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A thriving, cosmopolitan city home to 8.5 million and several different languages, Bangalore is the capital of Mysore state and a hub for aerospace, heavy industry, and, of course, electronics and telecommunications. Known as the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore has seen heavy investment and development of infrastructure and today it boasts a literacy rate of around 90 ninety percent, second only to India's southernmost province of Kerala.
The best time to visit is from December to March, during the dry season and away from the summer heat.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald was moved by her Hindu wedding vow renewal in Kerala. She also loved staying with a Maharajah at his palace in Darjeeling.
Located in southern Bangalore, Dodda Basavana Gudi is a temple is devoted to Nandi, a sacred Hindu demi-god who often takes the form of a bull. The temple entrance features a multi-tiered, ornately carved gate, while within the temple is a giant Nandi murthi, or religious figurine, which measures about 15 feet (4.6 meters). Interestingly, one religious rite involves devotees covering the statue of Nandi with butter.
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace
Visit the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore for his resistance to British colonial rule. Adjacent to the city market, the Summer Palace was constructed entirely from rosewood; within its walls stand a museum commemorating the legacy of this remarkable ruler, as well as the tombs of both Tipu Sultan and his father, Hyder Ali.
Visit the Lal Bagh, or Red Gardens, one of the foremost botanic gardens in Bangalore, a city known for its extensive greenery and immaculate horticulture. Enter the park through one of its four gates and stroll leisurely through its grounds, enjoying the varied plant life, diverse structures, and picturesque lake.
Eating out is a large part of the local culture and visitors should be sure to sample Bangalore’s culinary delights. Popular eateries include udupi (or udipi) restaurants, which serve a flavorful vegetarian south Indian cuisine. Traditional Bangalorean cuisine, meanwhile, blends northern, meat-based Mughlai fare with Hyderabadi rice dishes, biryanis.
Explore this interesting structure, which almost seems out of place in the Indian countryside. Constructed by a Christian reverend, the palace was later bought by the royal family of Mysore as a residence. Built in the Tudor style, the Palace features elaborate arches, castle-like walls and turrets, and a series of grounds modeled after an English country estate.
Take a journey through Central India, passing through Mumbai, Hampi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad on this 11-day luxury journey. You’ll sleep in some of India’s most luxurious hotels, including the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, spend time in Bollywood, visit the ancient ruins of Golkonda, and rock climb in Hampi.
Head to sunny South India for 12 days of luxury travel. You’ll explore Mumbai, taking in the dazzling, world-famous Bollywood, then head to the backwaters of Kerala where you’ll step aboard a luxury Kettuvallam. Interact with locals, shop in markets, and view ancient temples while staying in luxurious Taj hotels.
Take in the best of South India’s culture on this 14-day luxury journey from Mumbai to Madurai. You’ll peruse bustling markets, explore UNESCO-listed ancient ruins in Hampi, and enjoy the colonial charms of Pondicherry as you feel like royalty sleeping in some of India’s most luxurious Taj hotels.
Spend nearly an entire month - 26 days - traveling in luxury through India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. You’ll visit religiously-important and UNESCO-listed sites including temples and palaces, watch baby sea turtles hatch in Tangalle, and relax at your luxury beachside resort on the stunning Kaafu Atoll.
The Golden Chariot
Guests aboard The Golden Chariot will have the unique chance to see Southern India at its best, with gorgeous scenery and traditional culture unfolding before their eyes. Guests can choose between two seven-night journeys, both of which include excursions, meal stops and overnight stays in exotic locations including jungle resorts, ancient temples, wildlife reserves and shopping destinations. On-board comforts within the carriages named after mighty Indian dynasties include cozy cabins decorated with a dash of historic style and fitted with all the mod-cons where guests can retire after a long day’s exploring. A choice of two restaurants will keep diners’ palates happy with menus full of delicious delights suitable for vegetarians and more meaty eaters. Active passengers can get their exercise fix in the well-equipped gym, while those who prefer to relax can peruse the treatments on offer in the spa or simply unwind with a carefully crafted cocktail in the bar car.
Set on a luxurious, sprawling compound far from the chaos of downtown Bangalore, Clarks Exotica features 132 comfortable, tastefully furnished rooms and suites. All rooms include high-speed Internet, satellite channels, LCD televisions, and views of the surrounding, manicured gardens or the lush Nandhi hills – once a summer retreat for officials of the British Raj. Dining facilities include Blue Alps, an elegant fusion restaurant that serves a range of cuisines from around the globe, as well as Illusion, an upmarket bar overlooking an infinity pool. Clarks Exotica also features a fully equipped gym, complete with free weights, exercise machines, and personal training; in addition, there is a full service spa and salon specializing in the latest treatments, facials, and massages. Clarks Exotica is located a short, twenty-minute drive from Bangalore International Airport.
A true spiritual oasis in India, the boutique yoga retreat Shreyas Resort is spread over 25 acres of landscaped gardens. Accommodations at Shreyas are, in accordance with its philosophies, designed with serenity and tranquility in mind: there are garden cottages surrounded by trees and surrounding private, walled courtyards; poolside suites located adjacent to an infinity pool and Jacuzzi; and a three-bedroom cottage for large groups. In addition to its extensive menu of yoga classes, Shreyasâ€™s spa offers a range of massages, including Balinese and Thai, Ayurvedic rejuvenations, and various scrubs and masks. The resortâ€™s delicious cuisine is completely vegetarian, tailor-made to each guestâ€™s specific needs and requirements, and alcohol is not served or permitted on the grounds. Repeat guests are frequent and many cite the property's warm, welcoming atmosphere as the main reason for returning. Shreyas is approximately 1.5 hours from Bangalore airport (BLR).
Taj West End
Set amidst twenty acres of gardens, this luxury hotel in central Bangalore was the cityâ€™s first hotel. Constructed in 1887, the Taj West End has been meticulously preserved throughout the decades, and remains a fine example of colonial-era luxury, opulence, and hospitality. Each of the Tajâ€™s ninety-one rooms feature twenty-four hour room service, electronic safes, mini-bar, a plasma television with satellite channels, telephones with an international calling capability, and queen size beds. On-site restaurants include Blue Ginger, which serves refined, elegant versions of classic Vietnamese food within a tasteful, atmospheric setting; Masala Klub, which features light, refreshing twists on traditional north and south Indian dishes; Mynt, which offers refreshing, authentic Mediterranean cuisine; and Blue Bar, an open air bar located in the gardens adjacent to Blue Ginger. Other amenities include a business center, a fully-equipped fitness center, swimming pools, and a full-service spa. The Taj West End is located approximately 45 minutes away from Bangalore airport (BLR).
For a glimpse of life as royalty, stay at the grand, palatial fortress that is the Leela. Set within nine acres of landscaped, manicured gardens punctuated with stone sculptures, lotus lily ponds, and waterfalls, each of the Leelaâ€™s 357 rooms feature broadband internet and wi-fi, a mini bar, in-room safe, satellite television, and plush beds. Dining options include the Javamar, an opulent, luxurious eatery that offers traditional northern and southern Indian cuisine; Citrus, a crisply decorated, vibrant restaurant that serves Mediterranean fare, including pastas and wood-fired pizzas; Zen, a tastefully designed venue serving Asian specialties, including dim sum, yakitori, and many others; and the Library Bar, an outdoor bar set in a plush, opulent country-club setting. Amenities include a fully-equipped spa, gym, and outdoor swimming pool. The Leela Palace Bangalore lies 28 miles (45 kilometers) from Bangalore airport (BLR).