Bangalore, the garden city of India, is a modern, bustling city which is rapidly expanding into an industrial centre. The city is the gateway to some of the most interesting historic architecture in India, with a wide and tumultuous past. Steeped with history and teeming with forts and palaces, the countryside is as picturesque as the glorious past it projects. The temples at Belur and Halebid, along with that ofSomnathpur, are one of the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu cultural development. Shravanabelgola is one of the oldest Jain pilgrimage centres in India and the site of the huge statue of Lord Bahubali.Hampi, near Hospet, was once the capital of one the largest Hindu empire in Indianhistory.
The founding of present day Bangalore is attributed to the Magadi Chieftain, Kempe Gowda, who laid its foundations in 1537. According to local folklore the present name Bangalore, derives from 'Bendakalooru' or the town of boiled beans, a name given by Veera Ballala, a king of the Vijayanagar dynasty, who having lost his way in the forests was given a bowl of boiled beans by a kindly woman here. However that may be, the founding of the city is traced back to 1537 and it has seen the rule of the maharajas of Mysore mainly. One of the factors that has gone in to make Bangalore the fifth largest city in India today is its mild and healthy climate. A large number of people, many from outside the region have thus made the city their permanent home. Thus the city has a fairly large number of people who are retired from active life and others who are here for exclusive pleasure seeking.
Often termed as a garden city, Bangalore's climate has also drawn towards itself a large number of industries like the HAL and the Indian Telephone Industry and has become a premier manufacturing and commercial centre since the 1950s. Amidst all this hectic activity, the city offers itself as an ideal base to explore the fascinating and culturally rich state of Karnataka. Visitors will find the ruins of the once powerful Vijayanagar empire, the sculpted wonders of Belur and Halebid, the awesome mausoleum of Bijapur and much more within easy reach. The city by itself offers extensive shopping opportunities, a rich fanfare of cuisine, hotels to suit all pockets and much cultural and other entertainment.