Bangalore officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of about 8.42 million and a metropolitan population of about 8.52 million, making it the third most populous city and fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India. Located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau, at a height of over 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level, Bangalore is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year. Its elevation is the highest among the major large cities of India.
A succession of South Indian dynasties, the Western Gangas, the Cholas and theHoysalas, ruled the present region of Bangalore until in 1537 CE, Kempé Gowdā – a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire – established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bangalore. In 1638, the Marāthās conquered and ruled Bangalore for almost 50 years, after which the Mughals captured and sold the city to the Mysore Kingdom of the Wadiyar dynasty. It was captured by the British after victory in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (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 of Mysore State, and remained capital when the new Indian state of Karnataka was formed in 1956. 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, Bengalūru, was declared the official name of the city in 2006.
Bangalore is known as the "Silicon Valley of India" (or "IT capital of India") because of its role as the nation's leading information technology (IT) exporter. Indian technological organisations ISRO, Infosys and Wipro are headquartered in the city. A demographically diverse city, Bangalore is the second fastest-growing major metropolis in India. It is home to many educational and research institutions in India, such as Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) (IIMB),National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore, National Institute of Design, Bangalore (NID R&D Campus), National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). Numerous state-owned aerospace and defence organisations, such as Bharat Electronics,Hindustan Aeronautics and National Aerospace Laboratories are located in the city. The city also houses the Kannada film industry. As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Bangalore confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $83 billion, Bangalore is ranked fourth in India by overall GDP contribution, after only Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
|TIME ZONE :||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|RELIGION :||Hinduism 79.4%
|AREA :||709 km2 (274 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||920 m (3,020 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||12°58′N 77°34′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.70
• Female: 48.30
|ETHNIC :||Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%|
|AREA CODE :||80|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+91-(0)80|
Once called the "Garden City of India" and the "Pensioner's Paradise", these epithets no longer apply to Bangalore, which is today a large, cosmopolitan city with diminishing green spaces and a large working population. Bangalore is the major centre of India's IT industry popularly known as the "Silicon Valley of India".
Bengaluru has a lot to offer for a visitor. If you only have a limited amount of time in the city, you should consider taking a tour.
Typically, the city tours do NOT include entry fees into the attractions. Bengaluru, as with the rest of India, has a habit of charging foreigners a lot more than locals. For example, Tipu Sultan's Palace, which is on the half-day tour, charges ₹ 10 for Indians and ₹ 100 (or US $2) to non-Indians.
The earliest records of a place named "Bengaluru" are found in a ninth-century temple in an area that is now known as "Old Bangalore".
Legend has it that when the feudal lord Kempe Gowda was once hunting rabbits in this area, a rabbit turned and attacked his dog. This made a great impression on Gowda and he gave the place a title of gandu bhoomi (the place of heroes) and in 1537, with the assistance of the local king, he constructed three districts protected by a walled fort on the site.
During the next three centuries, Bangalore existed very much in the shadow of its neighbouring city Mysore, and control of the town changed hands many times. The year 1831 marked a major turning point for the city. Claiming misrule by the king Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, the British took control of the Mysore Kingdom and, possibly influenced by the city's salubrious climate, moved the administrative capital to Bangalore. New telecommunication systems were laid, rail connections built, fine government buildings constructed, and the city's famous parks and gardens established. After independence, Bangalore maintained its position as the state capital of Karnataka. The city continues to flourish today.
For many years, Bangalore was known throughout India as the most green, liberal and forward-thinking city. In recent years, these attributes have propelled Bangalore to the forefront of the high-tech industry boom in India, and it currently ranks as India's most developed city and one of the world's fastest-growing urban areas.
The name Bangalore appears to come from an Anglicisation of the native name Bengaluru – an adaptation of the earlier name in Kannada, Benda Kaalu Uru (Town of Boiled Beans). Apparently, this rather humble name was bequeathed to the city by King Vira Ballala. Once while lost in the area, he was offered boiled beans by an old woman, and it was out of gratitude that he named the area after this simple offering.
Unlike other parts of India which are extremely hot in the summer months, Bangalore enjoys a relatively mild climate all year round.
- Summer – February to May (peak temperature is during April and May)
- Monsoon – June to October (the heaviest rains are typically between June and August)
- Winter – November to January (with December being the coldest month)
Summer temperatures can reach 36°C (97°F), and early morning temperatures in the winter hover around 12°C (54°F).
Bangalore lies in the southeast of the South Indianstate of Karnataka. It is in the heart of the Mysore Plateau (a region of the larger Precambrian Deccan Plateau) at an average elevation of 900 m (2,953 ft). It is located at and covers an area of 741 km2 (286 sq mi). The majority of the city of Bangalore lies in the Bangalore Urban district of Karnataka and the surrounding rural areas are a part of the Bangalore Rural district. The Government of Karnataka has carved out the new district of Ramanagara from the old Bangalore Rural district.
The topology of Bangalore is generally flat, though the western parts of the city are hilly. The highest point is Vidyaranyapura Doddabettahalli, which is 962 metres (3,156 feet) and is situated to the north-west of the city. No major rivers run through the city, although the Arkavathi and South Pennar cross paths at the Nandi Hills, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the north. River Vrishabhavathi, a minor tributary of the Arkavathi, arises within the city at Basavanagudi and flows through the city. The rivers Arkavathi and Vrishabhavathi together carry much of Bangalore's sewage. A sewerage system, constructed in 1922, covers 215 km2 (83 sq mi) of the city and connects with five sewage treatment centres located in the periphery of Bangalore.
Bangalore's ₹523 billion (US$7.8 billion) economy (2006–07 Net District Income) makes it one of the major economic centres in India, with the value of city's exports totalling₹432 billion (US$6.4 billion) in 2004–05.With an economic growth of 10.3%, Bangalore is the second fastest-growing major metropolis in India, and is also the country's fourth largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market. Forbes considers Bangalore one of "The Next Decade's Fastest-Growing Cities".With a per capita income of ₹74,709 (US$1,100) in 2006–07, the city is the third largest hub for high-net-worth individuals and is home to over 10,000-dollar millionaires and about 60,000 super-rich people who have an investment surplus of ₹45 million (US$668,700) and₹5 million (US$74,300) respectively.
The headquarters of several public sector undertakings such as Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL),National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI) and HMT (formerly Hindustan Machine Tools) are located in Bangalore. In June 1972 the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established under the Department of Space and headquartered in the city. Bangalore also houses several research and development centres for many firms such as ABB, Airbus, Bosch, Boeing, GE, GM, Google, Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Nokia, Oracle, Philips, Shell, Toyota and Tyco.
Bangalore is called as the Silicon Valley of India because of the large number of information technology companies located in the city which contributed 33% of India's ₹1,442 billion(US$21 billion) IT exports in 2006–07.Bangalore's IT industry is divided into three main clusters – Software Technology Parks of India (STPI); International Tech Park, Bangalore(ITPB); and Electronics City. UB City, the headquarters of the United Breweries Group, is a high-end commercial zone. Infosys and Wipro, India's third and fourth largest software companies are headquartered in Bangalore, as are many of the global SEI-CMM Level 5 Companies.
The growth of IT has presented the city with unique challenges. Ideological clashes sometimes occur between the city's IT moguls, who demand an improvement in the city's infrastructure, and the state government, whose electoral base is primarily the people in rural Karnataka. The encouragement of high-tech industry in Bangalore, for example, has not favoured local employment development, but has instead increased land values and forced out small enterprise. The state has also resisted the massive investments required to reverse the rapid decline in city transport which has already begun to drive new and expanding businesses to other centres across India. Bangalore is a hub for biotechnology related industry in India and in the year 2005, around 47% of the 265 biotechnology companies in India were located here; including Biocon, India's largest biotechnology company.
The area code for Bangalore is 080. When calling from overseas, dial +91 80 XXXX XXXX. If you don’t have an Indian phone number, it is strongly recommended that you get a pre-paid calling card if you plan on using your phone frequently. Because of new government regulations, you need a photocopy of your passport (visa and the ID pages), a color photo, and proof of local address (in Bangalore) when buying a pre-paid card. If you do not have the required paperwork, it is recommended that you ask a local friend to buy a pre-paid card on your behalf. Pre-paid cards are sold in a few of the shops that sell mobile equipment.
Public telephones are a good option and are available widely. Most shops that offer public phones sport easily visible "STD/ISD/PCO" signages. More often than not, public pay-phones are post-pay and there will be a person at the shop to take the payments. Check the bill generated from the machine and make the payment accordingly. Payments are always in Indian Rupees.
Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers (Aircel,Airtel, BSNL, idea,MTS Reliance, Tata DoCoMo, Uninor, Vodafone) offering a wide variety of plans. If you are planning on travelling around outside the metropolitan area it might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of the pre-paid plans to get yourself connected whilst you are still in the city.
There are plenty of Internet centres which charge between ₹10-₹25 per hr. If you have laptop with wifi connection, free internet services are available at some malls, restaurants, and hotels. However, free public WiFi is not the norm. MG Road now has street-wide free WiFi. Hop on to the Namma WiFi wireless network and register using your mobile number for a one-time password for internet access.
High speed USB data cards are very common and all telecom providers offer these over-the-counter at their stores. Typically need some proof of identity and address to activate these.
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