Bangalore has natural parks, architectural landmarks, flowering trees, research institutions and shopping malls. But the city is nicknamed as City of Gardens as Bangalore has large number of parks and gardens. Bangalore is blessed with a pleasant climate. All these have made Bangalore a city of paradise for the tourists. The advent of large number of information technology companies in the past few decades has also turned the Garden City into a fast growing cosmopolitan city.
Now Bangalore is known by several aliases -- India's Silicon Valley, Shopper's Paradise, Air-conditioned City, Gourmet's Delight, Shopper's Hot Spot and Pub City.
The city was earlier known as Bengaluru and the British rulers changed it to Bangalore. According to legends, in the 11th century, Hoysala king Veer Ballala lost his way during his hunting expedition in the forest. A woman in the forest served the king boiled beans and he was apparently happy. The king named the place Benda-kaal-Uru, meaning the town of boiled beans and it was later known as Bengaluru. Now the city has got its original name Bengaluru. Bangalore was founded by Kempegowda in 1537.
Lal Bagh is a botanical garden frequented by visitors. Commissioned by the Hyder Ali in 1760, the park, situated in an area of 240 acres, is home for 1000 species of flora. The park has a wonderful Glass House. The Lal Bagh Rock there dates back to 3000 million years. Cubbon Park, located in the heart of the city, is home to numerous trees and plants.
Among the historical monuments, Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace is a two-storeyed ornate wooden structure. It was built in 1791. Bangalore Palace was constructed in 1862. It looks like a smaller replica of Windsor Castle in England. Mayo Hall, built in memory of Lord Mayo, is a symbol of British architecture. Among the newly-built buildings, Vidhan Soudha houses the state legislature of Karnataka. Built in 1956, it is an imposing granite building.
Bangalore is known for beautiful lakes. They include Ulsoor Lake which attracts large number of people every day. Sankey tank, Hesaraghatta Lake, Nagavara Lake, Yediyur Lake, Madiwala Lake, Hebbal Lake, Kempanbudi Lake and Varthur Lake are among the other lakes in Bangalore.
There are popular places of worship in the city for all religions. Among the temples are Bull Temple, built in the 16th century, and Shri Nimishamba Devi Temple. St. Marys Basilica is the oldest church in the Garden City. Infant Jesus Church is another popular church. Among the mosques are Jumma Masjid, Masjid-e-Khadrik and Dargah Hazarat Tawakkal Masjid. There is an ISKCON temple also.
Bangalore boasts of several IT parks and the famous Indian Institute of Science. It has also an innovative film city, Gandhi Bhawan, Ravindra Kalakshetra and Race Course.
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