72 Hours: Things to do in Bangalore

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Got 72 hours to kill? Here are the things to do in Bangalore.

Got 72 hours to kill? Here are the things to do in Bangalore

“What’s there to see in a city rammed with a mad surge of development, traffic congestion, and rising pollution levels?”, I asked my local friend Ganesh on my fourth visit to Bangalore. Apparently, there’s a lot to explore in the City that gradually evolved from being the Garden City to the Silicon Valley of India. The rise of start-up culture in Bengaluru reflects a blend of old and new – some parts with historical monuments will take you back in the memory lane, while others with the high-rise corporate complexes will make you feel you are in a global city. If you just have 72 hours on hand, then you have reached the right place to find out things to do in Bangalore.

Things to do in Bangalore

Things to do in Bangalore

The cosmopolitan Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is one of India’s most progressive and developed cities, blessed with a round-the-year pleasant climate and an ever-mushrooming gastronomical and shopping scene. What the city lacks in world-famous sights, makes up with lovely parks and striking Victorian-era architecture. There’s always something going in the restless and young city to keep you busy.

So, if you just have few days on hand, here’s what I recommend:

Top 5 Places to See in Bangalore:

1. Bangalore Palace

Being a Culturephile, this place was high on my list as it is an epitome of great architecture and beauty. Built in the year of 1878, Bangalore Palace exudes the spice of old regal opulence of one of the most powerful dynasties of Southern India. Spread in a humungous 45,000 square feet area, it’s a great piece of art reflecting the mix of Tudor and Scottish Gothic Architecture. As per Legend, King Chamarajendra Wadiyar drew his inspiration from the Windsor Castle of London.

Looking for things to do in Bangalore? Visit the Bangalore Palace

Looking for things to do in Bangalore? Visit the Bangalore Palace

2. National Gallery of Modern Art

Another landmark site that surprised me with its art collection was the National Gallery of Modern Art. Spanning across 3.5 acres, it is housed in the erstwhile mansion of Mysore royal family and was opened to the public in 2009. Besides the paintings, sculptures, graphic prints; I loved the examples of early photography in India which showcased the historical development of modern art in India.

Things to do in Bangalore - Visit the National gallery of modern art

Things to do in Bangalore – Visit the National gallery of modern art

Looking for things to do in Bangalore? Visit National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore3. Lalbagh Botanical Garden

The heart of the Garden city resides in Lalbagh Botanical Garden, which is world-renowned for botanical artwork, scientific study of plants and conservation of plants. Walking through the 240 acres of the Garden, I didn’t realise it has 1,854 species of plants. My local friend Ganesh told me it was commissioned by Hyder Ali in 1760 and completed by his son Tipu Sultan. The garden features rare plants from around the world. One thing that you can’t miss in the Garden is the over 3000 million years old Lal Bagh Rock. Besides the largest collection of rare plants, it also consists a glass house where an annual flower show is held every year and is also a home to an aquarium and a lake.

Looking for things to do in Bangalore? Lal Bagh Garden should be on your list

4. Cubbon Park

Spread over an area of 300 acres, Cubbon Park set in the green belt region of the city was my favourite place to go to after a busy day. The green foliage and the calm environs of the park is a perfect antidote for deadline-driven life in a metro. Although I couldn’t attend any live event I saw the bandstand that hosts concerts. The park also houses Bangalore Aquarium, the second largest aquarium in India.

Cubbon Park, Bangalore. Pic CC by Prashant by under CC license

5. Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore Overview

Located 22 km away from the humdrum of Bangalore, the Bannerghatta National Park is a haven for nature and wildlife lovers. Spread over a massive area of around 104.27 sq. km, this national park is most famous for the country’s first butterfly park. Besides that, there are ten Reserve Forests, an aquarium, a zoo, Children’s park, Crocodile Farm, Snake Park, Prehistoric Animals’ Park and a museum. You can even get up close and personal with the wildlife here through a jungle safari. You can spot Lions, Tigers, Crocodiles amongst numerous others in the park.

Double Hornbill at Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore

Top 5 Places to shop in Bangalore:

Shopping in Bangalore

Shopping in Bangalore

1. MG Road

One of a most popular shopping and entertainment hub of Bangalore is swarmed with people at almost all the time. It is a must visit place to shop for beautiful silk sarees and handicrafts. And, don’t forget to visit Higginbothams, Bangalore’s oldest bookstore founded in 1844.

2. Commercial Street

A one-stop destination for purchasing garments, imitation jewellery, sports goods, footwear and affordable antiques. But before you visit it to brace yourself to walk a lot and bargain.

3. Chickpet

One of the oldest commercial districts of the city has a formidable history of 400 years, and Bangaloreans swear by the quality and variety of saris and wholesale dress materials you get in this famous market. Great place to shop for your gold and silver jewellery

4. Jayanagar

A bit intimidating for the first-time visitors, Jayanagar is a heaven for shoppers. You can shop for almost anything under the sun. And don’t forget to indulge in Southern Indian snacks at Shenoy Stores, chaat and pani puri at Rakesh Kumar, and desserts at Cool Point.

5. Malleswaram

Named after the nearby Kaadu Malleswara Temple, this A traditional market is famous for its flower market, herbs, spices, and vegetables.

Besides the above five markets, if you have time, don’t forget to visit the Brigade Road, UB City, Gandhi Bazar and Avenue road for retail and culinary delight.

Things to do in Bangalore

Things to do in Bangalore

So, this is how I spent my 72 hours in the silicon valley of India. Anything you would like to add to the things to do in Bangalore? I am sure I didn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg. With all its non-stop energy, colour, vibrancy, heritage and variety, Bangalore is not to miss.

Things to do in Bangalore

Things to do in Bangalore

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Print Coverage

This story was published in the January Issue of  Malindo Mag (Malindo Air in-flight magazine): Bengaluru – Silicon Valley of India

Travel See Write Recommends the following books

Bangalore Dress

 The Milk Lady of Bangalore

Bangalore Dress


  • Medha says:

    I have been to Bangalore and I do not remember it looking so pretty! Your pictures are superb. To be honest, I only travelled for work and although I did go to MG Road for all the pubs and bars, that was about it, I didn’t get to see much else. Bangalore Palace looks pretty awesome, I should’ve gone there, had I known about it then. Even the Botanical Gardens look quite interesting.

  • Megan Jerrard says:

    Definitely seems like a lot to see and do in Bangalore, thanks for this itinerary! I’m also a big Culturephile, so would love to visit the Palace – I can definitely see the influence of Windsor Castle here.

    Also a big nature / wildlife lover, so the national parks and botanic gardens would be right up my alley. Thanks for the list!

  • Sandy N Vyjay says:

    It is always fascinating to see the perspective of Bangalore from someone who does not live here. Read the post with interest. We who stay here always dismiss the city off with a shrug saying that there is not much here. But there are many gems in and around the city waiting to be discovered.

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