A Local's Top Things to See and Do in Bengaluru

With trendy microbreweries rubbing shoulders against ancient temples, Bengaluru (or Bangalore, as the locals still call it) is a city with many faces. Local insider Nainaa gives us a rundown of the best things to see and do.


Photo © iStock/CamBuff

Bangalore is known by many names - The Garden City, The Pub Capital and the Silicon Valley of India. Its distinct Western culture, however, hasn’t smothered its age-old traditions.

Bangalore city. Photo credit: iStock

Cultural experiences in Bangalore

The love of theatre and performing arts is deeply rooted in the culture of Bangalore.

Watch a colorful folk drama at Ranga Shankara, and top it off with chai from its rustic, thatched café. Catch up with other theatre enthusiasts here – they’ll be happy to recommend must-watch shows.

For a more contemporary vibe, enjoy an evening of poetry slam and storytelling at Bangalore’s ‘culture cafes’, like Urban Solace and Atta Galatta. Check out their schedules before you arrive.

An evening at one of Bangalore’s many ‘culture cafes’. Photo credit: Nainaa Rajpaal

Keep a look out for flea markets, especially the Sunday Soul Santhe. You’ll see Bangalore’s socialites descend for an evening of live music and barbeques, while shopping for vintage chests, terracotta jewelry and Indo-Bohemian clothing.

Temples to visit in Bangalore

For a true “holy cow” moment, visit the Bull Temple dedicated to the demigod Nandi. Walk around to the Bugle Rock Garden, packed with ancient trees and bat colonies.

Close by, the Dodda Ganapathi Temple is famous for its “butter worship”, where the idol is lavishly buttered to appease Ganapathi, the elephant God.

The lesser-known Nandi Teertha is an ancient temple that was recently excavated. A mysterious trickle of water flows from the Nandi idol into a pond brimming with fish and turtle.

Locals believe the water has healing properties. Surely, worth a try?

Things to see in Bangalore

Don’t miss the KR Flower Market – a stunning spectacle that comes alive at the break of dawn. Watch heaps of flowers deftly sewn together – ready to adorn Hindu idols and women’s hair buns.

Soon after, head to the pre-historic Lalbagh Rock at the Botanical Gardens.

Over 3,000 million years old, it’s one of the oldest surviving rocks in the world. It juts out in the form of a little hillock that you can climb.

Nearby, the Lalbagh lakeside is a great place for a stroll and a haven for migratory birds.

The Lotus Pond at Lalbagh Gardens. Photo credit: Nainaa Rajpaal

Pottery Town is another charming settlement to peek into. The potters here are wizards of clay, skilfully crafting lamps, idols, and vases – right in front of you!

Things to do in Bangalore

Early on a Sunday morning, head to Cubbon Park, known as “the Green Lung of Bangalore”. The park is filled with joggers, cultural performers, and hobbyists.

Bangalore is famous for microbreweries. Go pub-hopping on 100 Feet Road and try the Basmati Rice beer at Vapour, or the Dark Knight at Toit – a mecca for beer lovers!

As the sun goes down, head to Food Street at V.V. Puram. Amidst a symphony of cow mooing and excited locals, you can taste Bangalore’s best street food.

Try the soft, fluffy paddus at Vasavi Chatnis and the obattu – a local sweet treat – at Idli Mane.

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