Kempe Gowda built the original mud structure in 1537. In 1761 Hyder Ali rebuilt the fort in stone. It was the strong hold of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and witnessed several fierce battles. Built in an oval shape, a fine example of 18th century Indian military architecture, the fort measures 730m (N-S) by 550m (E-W).
Spread over 240 acres of flowering glory, Lal Bagh has rare collection of tropical and sub-tropical trees, plants and herbs to quench the thirst of search for scenic beauty by both layman and horticulturist. Hyder Ali was the force behind laying out the park in 17th century. But Tipu Sultan was responsible for enriching the vast collection by importing several specimens from Afghanistan, France and Persia. Lal Bagh is artistically landscaped with expansive lush lawns, flowerbeds, lotus pools and fountains. In 1840, Lal Bagh had a magnificent glass house built in line of London's Crystal Palace. January and August are the best time to visit to see the garden bursting with full bloom.
The name came to the rock because of Kempe Gowda's watch tower that stands on it used to warn the people of the city to the advent of intruders by a bugle call. The huge rock, a rare phenomenon, is 3000 million years old and had attracted world geological interests. The rock is situated adjacent to Lal Bagh.
In 1864 Sir Richard Shankey, the chief engineer of Mysore, laid out the Cubbon Park. The park was named after the longest serving Commissioner of Bangalore - Sir Mark Cubbon. A lush grassy expanse with flowerbeds, shady bowers and flowering trees, Cubbon Park is a haven for thousands of strollers and breeze seekers.
Set in the middle of the greenery of a sprawling garden is the Maharaja's Bangalore Palace. Constructed in 1887 in lines of Medieval Castles of England and Normandy, Bangalore Palace resembles the Windsor castle.
Vishweshwaraya Industrial & Technological Museum
Affiliated to the National council of Science Museums, this museum is located adjucent to the Government Museum. The museum portrays the the application of science and technology in industry and human welfare. The museum has eight galleries and different branches of science and technology are represented in them.
Tippu's Summer Palace
The construction of the palace began by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan completed it in 1791. It is one of several beautiful palaces they built all over the state. Tipu Sultan used it as his summer residence and named it Tashk-e-Jannat meaning the envy of heaven. Constructed mainly of wood, its intricately sculptured arches and minarets are worth perusing. The walls and ceilings are covered with paintings though faded through the centuries.
Maharaja Chikka Devaraya Wodiyar built this 300 years old temple which displays some fine aspects of Dravidian temple art. The temple is situated near the palace of Tipu Sultan.
A two storied building of brick and stone painted in red, Attara Kacheri was built in 1867 to house the secretariat. Attara Kacheri literally meaning 'Eighteen Courts', today houses the High Court and several lower courts of Karnataka.
The granite building towering over Cubbon park houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. Built in a Neo-Dravidian style, this is one of India's most magnificent public buildings. On Sunday evenings when floodlit, it presents a breathtaking picture. The building has a total plinth area of over 500,000 sq. ft spread through four stories.
Gangadhareswara Cave Temple
Situated in Gavipuram and dedicated to Lord Shiva, the remarkable feature of the temple is the set of four monolithic pillars bearing the Saivite emblem of 'trisul', 'damara', 'suryapana' and 'chandrapana'. The temple has a rare idol of 'Agni', the god of fire. On Makara Sankranti day, the rays of the setting sun glide under a stone arch, througha window, between the hones of the Nandi to finally touch the 'Sivalinga' between 5.00PM and 6.00PM - a unique feature.
The temple built by Kempe Gowda, a typical example of the Dravidian-style temple, is situated in Basavanagudi. The temple has a huge monolithic bull 4.5m tall and 6m long. It is believed that the source of the river Vishwa Bharathi originates from the feet of the Nandi.
Every year around November/December, a groundnut fair is held near the temple.The farmers offer their first crop to the bull on this day.
An 1877 building with splendid Corinthian columns, the museum houses sections on natural history, geology, art, sculpture and numismatics. Some of the displays date back over 500- years to early Indian civilisation of Mohenjedaro. The museum has rare finds from Neolithic period, old South Indian jewellery and the exhibits associated with Tipu Sultan's unceasing fight against the British.
St. Mary's Basilica
It is believed that Abbe Dubois, a French missionary built the church in 1882. It is the only grand Gothic style basilica in the state. It has an impressive tower and typically Gothic pointed arches. The church is situated in Russell Market Square and has stained glass windows from Paris.
This oldest mosque in the city, earlier known as Sangian Jamia Masjid, is in the Old Poor House Road. A 'Killedar' built the mosque during the Mughal conquest of the south. The mosque stands high with its raised prayer hall adorned with granite pillars.
ISKCON Temple Complex
This temple is an exquisite blend of modern and traditional south Indian temple architecture. The building houses a multi-vision cinema theatre, ten mini computer aided presentation theatres, a vedic library and a preaching library. The temple accommodates various types of people - bramacharis, members, devotees and people taking short term courses offered here. This temple structure is on of the most beautiful buildings built in Bangalore.
It is a treasure house of Karnataka's classical art and has a collection of rare traditional paintings and thousands of leather puppets those are used mainly in folklore. The paintings have retained their colour in spite of their age.
Situated in Kumara Kripa Road, Gandhi Bhavan gives an introduction to the Gandhian way of life through books, symposia, books and lectures. The life of Gandhi is displayed in photographs. Photostat copies of his letters displayed, to several personalities are interesting to read.
Located in the old contonment area, it was a place of prominence in the early years of last century. Extended over an area of 125 acres, the lake was constructed in the 2nd century by Kempe Gowda II. It is a major tourist attraction and has a boat club too.
Other Places of Interest
Aquarium, Bal Bhavan, Nehru Planetarium, Indira Gandhi Musical dancing fountain, Karnataka folk Museum, St. Mark's cathedral, Jami Masjid etc. are worth visiting.