Travel Bucket List – India: Karnataka Part 2

Bengaluru or Bangalore as I always think of it holds a special place in my heart. My paternal grandparents moved to Bangalore when I quite young, first to live with my uncle who was unmarried then and then they decided to spend their retirement years there after he married and moved out because they fell in love with the place by then. The Bangalore of the mid eighties to late nineties was a completely different place to the Bengaluru of today. We used to spend every single of our summer holidays there with our grandparents and I still have very fond memories of the time we spent there. Life was much slower than it was in Bombay and I remember office workers coming back home around 5 pm and around 8 pm, everyone used to be snug at home and the streets used to be deserted. Bangalore used to also be so green and the climate pleasant. In fact, when the power used to go off in May which is the hottest month of the year in India, our biggest worry was not the heat, but the fact that we could not watch television. The weather was so nice that even in the summer months we had to use blankets. Today, I doubt anyone in Bengaluru do this and probably need air conditioning to get through the summer months.

On to Bangalore which is today the third most populous city and fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city which stands over 900 meters above sea level used to be called a Garden City and a Pensioners Paradise is today the second fastest-growing major metropolis in India and is regarded as India’s Silicon Valley or the IT Capital of India.

The city’s history dates back to around 890 AD, as seen in a stone inscription found at the Nageshwara Temple in Begur. The Begur inscription is written in Halegannada, which is an ancient Kannada script which mentions ‘Bengaluru Kalaga’ or the battle of Bengaluru. It was a significant turning point in the history of Bangalore as it bears the earliest reference to the name ‘Bengaluru’. In 1537 CE, Kempe Gowda, a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire, established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bengaluru and its oldest areas, or petes, which exist till today. After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 16th century, the Mughals sold Bangalore to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar, the then ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore for three lakh rupees. When Haider Ali seized control of the Kingdom of Mysore, the administration of Bangalore passed into his hands. It was captured by the British East India Company after victory in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War of 1799, who returned administrative control of the city to the Maharaja of Mysore. The old city developed in the dominions of the Maharaja of Mysore and was made capital of the Princely State of Mysore, which existed as a nominally sovereign entity of the British Raj.

In 1809, the British shifted their cantonment to Bangalore, outside the old city, and a town grew up around it, which was governed as part of British India. Following India’s independence in 1947, Bangalore became the capital, first of Mysore State and then of the new state of Karnataka, The two urban settlements of Bangalore, city and cantonment, which had developed as independent entities merged into a single urban centre in 1949. The existing Kannada name, Bengaluru, was declared the official name of the city in 2006.

Known for its gardens and green spaces, let’s start our visit of Bangalore with it’s most famous park, Cubbon Park. Spread over an area of 300 acres, Cubbon Park is a major sightseeing attraction rich in green foliage. It is a green belt region of the city and is an ideal place to recharge body and soul. The park is named in honour of Lord Cubbon, who laid the foundation for the park. It is home to more than 6,000 trees that support a vibrant ecosystem. In addition to being a natural sightseeing destination, some of the major structures of the city such as the Attara Kacheri, Cubbon Park Museum and Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Park are also situated here. Another famous attraction in the Cubbon Park is The Bangalore Aquarium, which is the second largest aquarium in India. Cubbon Park was originally spread over 100 acres, which was later extended to 300 acres. First established in the year 1870 by Sri John Meade who was the acting Commissioner of Mysore, Cubbon Park has a long history. Major General Richard Sankey, Chief Engineer of the state conceived this park in honour of Sir John Meade. Initially, the park was called “Meade’s Park” and later came to be known as the Cubbon Park. In the year 1927, the park was officially renamed as “Sri. Chamarajendra Park” to mark the Silver Jubilee of Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State. The best time to visit the park is between September to February when temperatures remain mild and breezy. The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm and is closed on Mondays and the second Tuesday of each month. The park is open only for morning walkers from 6 to 8 am.

One of the oldest botanical gardens in India, the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is not only one of the largest botanical gardens in India, but also the first of its kind, with planned routes, glasshouses and ornamental flowers growing throughout the property as well as for botanical artwork, scientific study of plants and also conservation of plants. The garden is spread over an area of 240 acres in the heart of the city and has nearly 1,854 species of plants. Its construction was commissioned by Hyder Ali in 1760 and completed by his son Tipu Sultan who designed the gardens keeping in mind the beautiful gardens of Sira in Tumkur. The garden features rare plants of French, Persian and Afghani origin and has attained the status of a Government Botanical Garden. The Lal Bagh Rock which is over 3000 years old and is one of the oldest rocks in the world is found in the centre of the garden and is a major tourist attraction. Visitors can also catch the sight of some rare birds including the myna, pond heron, purple moorhen, parakeets, Brahminy kites and the common egret.

This botanical garden, a delight for photographers, also consists of the famous glass house where a bi-annual flower show is held every year and is also a home to an aquarium and a lake. People travel from far and wide from India and even from abroad to witness millions of flowers, thousands of plants and the incredible artistry that goes into making the figurines and flower structures. The show takes place twice a year- once during January in the same week as the Indian Republic Day, and another time in August, during Independence Day. Each year, a different theme is chosen and flower arrangements are made according to the theme which is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily. Even though the best time to witness the show is in the morning when you can see all the flowers in full bloom and in all their vibrant colours, night time is a whole different experience. The whole Glass House lights up in a golden glow which makes the structures look even more magical and ethereal.

The botanical garden is open from 6 am to 7 pm daily with an entry fee of INR 25 for adults after 8 am. Children below the age of 12 can enter in free while to use a camera inside the garden requires you to pay INR 60 per camera. Make sure you keep at least half a day to soak in the atmosphere of the garden.

Located just 22 km from Bangalore’s city centre, the Bannerghatta National Park or locally known as BBBP for Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park is a sanctuary for a large variety of flora and fauna and is a local favourite for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Spread over a massive area of around 104.27 sq. km, this national park was established in the year 1971 and has a number of establishments within the park, including the country’s first butterfly park. The park was declared a biological reserve in 2002 and is also one of the only places in the world where one can experience wilderness in such a close proximity to the city. The park is also the first biological park in India which has a fenced forested elephant sanctuary covering an expanse of 122 acres and sponsored by PETA India.

In addition to a Zoo and the popular Jungle Safari, the Bannerghatta Biological Park also has a butterfly park and a rescue centre where the animals who were in captivity are conserved and protected. Other attractions include the ten Reserve Forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division, an aquarium, a Children’s parka, a Crocodile Farm, a Snake Park and a Prehistoric Animals’ Park. The best part about Bannerghatta National Park is the small well-defined zones for animals that almost guarantees that you will spot the animals. People go in caged vehicles during the safari.

The park is also home to a large variety of butterfly species and on the safari, you can catch a glimpse of various animals, including tigers, bears, deer, elephants as well as monkeys. You can also get to see many beneficial herbs and plants, like neem, tamarind, eucalyptus and sandalwood. Many people also visit the park due to the presence of several ancient temples in its premises. The Bannerghatta Biological Park is also a great place for photography, with shutterbugs getting an opportunity to capture a lot of amazing sights in their camera. Although open throughout the year, the best time to visit the park is between the months of October and February when the weather is cool and pleasant and perfect for spotting the blooming trees and wildlife. The first week of October is also the Wildlife Week in the city, with the Karnataka State Forest Department organising several wonderful nature programmes in the park. The park is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm on all days except Tuesdays. Most attractions within the park close around 5 pm with the Grand Safari opening between 10 am to 4:30 pm. The entry fee to the Park is INR 80 for adults and INR 40 for children for Indian nationals and INR 400 for adults and INR 300 for foreigners.

One of the largest lakes in Bangalore, Ulsoor Lake also called Halasuru is sprawled over an area of 50 hectares. Built by Sir Lewin Bentham Bowring, Bangalore’s commissioner at that time Ulsoor lake is the biggest lake in the city and a favourite boating spot for locals which take them to several of the small islands dotting the lake. The lake is an important venue for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration when idols of the Lord are immersed in the lake at the end of the festival. The best time to visit is around August and September when you can witness the immersion of the Ganesh idols. The lake is also beautiful post monsoon from October to February. The lake is open every day except Wednesdays from 5 am to 8 pm and there is no entry fee to access the lake.

Located around 60 kilometres away from Bangalore, Nandi Hills used to be relatively unknown, but has now become a local favourite weekend getaway. Featuring beautifully carved arches and majestic pillars with intricately painted walls and ceilings, Nandi Hills is scattered with shrines and monument and is surrounded by mesmerizing views. Situated at a height of 4851 feet above sea level, the place was previously used by Tipu Sultan as a summer retreat, and several traces of the Sultan’s life and legacy can be found in the area. His summer residence called Tashk-e-Jannat, whose painted walls, intricate archways, high pillars and artfully crafted ceilings attract tourists and visitors even today can still be found there. The hills is also home to some famous temples and shrines including the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his companions – Parvati and Nandi. One of the oldest temples in the area, the temple is an architectural wonder and pilgrimage spot. The hills are also famous for its trekking trails, cycling routes and adventure sports such as paragliding.

Built in the year 1878, the Tudor style Bangalore Palace boasts of massive courtyards, bright interiors, kingly grounds, splendid spiral staircases, stately towers and a luscious garden in a proud display of posh regality. Chamarajendra Wadiyar’s British guardians bought the original property in 1873 from the principal of Bangalore Central High School, Rev, J Garret for 40,000 rupees. The palace is vast and spread across 45,000 square feet and is built in a mixture of Tudor and Scottish Gothic architectural styles. The wooden structure of the palace along with the beautiful carvings both inside and outside showcases the royal culture in different ways. It is believed that the inspiration for the palace came from Windsor Castle in London.

The most prominent features of the Palace like the two-level granite structure of the fortified towers and turreted parapets take direct inspiration from the Tudor building styles. The entrance is decorated with grand Roman arches. The exterior of the building is covered in eccentric shapes and angles. The exterior walls are of a blushing cinnabar shade that gives the building a quaint Victorian vibe. The floor of the open courtyard of the Palace is adorned with granite seats covered with azure ceramic tiles. The ground floor also contains a beautifully decorated ballroom. On the first floor, there is a distinct chamber known as the Durbar Hall attached to an ornate staircase. The hall is famous for the enormous elephant head that is mounted in it and its gothic style tinted glass windows. The Palace houses some of the most famous paintings of the 19th Century, including the works of one of India’s most celebrated artists Raja Ravi Verma. You can avail of audio tapes, available in English and Hindi to understand its history. The palace is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm and the entry fee is INR 230 for Indian nationals and INR 460 for foreigners.

Originally built as a mud fort by Kempe Gowda I in 1537, Bangalore Fort was transformed into a stone fort by Haider Ali in 1761. Unfortunately, 20 years later, the fort fell into the hands of the British and the entire fort was dismantled and reconstructed into schools, hospitals and roads etc. Today, only the ruins remain of what was once a stronghold of Tipu Sultan; Delhi Gate and two primary bastions. The fort premises include several structures which include Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace. Also called Rash-e-Zannat or the Envy of Heavens, the Summer Palace was entirely made up of teakwood framework and Islamic interiors. Inside the ruins, you can see several artificial ponds, arsenals, rest areas and half a century old Ganpati shrine. The beautiful paintings and murals on the walls narrate the ruler’s bravery and chivalry and his hatred towards the British.

The fort was spread across a mile and was flanked by wide ditches which were commanded by 26 towers encircling its ramparts and protecting the palace from all the sides. In 1791, the fort was attacked by the British East India Company led by Lord Cornwallis, after killing almost 2,000 people. Following the bloody battle, the British Army captured the palace and ruptured through the walls during the Third Mysore War near the Delhi Gate. With an unusual oval shape, protected by thick walls, you can, even today see the marks caused by the British. One of the distinct features of the fort is a tall gate with three massive iron knobs that suggest guarded quarters and is reminiscent of the ancient Karnataka architecture with carvings of lotus, peacocks, elephants, birds and other elaborate motifs.

An exquisite example of Indo- Islamic architecture, the opulent palace was once used as a summer retreat by the king. The palace boasts of ornamental frescoes, magnificent arches, protruding balconies and brilliant motifs. The construction of the fort started during the reign of Hyder Ali and was completed in 1791, during Tipu Sultan’s rule. Among the several unique aspects of the two-storeyed palace are its stone plinths, exquisitely carved huge wooden pillars, glorifying brackets and its all- around idyllic and placid setting. The walls and ceilings are handsomely painted in vivid colours and intricately carved in beautiful floral patterns and designs that portray Indo-Islamic architecture. After the death of Tipu Sultan, the British used the monument for its Secretariat until about 1868, before moving to Attara Kacheri. Recently a small part of the fort has also been converted into a museum showcasing various events of the life and times of Tipu Sultan. The fort and palace are open all days of the week, except Sundays from 10 am to 5:30 pm and from 8:30 am to 5 pm on Sundays and entry fees are INR 5 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners. You also need to pay INR 25 per camera you plan on taking inside the fort and palace.

The Devanahalli Fort is located 35 kms north of Bangalore and is a living example of the extensive battles fought and won. In ruins today, the fort once was the birthplace and residence of Tipu Sultan. Sprawling over a vast area of 20 acres, the building is essentially made of stone and mortar and was originally built in 1501 by the Mallebyre Gowda during the reign of Saluva Dynasty, until the Dalwai of Mysore Nanjarajaiah occupied it in 1749. Later it was taken over by Hyder Ali before finally being passed on to Tipu Sultan. The fort boasts of twelve semi-circular bastions, each with a gun-point view and a spacious battlement. The entrances, though relatively small are decorated with cut- plasterwork, and the main attraction is the chief residence of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The memorial is a six foot tall enclosure with pillars. The fort is currently a residence for many as several families inhabit the place. Among the umpteen temples located inside the premises of the fort, the Venugopalswamy temple is the oldest and houses several idols of local deities. Other temples include the Siddheswar Swamy temple, the Raghabendraswamy Math, the Chandramouleswar Temple etc. Though in a dilapidated state and crumbling with most of the walls covered in graffiti, the fort manages to retain some of its yesteryear grandeur and glory. The best time to visit the fort is during the summer season due to the many mango and tamarind plantations which bear fruit in summer and which you can enjoy while visiting the fort. Although the fort is open 24 hours a day for the visitors, it is advisable to visit during the day time.

Described by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as ‘a temple dedicated to the nation’, the Vidhana Soudha, which is influenced by the House of Commons in London, houses the State Legislature and the Secretariat of the Karnataka State is the largest state legislative building in the country. With four entrances in all four directions and four floors above the ground level and one below it, the structure is known as the ‘Taj Mahal of South India’ and is seen as one of the most magnificent buildings in the city. The entire monument is illuminated on Sundays and public holidays, usually between 6-8 pm and is a sight for sore eyes. The foundation stone was laid down by the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru along with then Karnataka Chief Minister K.C. Reddy on 13 July 1951 construction took five years and it was inaugurated in 1956. The Vidhana Soudha stands 150 feet tall and boasts of an elegant and truly exquisite Neo-Dravidian style of architecture. Spread over an expanse of 60 acres, this stunning white building has many carved pillars, pediments, bases, arches as well as cornices. With four different floors, the building has a porch on its eastern side, with 12 huge columns of granite. Additionally, the central dome of the building is supported by eight pillars, with a crown of the four-headed lion, the national emblem of the country. The structure has almost 300 rooms, which accommodate around twenty-two different departments of the State Government. As of now, its replica, called the Vikasa Soudha has been built by the Karnataka Government adjacent to it, which acts as a secretariat building. The Vidhan Soudha is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm and is closed on weekends and public holidays. You do need to take permission to enter as this is a highly sensitive building.

The Bull Temple, also known as Nandi Temple, is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore. Popularly called the ‘Dodda Basavana Gudi’ by locals, the temple is the biggest temple dedicated to Nandi in the world and is located the Bugle Rock park. Nandi or the bull in Hindu mythology is the mount or vahana of Lord Shiva and the guardian deity of Lord Shiva’s abode, Kailashagiri; according to Hindu traditions. This temple is a must-visit destination because Nandi holds great importance to Lord Shiva. The architectural style of the Bull Temple is mainly Dravidian and was constructed by Kempe Gowda. It is believed that the origin of the river Vrishabhavati is at the feet of Nandi. The entire sculpture of the bull is carved out of one single granite rock. The statue is 4.5 meters high and 6.5 meters long. Coconut oil and butter which are regularly applied to this statue has led to the originally grey statue to turn black. On the premises of the Bull Temple, there is also a beautiful temple of Ganesh, the beloved son of Lord Shiva. An interesting fact about this temple is that the statue of Lord Ganesh is made entirely of butter! It takes about 110 kilos of butter to make this artistic statue, and a new statue is made every four years. What is really astonishing and noteworthy is that in the four-year tenure of each butter sculpture, the butter doesn’t melt or change shape even once. The butter that makes the statue of the deity is then distributed to the devotees as Prasad or offerings. The temple is open daily from 6 am to 8 pm.

Built in 1972, the Ragigudda Sri Prasanna Anjaneya temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman for his unconditional divinity and devotion towards Lord Sri Rama. Located on top of a quaint hillock, believed to have originated out of a mound of Ragi or Finger Millet in the Jayanagar area, the temple houses a Shivaling in addition to a huge gorgeous idol of Hanuman and beautiful shrines of Ram, Sita and Lakshman. Spread over 5 acres, the temple complex boasts of a beautiful water tank called the Pushkarni, an auditorium, a tiny prasad division and an amphitheatre. It also flaunts an artificially created waterfall which prettifies the already enchanting hill top view. The temple has gained immense popularity in the last few years with the foot of the shrine having tiny temples of Lord Ganesha, Rajarajeshwari, Devi and the Navgrahas. The most important festival of the temple is the Hanuman Jayanti, which is a 12- day long festival and is a grand event, celebrated with a lot of zeal and fervour. The temple is open from 8 am to 12 noon and again from 5 to 8:30 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 1 pm and then again between 5 to 8:30 pm on weekends.

Located in the suburbs of Ulsoor, the Halasuru Someshwara Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. Dating back to the Chola period, the temple is the oldest in Bangalore and was built around the 12th and the 13th centuries by the Hoysalas, but major modifications and additions were made during the Vijayanagar empire. Today the temple is managed and maintained by the Endowment Department of the Karnataka government. There is an interesting story about the temple’s origin which goes that once Kempe Gowda travelled far away from his town while hunting and he took rest napping under a tree where he dreamt that Lord Someshwara asked him to construct a temple using the treasure buried there. The most fascinating feature of the temple are the elaborate sculptures of Ravana holding the Kailash Parvat to please Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahishasura, scenes from the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati, images of the Saptarishis etc. Constructed in the Vijayanagar style of architecture, the shrine has beautiful carvings on the walls and serene interiors. Other than the main temple, the premises are dotted with smaller shrines of other deities including Kamakshamma, Arunachaleswara, Bhimeswara, Nanjundeswara and Panchalingeswara. The temple is very popular among the locals and you can see throngs of worshippers, especially during the time of Mahashivrathri. The temple is open daily from 6 am to 12 noon and again from 5:30 to 9 pm but the best time to visit the temple is either during the early morning or in the evening.

Built in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda, the rock-cut architectural temple is also known as the Gavipuram Cave Temple. In the forecourt of the temple lies mysterious stone discs that allow the sun’s rays to shine on the shrine during a particular time of a year. The temple is basically carved on a rock where the major sections of the outside appearance include monolithic pillars and two fans on the patio where the pillars represent Trishul and Damaru. The two granite pillars holding the gigantic disks of the Sun and the Moon and the other two showcasing several Nandi bulls are some of the outer features of the temple with few other monolithic structures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva where on the day of Makar Sankranti the arc over the horns of Nandi allows the sunbeams to pass through the cave and illuminate the Shiva lingam. This unique phenomenon and the technical excellence of this cave temple attracts devotees from all over the world to witness the surreal sight. The temple is located in the Gavipuram area which is about 3 km from the city market. The best time to visit is during the Maha Shivratri celebrations or during the sunrise time. Otherwise the the temple is open from 6 am to 8 pm on all days of the week.

Built in 1882, the St. Mary’s Basilica is the oldest church in Bangalore and is the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. A spacious gothic-style Church built in the form of a cross, designed by a French architect, the basilica is 172 feet long and 50 feet broad. The imposing and magnificent tower forming the facade of the Church is 160 feet in height. A beautiful statue of Mother Mary holding Child Jesus in her arms, 6 feet in height, is set up in an attractive shrine just outside the Church building. The exterior is built in the shape of a cross arranged in gothic style architecture by a French artist. Every day, Our Mother Mary is draped in a saree, and it is said that when the new Church was built, people tried to remove this statue to install it on a prominent altar inside the Church, but they failed in their effort since the statue remained immovable. This strange occurance is considered to date a sign of Our Lady’s miraculous power. The Main Feast of the Church is celebrated with all grandeur on the 8th of September, the Feast day of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, every year. This feast, which is celebrated for 10 days annually, is considered one of utmost importance by the people, in the whole of the Archdiocese and the state of Karnataka. It is a marvellous sight to behold with its towering façade, glass windows and the loving statues of Mother Mary. On the tenth day, which falls on the 8th of September, is celebrated as the birthday of Mother Mary where the entire church brims with colors and joys followed by conducting social services that include feeding the needy and underprivileged. The best time to visit is in September during the feast of St. Mary and the basilica is open daily between 6 am to 8 pm.

Named of the founder of Bengaluru, the Kempegowda Museum is situated on the first floor of Mayo Hall. The enticing glass floor with an 18th-century map that runs throughout is one of the enticing features of the museum and second being the fiberglass statue of Kempe Gowda in the center of the museum. It is an interesting place to visit for the archeology and history buffs as it exhibits paintings and statue of the time when Kempe Gowda actually initiated the foundation or the blueprint of the town, the four towers which marked the boundary of the city with various old names for the places which are recognized differently today. Located in the Ashok Nagar suburb, the best time to visit is during the weekday when it is not as packed as it usually gets during weekends. Open from 10 am to 5 pm daily on weekdays, you need to pay INR 50 for an adult and INR 30 for a student as entry fee.

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The HAL Aerospace Museum was inaugurated in 2001 at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited premises, the museum being established with the objective of educating the public about the journey of HAL, one of Asia’s largest and most important aeronautical companies, be it historical, scientific or academic. The museum proudly boasts of the giant leaps Indian aviation has taken, both commercially as well as in terms of defence, giving the visitors an all-inclusive aerospace experience in the most effective environment possible. The museum gives the visitor the best possible insight into the aeronautical history of HAL and India – its experiments, achievements and possibilities; and at the same time, they also get to have a glimpse of some of the most powerful possessions of the Indian Air Force. Currently, the HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum together form the most massive aeronautical complex of South Asia in terms of production, maintenance, development and exhibition of fighter and commercial aircrafts, helicopters and all their engineering parts and accessories. If you are an aviation enthusiast, this museum can’t be missed if you are in Bangalore. The museum is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm on all days of the week. Adults pay INR 50 to enter while entry is free for children under three years of age. Students upon showing a valid ID and children between the ages of 4 to 18 pay INR 30. You need to pay INR 50 for bringing in a still camera while it costs INR 75 to bring inside a video camera. If you want to have a go at the simlutators in the museum, you need to pay INR 50 for the Basic Simulator Game and INR 100 for the Motion Simulator.

Built to honour the famous scientist and Bharat Ratna receipient, Sir M Visvesvarya, the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, spread over an area of 43,000 sq feet is located in Kasturbha Road amongst the Cubbon Park area. The museum was inaugurated by India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1962. The place is utterly engaging for both children and adults who once enter the building get engrossed various age-old fossils, mechanical gadgets, and gears, information on space with space models, satellite, electrical, biotech and chemistry models etc. The first ever gallery exhibition displayed by the museum was based on the principles of Electricity and was open to the public on the 27 July 1965. Designed on the theme of a Science Museum, the museum houses four floors dedicated to a scientific discipline each, with the topmost floor, the fifth floor which is now converted into a food court. The museum’s décor has been inspired by the ancient scientific tools and machinery like Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk, flying stimulators and other similar objects. The backdrop shows surreal pictures and animations of changing the climate, various sea and land dynamics and different planetary positions. The centre has seven permanent gallery displays consisting of copious exhibits of a steam engine, aeroplanes, motor power etc. In addition to this, the museum has a virtual gaming zone, a tiny planetarium and a 3D visual display centre for recreation. The centre aims to promote the importance of science in everyday life by its interactive demonstrations and by conducting experiments. Open from 10 am to 6 pm daily, adults need to pay INR 50 as entry fees.

This was Bangalore or Bengaluru and in the next post, we’ll visit Mysore or Mysuru as it’s called now as well as some other places.

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