A succession of South Indian dynasties ruled the region of Bangalore until in 1537 AD Kempe Gowda—a feudatory ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire—established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bangalore. Following transitory occupation by Maratha and Mughal, the city remained under the Mysore kingdom. Bangalore continued to be a cantonment of the British and a major city of the Princely State of Mysore which existed as a nominally sovereign entity of the British Raj. Following the independence of India in 1947, Bangalore became the capital of Mysore state, and later Karnataka.
As a large and growing metropolis, Bangalore is home to many well-recognized colleges and research institutions in India. Numerous public sector heavy industries, software companies, aerospace, telecommunications, and defence organisations are located in the city. Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India because of its position as the nation's leading IT exporter. A demographically diverse city, Bangalore is a major economic and cultural hub and the second fastest growing major metropolis in India.
Heading for town from the airport, you can either take a taxi or the bus. Prepaid taxis do ply the route. Once you are in the town you have the option of using auto rickshaws besides the bus and taxi. While the auto rickshaw drivers are legally supposed to use the meter to calculate the fare, many of them do not. So you need to bargain and fix the fare before you get into the vehicle.
There is also a flat 50% extra charge on the accepted daytime fare after 10 pm at night, no matter where you are headed. You can also head for Bangalore by train from any of India’s major cities. A word of caution, there are three stations in Bangalore so if you are arranging for someone to meet you make sure you know which one the train rolls into. There is no local train service or metro in Bangalore as yet.
Good to Know
Most major airlines fly into and out of Bangalore now. The international airport is a considerable distance away and many taxis avoid going all the way as they are not sure of a return fare. It makes sense to hire a prepaid taxi if you intend to catch a late night flight.
If using the bus, mind your wallet. Pickpockets thrive in these crowded areas. Also if you are a single woman traveling alone it is not a good idea to take a bus after dark.
Since most of Bangalore’s sightseeing involves excursions it makes sense to hire a taxi for an eight-hour day and travel in relative comfort. If you are on a budget, share with others.