Bangalore is India’s 6th largest city and has taken on many avatars over the centuries, starting with the town of wild beans (from which the name Bengaluru is derived), to pensioners paradise, to India’s garden city, to the IT Capital that it has boomed into today.
The original small town was founded by a legendary Chieftan from Vijayanagar, Kempe Gowda, in the early 16th century. The city primarily grew around 2 hubs: the old city on the west and the new cantonment on the east. The old city and the cantonment eventually merged to form the present city after the British left in 1947, and Bangalore became the capital city when Mysore state joined the Indian union in 1956.
Drawn by the mild climate, Bangalore became a preferred destination for pensioners to settle down especially after retiring from the armed forces. But the real impact of urbanization began to be felt in the early 1900’s, following Bangalore’s electrification on priority, when the city made a headstart in the fields of scientific research, advancement, and industrialization, thus attracting people from different parts of India began to migrate to Bangalore.
Between 1901-1991 the city expanded from 74.72 Sq. km. To 200 Sq. km. and the population increased from 0.16 million to 4.75 million. And so, not so gradually, the pensioners paradise transformed into a booming urban metropolis becoming more complex and diverse. It stands at over 10 million and is still the fastest growing city in the country. A recent McKinsey study says that by the year 2020 Bangalore will become the single largest IT cluster on the planet —overtaking the American Silicon Valley — with 2 million IT professionals, 6 million direct or indirect IT jobs, and $80 billion in IT exports.
It would be wrong to compare Bangalore with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, cities that have long preserved their history. So if you come in expecting monuments that blow your mind, then you will only be disappointed. Instead, you can expect Bangalore’s pleasant climate, friendly people, English speaking population (much more than most other big cities in India), easy-drinking and dining spots, great shopping, and fascinating curated cultural experiences.
Answering common questions and offering advice that can be very useful. If you don’t find the answer to your question, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan to move to the city, you should seriously consider joining FIVE OCEANS (www.fiveoceans.club), which is a lifestyle and social community that regularly organizes events and gets its members invited to the best do’s in the city.
Do not expect world-class tourist attractions, as it is more of a business/tech city which nonetheless has retained some of the British Raj cultures in charming little pockets, along with some green spaces, parks and interesting colonial architecture.
Getting an Indian visa is relatively straightforward, with standard immigration and customs procedures. Like most countries, all you need is a valid passport and an onward/return ticket. You’ll also need a visa, which some nationalities can now obtain on arrival. Other nationalities or those wishing to stay more than 30 days need to get their visa beforehand. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in India. If your passport is lost or stolen, immediately contact your country’s representative. Keep photocopies of your airline ticket and the identity and visa pages of your passport in case of an emergency. Even better, scan and email copies to yourself. Check with the Indian embassy in your home country for any special conditions that may exist for your nationality. A single entry visa valid for one month (VOA) is available at Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Trivandrum airports. However, to avail this facility, you need to apply online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 30 days before you are due to travel.
The fee is the US $60, and you have to upload a photograph as well as a copy of your passport. Travellers have reported being asked for documentation showing their hotel confirmation at the airport, though this is not specified on the VOA website. The VOA is valid from the date of arrival.