Bangalore Journals

Around and about Bangalore

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A September 2013 trip to Bangalore by phileasfogg

Vishnu Photo, Belur, India More Photos
Quote: I was in Bangalore for the Bangalore Literature Festival, and decided to spend a couple of days exploring the city and around. Here are reviews of some sights in Bangalore, and some on a day trip out to Belur and Halebidu.

Chennakeshava Temple

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Attraction | "The temple of the ‘beautiful Vishnu’"

At the Chennakeshava Temple Photo, Belur, India
Quote:
In the Hindu trinity, Vishnu is the Preserver. There are innumerable temples, large and small, to Vishnu in his various avatars scattered across the length and breadth of India. Since I’m not a Hindu, their religious significance is lost on me; but the fact that the Chennakeshava (‘beautiful Vishnu’) temple is also a site of historic significance—and a very beautiful monument—was one reason I wanted to visit it.Belur is about 230 km from Bangalore; most websites will tell you it’s a three-hour drive, but even though the highway is a very good toll road and with relatively little traffic, it takes about 4 hours or a little over that to get to this small but bustling little town. The Chennakeshava Te...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 25, 2013

Hotel Mayura Velapuri

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Restaurant | "No frills, but surprisingly satisfying"

The Hotel Mayura Velapuri Photo, Belur, India
Quote:
We’d reached Belur at about 12.30 in the afternoon, following a four-hour drive from Bangalore. By the time we’d finished seeing the main sight in town—the Chennakeshava Temple—it was lunchtime, and we were beginning to wonder where we’d eat. We’d seen signs indicating some privately-owned resorts, but our driver had no idea where those were. Just then, driving down the main road in town, we passed the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation’s Hotel Mayura Velapuri, and saw a large sign marking the hotel’s restaurant.Since we were so hungry (and didn’t want to waste any more time searching for a posher place to eat), we got our driver to stop here, and went in.The Hotel Mayura Velapu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 25, 2013

Kalpeshwar Temple

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Attraction | "A gem of Hoysala architecture"

At the Kalpeshwar Temple Photo, Halebidu, India
Quote:
Our itinerary for a day trip out of Bangalore was done in such a hurry that I hadn’t had the time to do much research. I had learnt, however, that Belur was a doable day trip from Bangalore, so we booked a taxi to take us there and back. It was only when we were on our way to Belur that our driver asked us, "Also Halebidu?"We’d both heard of Halebidu—it is, like Belur, renowned for beautifully carved historic temples—but hadn’t realized it was within easy distance of Bangalore. "Oh yes," our driver said, when we asked. "Just about 20 km from Belur, on the way back to Bangalore. Just a short detour is needed." Since Halebidu (also known as Halebid) was so temptingly close, we decided to visit...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 25, 2013

Big Bull Temple

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Attraction | "The biggest bull in Bangalore"

The Big Bull Temple Photo, Bangalore, India
Quote:
According to Hindu mythology, each of the major deities in the pantheon have their own ‘vehicles’ or mounts to ferry them around. Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, is (for instance) mounted on a mouse; the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Saraswati, sits on a swan; and so on. Among the most visible of these mounts—and often, with temples dedicated to it rather than merely to its presiding deity is Nandi, the bull which is the mount of Shiv, the Destroyer in the Hindi trinity.We had been planning on visit the Big Bull Temple in Bangalore, but were spurred on even more to it by an encounter with a tour guide at Halebidu. This man told us that the Archaeological Survey of India has listed...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 25, 2013

Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens

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Attraction | "A garden worth a visit"

The white silk cotton at Lal Bagh Photo, Bangalore, India
Quote:
When I was creating an itinerary for our trip to Bangalore, one tourist attraction that seemed to pop up on just about every list of recommended sights was the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens. Considering Bangalore is known as the ‘Garden City’ (though it perhaps isn’t the Indian city with the most gardens—Srinagar probably wins that award), we figured this might be worth a visit, at least.Lal Bagh (‘red garden’) was originally laid out in around 1760 AD by the then-ruler of Bangalore and its surrounding region, Hyder Ali. Back then, it was modeled on the typical Mughal garden. Later, with Hyder Ali’s son and successor Tipu Sultan being ousted by the British, the garden too changed hands, eventually bei...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 25, 2013