Bengaluru is one of India’s most progressive cities, and the hub of IT titans, which give it the moniker of ‘India’s Silicon Valley’. The city has come a long way—from being a mud fort built by the Vijayanagar empire in the early 16th century to the military cantonment of the British Raj, to becoming a destination preferred by families and ambitious youth for its benevolent weather. Also referred to as the ‘City of Gardens’, Bengaluru surprises its visitors with a stunning potpourri of the old and the new—from the Bangalore Palace to the glitzy five-star hotels in the same breath. While you’re here, explore the top things to do in Bengaluru the next time you arrive, and allow the city to cast its magical spell on you. By Ruth Esther Dsouza
Arguably the most cosmopolitan city of India, Bengaluru caters to the modern traveller with a series of new offerings.
Indian Music Experience
The country’s first interactive music museum provides visitors a unique experience to understand the diversity of Indian music—from traditional to contemporary. IME houses three main sections—the Exhibit Area consists of eight thematic galleries showcasing various facets of Indian music, the instruments’ gallery with over 100 musical instruments, three mini theatres, and several interactive installations; the Sound Garden features musical sculptures that introduce visitors to the principles of sound; and the Learning Centre caters to aspiring artists for high quality music education.
Brewing It Right
With over 50 brewpubs in the city, and more being added to the roster, you’re sure to find the varietal you are looking for, and then some. What may be of interest are the beers that are brewed along the lines of traditional Indian flavours. The Masala Saison served at Farzi Café, Ragi Beer at Toit, and the locally-inspired beers at Alchemy at the Chancery Pavilion are some of the local favourites.
Yes, the city is famous for its craft beers, but it also loves its coffee. Bengaluru has so much in store for the coffee aficionado with its micro-roasters that custom roast coffee beans, are sourced from coffee estates around Karnataka. Each small batch of beans has a story to tell. Choose between Third Wave Coffee Roasters in Koramangala, Alchemy Coffee Roasters in Jayanagar, and Blue Tokai Roasters in Whitefield for experiential roaster tours and brewing guides.
DINE & DRINK
Bengaluru’s burgeoning dining scene is giving New Delhi and Mumbai a run for their money.
Celebrity chef Abhijit Saha’s new offering, Fava Bistro, gives you a bistronomy experience in an evolved Mediterranean setting. Classic dishes from the region come to the plate here—from stuffed vine leaves, to wood-fired pizzas, and more. The craft beer on tap is a great addition to your meal. Its location in the buzzing Koramangala makes it a popular choice among youngsters. Starts from INR 1,800 for two.
The Best Views
Dine at the highest point in the city with gorgeous views of the skyline at High Ultra Lounge. Situated on the rooftop of the World Trade Centre, this is where discerning diners come to enjoy a bubbly against the setting sun. The weekend party specials, coupled with an eclectic music scene, make the place a great pick to experience Bengaluru’s nightlife. Starts from INR 2,000/US$ 28 for two.
Spread over two floors, The Bier Library has an earthy and organic decor with exposed bricks and Mangalore tiles. The kitchen serves everything—from kodava pandi masala to butter chicken, there’s plenty to choose from. The crisp 21-inch pizzas baked in diners’ view is guaranteed to make you ravenous. Choose a seat in the open air seating, near the koi pond. Starts from INR 1,500 for two.
Shop for Bengaluru silk or take back spices as souvenirs for friends back home.
Exclusive Silk Sarees
The Registry of Sarees is not your average sari store, but one where textile designer and academician Pragati Mathur blends sari design techniques from across the country to create an exclusive offering for every guest. Artisans from around the country work on a single piece, making what you buy a true masterpiece.
Go Spice Shopping
A visit to Bengaluru is never complete without a traditional Karnataka-style meal. If you are looking to replicate the delicious sambar, rasam, bisi bele bath, and dosas at home, shop for spices from Russell Market or pick up some easy-to-use ready mixes from the Namma MTR Stores.
The Craft Collective
Channapatna toys are a form of wooden creations made with natural colours. Varnam is an initiative that works with the local artisans to try and reinvent this art form to modern needs, and thereby gives it a wider audience. Drop by their store in Indiranagar to shop for apparel and accessories.