Travel Postcard: 48 hours in India's IT hub Bangalore

Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:05am EDT
 
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By Varsha Tickoo

BANGALORE (Reuters Life!) - It may seem that work is all there is to do in Bangalore, India's IT hub and the world's outsourcing centre, but this city also knows how to have fun.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors make the most of a weekend stay.

FRIDAY

7 p.m. - Beat the weekday blues at the open-air Blue Bar in Hotel Taj West End on Race Course Road (080 6660-5660). Enjoy world-class cocktails and an impressive array of wines surrounded by lush gardens and pools. Then walk across the foyer to the hotel's Blue Ginger restaurant, a branch of the Vietnamese culinary brand, for some delicious oriental fare.

SATURDAY

9 a.m. - Breakfast at any of the "darshini" restaurants that can be found all over the city to get a real taste of Bangalore. It's often standing-room only at these open air eateries, where you can get a quick Indian meal of idli (a steamed rice flour patty), wada (a deep-fried lentil and flour patty) or various dosas (salty pancakes made of rice flour and fried in oil), served with sambar, a spicy lentil-vegetable soup and a spicy coconut chutney. This is best washed down with south India's signature sweet and milky coffee.

11 a.m. - Hop onto the autorickshaw, the ubiquitous means of transport, and go to Bangalore Palace, built by the Wadiyar dynasty and modeled on England's Windsor Castle. (here

monuments.asp) More than 100 years old, the palace was built as a holiday home for the state's last monarchs before the British. It teems with elegant glass chandeliers, Belgian mirrors and antique furniture, some of which has been recently refurbished. Hunting trophies, including an elephant's head with tusks, also abound. The palace is lined with oil paintings, many of them female nudes painted by the maharajas themselves.   Continued...