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Book a flight to Bengaluru with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover there’s much more to this astonishing city than IT, pharmaceutical companies and engineering plants. Yes, Bengaluru is renowned for those things, but it also has a richer, more colourful side; a world made up of ancient tradition, intricate architecture, shimmering silks and exotic spices.
With a lush, green backdrop and an eclectic mix of past and present, Bengaluru is an exciting location, brimming with surprises and with a charm all of its own. Fly to Bengaluru for an opportunity to not just explore this astonishing city, but to get to grips with the region of Karnataka.
Built in 1887 by Wodeyar King, Bengaluru Palace is a must-see for anyone taking a trip to Bengaluru. Once you’ve got over the fact that it bears an uncanny likeness to Windsor Castle (!), you’ll start to soak up what it has to offer, including the gallery of nearly 1,000 historical photographs, including viceroys and maharajahs. With spectacular gardens and seemingly-endless rooms, you could easily spend a day here.
However, if you did, you’d be missing out on other attractions, such as Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. Spanning around 240 acres, this is a plant-lover’s paradise, featuring rare subtropical plants and trees and a stunning greenhouse, built in the style of London’s Crystal Palace.
If you have children with you on your trip to Bengaluru, then you might want to take them to the beautiful Ulsoor Lake. Constructed by Kempegowda II, the lake covers 125 acres, with canoeing and swimming permitted.
Your downtime doesn’t have to mean just sitting by a pool; you can fill it with virtually any activity you can think of, from archery and high-rope courses to zorbing and paintballing. However, if you’d like to do something fascinating and that the whole family can enjoy, you could visit the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. There are two daily shows in which you and your family can learn about the stars above Bengaluru.
Alternatively, the Bannerghatta National Park will provide you with a spectacular look at some of India’s wildlife and there’s also the opportunity to ride an elephant. Muthyalamaduvu is another popular place to visit, being simply a great place to picnic. With a beautiful waterfall and a small temple, you’ll quickly understand why it’s earned the nickname, Pearl Valley.
As you’ll discover when you travel to Bengaluru, food has many forms from the vibrant buzz of street vendors to the refined luxury of fine dining. If you’d like to eat like the locals, then look out for the many chaat stalls, selling quick eats such as samosas, pooris and baajis. Some of these have expanded into street-chains and can be found across the city, such as Gullu’s Chat and Sri Salram’s Chats and Juices.
However, if you’ve decided you want to really indulge on your trip to Bengaluru, then there are plenty of high-end eateries that will offer you a culinary journey across India.
It almost goes without saying that if you travel to Bengaluru, you’ll end up visiting a market. Markets are supremely popular and the place to get hold of unique hand-crafted items, such as jewellery and silk clothing. Of the many markets, the ones that stand out for sheer choice are Residency Road, Banaswadi Market and Mahatma Ghandi Road.
However, it’s not all about markets; Bengaluru has more than its fair share of upmarket shopping centres including Phoenix Market City which has everything you’d expect from a 21st Century mall, plus live music and events throughout the year, making it a something like a cross between a cultural venue and a designer shopping complex.
Flights to Bengaluru land at Bengaluru International Airport, which is about 40kms from the city. With taxis aplenty and car-hire facilities, you can choose to travel as you want to.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Bengaluru please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / D
Language: Hindi / English
International dialing code: +91