Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka in the country of India. It covers an area of two hundred and seventy-three square miles and has a population of over five million people, making it the third most populous city in India. The city can trace its history back to the sixteenth century, when Kempe Gowda I erected a fort made of mud and brick at the location and made it a province of the Vijayanagara Empire. When the Vijayanagara Empire fell, the city exchanged hands several times. In 1638, Kempe Gowda III was defeated by an army led by Ranadulla Khan and Bangalore was given to Shahji Bhonsle. When the son of Shahji Bhonsle was defeated by Kasim Khan, a Mughal general, the city was promptly sold to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar. It would change hands several more times, until it was finally incorporated into the British Indian Empire.
Today, the city is the economic center of India and commands an economy that is worth over one hundred billion dollars. It is also the fastest growing city in the country and regularly experiences a growth rate in excess of ten percent per year. Banglore contains a large percentage of wealthy Indian residents as well, with over ten thousand millionaires and sixty thousand upper class residents. Bangalore is considerd to be the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India and has a large concentration of information technology companies which are based there. The city also boasts over nine million square feet of office space available, which makes it number three behind the cities of Tokyo and London. Also located in the city is a high end luxury mall named UB City. UB City is a mix of high end apartments, office space and stores which include names such as Tod’s, Paul Smith, Burberry and Louis Vuitton.
Prior to the nineteenth century, the educational needs of the city was managed by various religious institutions and the student enrollment was limited to followers of the particular religion. The educational needs of the city are now managed by the state and include a vast collection of primary, secondary and higher education institutions that are based on the western system of education. The major colleges and universities in Banglore include Bangalore University, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore Management University, Christ University, Jain University, Acharya Institute of Management & Sciences, Dayanand Sagar Institute of Management & IT, Indian Business Academy, Lorven Institute of Management, Garden City College of Science and Management Studies, Brindavan College, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Mount Carmel College, R.V. Institute of Management, Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Presidency College and Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology.
The city is the most important tourist center in the state of Karnataka, due to the many historical and cultural attractions in the city. A popular attraction in Bangalore is Lal Bagh Gardens. This is a botanical garden that was commissioned by Mysore ruler, Hyder Ali. While he commissioned the building in 1760, it was actually his son Tipu Sultan who completed its construction. The garden contains over a thousand species of flora and holds many flower shows throughout the year. The main feature of the botanical garden is the Glass House. The Glass House is designed in the style of London’s Crystal Palace. Lal Bagh Gardens surrounds one of the towers that was buit by Kempe Gowda. The gardens are aesthetically designed and contain many flower beds, lawns, pools and fountains. It also contains trees that are over a century old. Another feature of the gardens is Lal Bagh Rock, one of the oldest rock formations in the world.
Bangalore Palace is another popular attraction in the city. This palace is designed to resemble a small replica of England’s Windsor Castle. Construction on the palace was begun in 1862 by Rev. Garrett and it was completed in 1944. Bangalore Palace has a floor area of around forty-five thousand square feet and the palace grounds are located on four hundred and fifty-four acres of land. The palace has thirty-five rooms and contains many stained glass windows and mirrors. The ground floor contains an open courtyard and a ballroom for private parties. The first floor contains Durbar Hall, a beautiful hall that contains a large elephant head and several paintings. The rest of the palace is heavily decorated with nineteenth century paintings by Greek and Dutch artists. The Palace Grounds is extremely large and is often used for concerts. Musicians and bands who have performed here include The Rolling Stones, Mark Knopfler, Black Eyed Peas, Elton John, Bryan Adams, Joe Satriani, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Machine Head, Sting and the Scorpions.
Another popular tourist attraction in Bangalore is St. Mary’s Basilica. St. Mary’s Basilica was built in 1803 and started its life as a small thatched roof chapel. Fr. Abbe Dubois enhanced the chapel ten years later and named it Church of our Lady of Purification. Due to communal riots in 1832, the chapel was torn down. It was rebuilt in 1882 and was once called Church of our Lady of Purification. It was consecrated in September of 1882. In 1973 it was elevated to basilica status. This basilica is built in the Gothic architectural style and contains impressive arches, stained glass windows and ornamental motifes. It also has spires which can be seen from quite a distance.
Other popular attractions in the city include Cubbon Park, Forum Mall, Vidhana Soudha, Attara Kacheri, Brigade Road, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, ISKCON Temple, St Patrick’s Church, Bull Temple, Mayo Hall, Hesaraghatta Lake, Nagavara Lake, Bannerghatta National Park, Muthyalamaduvu and Tippagondanahalli Reservoir. Bangalore is also home to numerous restaurants and hotels. Restaurants in the city include MTR Restaurant, Moksh The Chancery Khayal Restaurant, The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore and Bamboo Shoots Restaurant. Hotels in the city include St Marks Hotel, The Lalit Ashok Hotel, The Park Bangalore, Hotel Rama, Taj Residency, The Monarch Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Hotel Taj West End.