I say Bengaluru, you say clubbing, dancing, party scenes, brewed beer, restaurants.
And that's that. No one talks about the other things there are to do in the capital city of Karnataka. Some are even surprised to find out that, contrary to popular belief, there are actually things to do in Bengaluru that do not involve alcohol or restaurant hopping.
And my very recent trip to the Silicon Valley of India taught me that there is so much more to the city than being the local stamping ground of techies. Here's a list.
1. Bangalore Palace
Go to this very art deco, Tudor-esque palace of the Wadiyars. All the motifs, symbols, decor and the architecture is very simplistic and yet beautiful. The gardens are evergreen and the palace envelopes you in its warm feeling.
2. Cubbon Park
The Spring season brings out the beauty that is Cubbon Park, as happens with any lush and picturesque garden in a city. Take a walk, cycle through the road snaking through and enjoy the greenery. Check out the Vidhaan Souda too.
3. Ulsoor Lake
Sadly, boating isn't an option at this lake now but that doesn't keep ypu away from enjoying a rich sunset as you sit by the lake or take a stroll all around it.
4. Lalbagh Botanical Garden
As the garden blooms with flora that catches your interest and eyes, take in the serene environment of birds chirping through the lush greenery. Check out the glasshouse.
5. ISKCON Temple
A lot of people say that this temple in Bengaluru is more peaceful than its version in Delhi. Subjective, right? But the temple sure is located far away from the city and in a calmer setting.
6. Commercial Street/MG Road
Shopping in Bengaluru takes on a different meaning when you combine street shopping with shopping for goods that are factory seconds and customs rejects. Oh, the thrill!
7. Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace
The relic of former Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, the building is a fine specimen of Islamic architecture mixed with Indian motifs.
So the next time you head to Bengaluru, let it not be all about the booze and the food, The city does deserve some fair amount of exploration.