bengaluru

Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) is the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. The center of India’s high-tech industry, the city is also known for its green spaces and nightlife. Near Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha is its massive Neo-Dravidian legislative building. Former royal residences include 19th-century Bangalore Palace, modeled after England’s Windsor Castle, and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, an 18th-century teak structure.

Cosmopolitan Bengaluru is the number one city in the Indian deep south, blessed with a benevolent climate and a burgeoning drinking, dining and shopping scene. It’s not necessarily a place you come to be wowed by world-class sights (though it has some lovely parks and striking Victorian-era architecture), but instead to experience the new modern face of India.

As the hub of India’s booming IT industry, it vies with Mumbai as the nation’s most progressive city, and its creature comforts can be a godsend to the weary traveller who has done the hard yards. It’s a big student town where you’ll encounter hip locals chatting in English while drinking craft beer and getting around in ’80s metal band T-shirts.

The past decade has seen a mad surge of development, coupled with traffic congestion and rising pollution levels. However, it’s a city that has also taken care to preserve its green space and its colonial-era heritage. So while urbanisation continually pushes its boundaries outward, the central district (dating back to the British Raj years) remains more or less unchanged.