Bengaluru (previously Bangalore) is the go-ahead, trend-setting capital of Karnataka state. As the home of India’s own Silicon Valley, the city has been at the forefront of the country’s IT revolution for the past two decades or more, and has a noticeably upbeat feel, with a hi-rise skyline of glass-sided towers to match.
Traces of Bengaluru’s pre-colonial past include a scattering of splendid medieval temples, among them the 800-year-old Dharmarayaswamy near the centre. Known as ‘The Garden City’ in British times, Bengaluru also has some pleasant parks where you can escape the traffic. Created in 1760 by Sultan Haider Ali and later enlarged by experts from Kew, the Mughal-inspired Lalbagh Botanical Gardens hosts regular flower shows in its giant glass house, modelled on London’s Crystal Palace.