Bangalore - Garden City(1)

Expect to see lots of notebook toting, well-dressed confident young men and women on the streets of Bangalore, particularly in the vicinity of its numerous pubs and restaurants.

Bangalore, residents will tell you, has changed in the past decade. One thing remains ? ask a Bangalorean what they think about their city, and the answer will be ?the best in the world?. There will be some gripes about the quality of air and crowded roads, but the pride is obvious.

Located in South India, Bangalore is not called the ?air-conditioned city? without reason. Flanked by hill ranges on the east and west, the gentle breezes ensure the weather is pleasant all year round. The capital of the state of Karnataka, sometimes referred to as the ?garden city?, Bangalore has recently acquired other aliases like the ?Silicon Valley of India? and ?fastest growing city in Asia?. The unique metro, though a small town at heart, is a mixture of booming business and a racy lifestyle.

A business capital, some of the most prestigious names in the IT (information technology) industry, Bangalore is more than an active member of the dot-com boom sweeping India, giving tough competition to Hyderabad for the title of ?IT capital of India?.

As a result of its cosmopolitan nature, it attracts people from all over the globe. The likes of Rupert Murdoch have visited and invested here. The city is host to many public sector enterprises, defence organisations and reputed educational and research institutions. The uniqueness of Bangalore can be attributed to the progressive nature of its citizens. A melting pot of different people, cultures, and languages, Bangalore is probably the only city in India in which you will hear Kannada spoken as much as Tamil, Telugu or Hindi.

Bangalore?s remarkable number of pubs rub shoulders with a rich cultural heritage of Carnatic music and traditional dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and Yakshagana.

Discos, bowling alleys and resorts are also a part of the new Bangalore. Infotainment, entertainment, science and technology parks and wildlife safari parks all merge into its cosmopolitan whole.

Taking a short break out of the city is not difficult ? Bangalore is surrounded by weekend getaways.

A few hours of travel will take you to some of the best hill-stations and coastal areas of South India. Adventure sports and jaunts into the surrounding forests and hills provide great outdoor motivational workshops for corporations.

Two spas on the outskirts of Bangalore, the Angsana Banyan Tree and Hilton Golden Sands both promote the small meetings segment and promise a rejuvenated experience for stressed executives. One can take a one-day city tour conducted by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to the Bangalore Palace, Lalbagh, Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake.

Compared to many other cities in India, Bangalore is inexpensive for buying silk fabrics, handloom fabrics, garments, woolen carpets, sandalwood articles, rare antiques, gold and silver jewelry. Shopping is great around Commercial Street, MG Road and Brigade Road.

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