24 hours in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru – ‘The garden city’ – in the dawn of 2011, is an invigorating but tasty city to tackle. The local flavours are aplenty, but to relish any of them you’ll need the resolve and patience of a seasoned wayfarer – especially to tackle the traffic chaos caused by an as-yet rough-hewn metro rail system cutting through the city’s central avenues. Yet beneath its knotty, hard-shelled surface exist layers of delights, distillations, and delicacies unique to Bengaluru. All you need to do is dig in with gusto.

The Vidhana Souda

The botanical gardens, back offices, and colonial landmarks are evident on the skyline, but what will catch your eye are signs of a metropolis on the cusp of a regenerated identity – reaching over its past to affirm itself as a city of truly groundbreaking transformation. That change promises to further evolve in another year of punishing, development-related endeavours. Until then, you’re invited to explore an unfolding testament to renewal, and look beyond Bengaluru's manifest mess.


Welcome the dawn while meditating
in Bengaluru’s own pyramid at the 30-metre tall Maitreya Buddha at Pyramid Valley on Kanakapura Road (about 35km from the city).

Revisit India’s freedom movement
at the 150-year-old Central Jail – in Freedom Park – which is now a museum (with original watchtowers and barracks intact).

Join the Green Heritage Walk
at the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens in the heart of the city, which ends with a scrumptious vegetarian meal. The 240-acre gardens first opened in 1760.

Spot Common Mormons,
Flying Tigers, and other specimens at Butterfly Park (one of the city’s best-kept secrets) in Bannerghatta National Park, 22km from the city centre.

Get boggled by experimental art
at the studio-galleries of 1 Shanthi Road, Galleryskye (Berlie Street), Gallery Sumukha (Wilson Garden), and National Gallery of Modern Art.

Find nirvana on a plate with
a (vegetarian only) meal at Mavalli Tiffin Room (locally known as just MTR) on Lal Bagh Road. For great seafood, hit Fish Land in Gandhinagar.

Eavesdrop at Koshy’s,
39 Mark’s Road. Look out for the paunchy man working the tables; he runs this joint, and has the ‘in’ on the best food and dishiest conversations around.

Watch a play at Ranga Shankara,
the nerve-centre of all theatrical activity in the city (which also occasionally hosts traditional and contemporary dance performances).

Ponder over tomorrow’s litérateurs
at the open-mic jams and poetry reading sessions (apart from impromptu gigs) at the restaurant Kyra, or the café Urban Solace on Lake Ulsoor.

End the day by sipping a cool drink
on the lawns of a stately mansion at Jayamahal Palace, a regal hark-back to the city’s old-?world heritage, set in 19 acres of rich vegetation.

Bengaluru, India
Distance: 3,047 km
Flight Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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