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Arts and Culture in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru is known as India's Silicon Valley, but it's also the arts and culture capital of the Karnataka state. As well as being drenched in lush greenery, the city overflows with historical sights including grand palaces to centuries-old forts. Then there are the museums and galleries which showcase everything from ancient archaeological finds to captivating contemporary artwork.

 

Museums

 

Bengaluru's range of museums is truly diverse. You can expect to find exhibitions on aviation and space travel, motorcycles and Mahatma Gandhi. There's even one devoted to the human brain. Perhaps the most famous is this one, however.

 

Government Museum

 

Established in the 1860s, this deep-red Neo-Classical building houses a remarkable collection of archaeological and geological finds - fitting for one of the oldest museums in all of India. The museum’s 18 galleries showcase rare coins, jewellery, and even Neolithic pottery and ancient weapons, some dating back over 5,000 years.

 

Kasturba Gandhi Road, Bengaluru 560001. Tel: +91 80 2286 4483

 

Government Museum website

 

Art galleries

 

Bengaluru has a wealth of fine and decorative artworks spread across its museums and galleries, but the city isn’t stuck in the past - it also shows off contemporary art by the daring talent of today.

 

National Gallery of Modern Art

 

It may have a classical exterior complete with slender white columns, but step inside the National Gallery of Modern Art and you'll be face to face with avant-garde works ranging from miniature portraits to surrealist landscapes. You’ll need more than a couple of hours to fully explore this sleek and dazzling gallery.

 

49 Palace Road, Bengaluru 560052. Tel: +91 80 2234 2338

 

National Gallery of Modern Art website

 

Historic landmarks

 

Thanks to its tumultuous history. Bengaluru isn't short on historic landmarks. The city’s architectural range accurately reflects its diverse cultural heritage, and makes for fascinating and educational sightseeing.
Bengaluru Fort

 

Bengaluru Fort was built in the early 16th-century, as a mud fort to mark out the territory of what would become modern Bengaluru. It took on a different role in the 18th century - where it was replaced with the imposing stone structure that still partly stands as the site of a fierce battle between Britain and India. Today, you can wander through the ornately decorated Delhi Gate, and gaze at the war-battered barracks and ivy-clad ramparts.

 

Chamrajpet, Bengaluru 560018. Tel: +91 80 2670 6836

 

 

Bengaluru Palace

 

Situated near the city centre, Bengaluru Palace looks like it's been transported from Europe, as it looks remarkably like some fairy tale castle, complete with stained glass windows and fortified turrets and towers. Many concerts and events take place in the grounds, so be sure to check the palace calendar.

 

Palace Road, Bengaluru 560052. Tel: +91 80 2336 0818

 

Temples

 

Bengaluru is flush with picturesque temples and churches, which span centuries of magical architectural design and religious tradition.

 

ISKCON Temple Bengaluru

 

Bengaluru’s ISKCON Temple beautifully blends smooth stone architecture with sleek modern facilities. This vast cultural complex overflows with flower-laden shrines, gold-studded idols and shimmering pools. There are many welcoming Vedic celebrations and festivals held year round, where chants, dancing, and live music make for an unforgettable experience.

 

Krishna Hill, Bengaluru 560010. Tel: +91 80 2357 8347

 

ISKCON Temple Bengaluru website