
Kabini River Lodge - A six-hour drive from Bangalore,
this idyllic property has earned the distinction of
being one of the top five wildlife resorts in the
Shakti Hill Resorts - A first of its kind resort
situated within the city precincts, their latest addition
includes ayurveda vishranthi dhama, a unique option
to rejuvenate your mind and soul.
Lounges & Pubs
Pubs have become an integral part of
Bangalores lifestyle. The city has the uncanny
distinction of having one of the highest number of pubs
and cocktail lounges in the country. It is often referred
to as the pub city of India in a lighter vein.
Hypnos - Named after the Greek God of sleep,
Hypnos brings to life the true experience of the Mediterranean
belt through its exclusive drinks, ambience and food.
Gem Plaza, Infantry Road
Insomnia - This nouvelle cocktail lounge cum
nightclub is one of the most happening places in town
and offers an exclusive 4,000 sq ft area replete with
3 bar counters, state of the art dance floors, exquisite
furnishings, improved sound systems (jamo) imported
from Sweden and a host of other facilities.
Sankey Road, Bangalore
I_bar - A product from Park Hotel, this bar encapsulates
the energy and dynamism of the wired and wireless
Dublin- The Welcompub - Adorned with Irish artefacts
and décor, the pub brings to life the true
Irish spirit with authentic décor, music, food
and two Irish bartenders who dole out authentic Irish
cocktails like Baby Guinness, Mollys Alexander
and much more.
Windsor Sheraton & Towers
Sankey Road, Bangalore-560052