Have a two day break in Bengaluru? Here is the list of places you can visit

Bengaluru is a delightful stopover destination, a transit point to other popular destinations in and around the state. Two days will be enough for a comfortable tour of the city.

Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka, has many places to see and explore for heritage enthusiasts, nature lovers and spiritually inclined. There are many pleasures, such as historical monuments, palaces, parks, temples and churches, as well as museums and art galleries. A delightful stopover, it’s a transit point to other popular destinations in and around the state. Two days will be enough for a comfortable tour of the city. Hire a taxi and explore some of the places we have compiled for you.

You can start your tour in Bengaluru with Vidhana Soudha, one of the prominent landmarks of the city. This imposing granite structure houses the Karnataka State Legislature and the Secretariat. The gleaming white domes, 12 large columns, arches and wide stairs leading up to the entrance are a magnificent sight. The 50,000 square foot structure showcases a mix of architectural styles. Frieze panels, geometric designs and decorative motifs adorn the walls with the Indian national symbol on top of the largest dome.

Just a hop, skip and a jump, the elegant two-story Attara Kacheri (18 courtyards) is a red brick and stone building in Greco-Roman architectural style with fluted Corinthian columns. It is the highlight of the 300-acre Cubbon Park, a quiet, green getaway in the heart of the city. The park has magnificent statues of Queen Victoria and Sir Mark Cubbon, from which it is named.


Marching band stand, yellow tabebuias and Supreme Court in Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is also adorned with other beautiful old structures such as the Government Museum; Venkatappa Art Gallery; Visvesvaraya Museum of Industry and Technology; the State Central Library, an impressive red Gothic building; Jawahar Bal Bhavan, a children’s entertainment area; and the marching band stand, originally the venue where military bands play for public enjoyment.

The red building of the central library in the distance.  purple bougainvillea in the foreground
District Central Library in Cubbon Park

Bengaluru’s other lung, the famous 240-acre Lalbagh botanical garden, is a cool, green haven in the middle of the bustling city. Built in 1760 by Mysore ruler Hyder Ali, it was modeled after the lines of a Mughal Garden he saw at Sira. Hyder Ali imported herbs from Delhi, Lahore, Multan and even London. Wander around and you’ll discover many centuries-old trees as well as India’s largest collection of rare tropical and subtropical plants.

A surreal lawn surrounded by Snow White and the seven dwarfs features a fancy flower clock surrounded by cheeky gnomes from the fairy tale. It also boasts one of Kempegowda’s watchtowers perched on a rock, a beautiful lake, garden park, an aquarium, a stunning wooden stage and a glass house modeling London’s Crystal Palace. The glass house in Lalbagh is the venue for Bengaluru’s biannual flower shows. Next to the orchestra is the Centenary rose garden with an abundance of roses of various hues. Nearby is a twenty-million-year-old tree fossil donated by the National Fossil Park.

If you’re a heritage buff, explore the palaces of Mysore’s former rulers, Wadiyars and Tipu Sultan. Built in the Tudor style in 1880, the 45,000-square-foot Bangalore Palace is modeled on the lines of Windsor Castle in England. It was purchased in 1887 as the residence of king Chamaraja Wadiyar. Set amid 454 acres of greenery, the iconic monument showcases fortified towers, arches, Gothic windows, battlements and towered balustrades. The interiors are equally impressive, with exquisite carvings, exquisite woodwork, paintings and photographs of governors, maharajahs and other eminent figures.

Built in 1791, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Retreat is a two-story ornate wooden structure with fluted columns, pointed arches, balconies and brightly painted ceilings with beautiful carvings. The palace houses a museum that contains artifacts of the Hyder-Tipu regime and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Near the palace is a rare monument called the Hyder Ali Armory and a fortress dating back to the reign of Hyder and Tipu. The cells where the British were imprisoned can also be seen inside the castle.

Flower show in the glass house in Lalbagh.
A riot of colors at the Flower Show in Lal Bagh

Located on Bugle Rock in Basavanagudi, the Temple of the Bull is reminiscent of 16th century Dravidian architecture. It was built by Kempegowda as the patron god of the city. It features a massive Nandi granite monolith made of gray granite and polished with a traditional blend of peanuts and charcoal. During the peanut festival in November and December, worshipers come with peanut wreaths for the bull. Just below the Bull Temple is the Dodda Ganesha Temple, a huge monolithic Ganesha idol.

Built during the reign of Kempegowda, the unique Gangadhareshwara Cave Temple in Gavipuram includes a well-preserved granite moon, sun disc monoliths, a stone parasol, a Shivalinga, and three cave passages. Wandering through the cave passages of the temple is an experience not to be missed. Every year during Makara Sankranti, this cave temple witnesses a strange phenomenon when exactly a beam of light passes through the horns of the stone bull outside and illuminates the god inside the cave.

Perched on top of a hill, the radiant ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Temple is built in an ostentatious style that combines neoclassical architecture with traditional elements of South Indian temple architecture and hi-tech facilities. Ornate arches and floodlit waterfalls lead to the rajagopuram, with the floor of four gopurams (gateway towers) connected by a glass canopy. Paintings of Lord Krishna adorn the high ceiling of the temple. The inner shrine displays Krishna deities adorned with magnificent robes and colorful flowers. Don’t miss the complimentary khichdi prasadam (offering) to all visitors and a sumptuous feast for pilgrims.

The white and blue ISKCON temple with a bright blue sky in the background.
ISKCON Temple is a blend of modern technology and spiritual harmony

Overlooking the bustling Russell Market, St Mary’s Basilica towers with a cross atop other buildings in Shivajinagar. It is not only the oldest church but also the first church in Bengaluru to be elevated to basilica status. The Gothic style church is an architectural marvel with its stained glass windows, numerous columns, magnificent arches, ornamental motifs and the imposing tower that forms the façade. The basilica attracts believers of all faiths during the annual festival of the Virgin Mary in September.

st. Balustrade balustrades, marble slabs adorning the walls, and the circular vault on the apse are some of its special architectural features. Look for the beautiful stained glass with floral motifs inside the church.

When you’re full of sightseeing in Bengaluru, you can go on museum tours or go on getaways nearby.

All pictures of Susheela Nair.

Susheela Nair is an independent food, travel and lifestyle writer and photographer, contributing articles, content and images to many national publications, as well as organizing seminars and photography exhibitions. Her writing spans a wide range, including travel portals and guidebooks, brochures and coffee table books.

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