City Tours Historical Places

Best Historical Places in Bangalore that Offer a Glimpse into the City’s Past Heritage

Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace

Bangalore has emerged as the cultural heritage of the state of Karnataka and there is almost everything in or around this beautiful city, to satisfy the traveller in you. Consider seeing the many attractions dotting the city including several picturesque monuments, historical forts, pristine parks, art galleries and well-preserved museums. The special historical sites in the heart of the city manifest some of the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent. Make sure you visit these famous places in and around the ‘Garden City of India – Bangalore’, and make the most of your time here.

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Top 9 Historical Places in Bangalore:

  1. Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace
  2. Mayo Hall
  3. Somanathapura
  4. Devanahalli Fort
  5. Gudibanda Fort
  6. Chola Temples
  7. Attara Kacheri
  8. St. Mark’s Cathedral
  9. Bangalore Palace

1. Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace

A trip to this magnificent place is a journey into the past, and can serve as an adventure for the more tasteful visitor. The historical masterpiece located in the heart of Old Bangalore, served as the summer residence of the Mysore princely state emperor Tipu Sultan who is widely remembered as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’. The great Muslim military commander Hyder Ali set about its construction within the walls of the Bangalore Fort, and it was completed during the regime of Tipu Sultan in 1791.

This magnificent fort is replete with history dating back to the 18th century and has historical ruins belonging to Tipu Sultan’s era. The majestic fort features pure teak wood carvings, intricately carved arches and pillars and beautiful floral motifs adorned on the walls, typical of the Islamic architectural style. The steep walls and bastions in the fort were primarily erected only at key places to provide a natural shield.  

There is a small museum dedicated to various achievements of the ruler and his administration, magnificent figures, his clothes and his crown, incredible collection of paintings and other artwork.

Overall, the palace with its interesting art history, serves as an invaluable chronicle by man in the Indo-Islamic prehistoric times. This place is one of the must visit tourist places in Bangalore if you have an interest in Indian history and ancient culture, as it gives a sneak-peek into the slice of tradition amidst the modernization of the city.

Visiting Hours: All days, 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM

Entry fee: Indians 15 INR, Foreigners 200 INR

2. Mayo Hall

Mayo Hall

This historical landmark built in memory of Lord Mayo, the fourth Viceroy of India (1883), is located adjacent to the Public Utility Building on the busy MG road and served as an old council hall for Bangalore Municipal Corporation.

The iconic old two story building is graced with Italian chandeliers, elaborate furniture, exquisite Greek furnishings, pillared windows, beautiful consoles, Tuscan columns, wooden floors and stone arches, and is one of the famous places in Bangalore. The property was the first of the many structures built in the memory of the British governor across the country, following which many more buildings including Mayo Hospitals and Mayo Schools were started in other parts of the country.

The remarkable landmark is situated on a hilly area and once uphill, it offers a beautiful landscape of the neighbouring high-rises and modern structures like Bangalore race course, Parade grounds, Brigade grounds and Lake Ulsoor. It encompasses both government offices and the Kempegowda Museum. One can find the paintings of famous British administrators and local inhabitants who contributed exigently to the development and administration of the metropolitan city.

Visiting Hours: Weekdays, 9.30 AM to 6:00 PM

Entry fee: N/A

3. Somanathapura

Somanathapura

Designed under the rule of the Hoysala dynasty, this small hamlet is one of the best places to visit near Bangalore due to the religious significance attached to it. Located at a distance of just 134 km from the cosmopolitan city, Somanathapura is a peaceful town, and is known for being home to the ancient Keshava and Chennakeshava temples that speak out loud of the architectural expertise of the Hoysala dynasty. The temples feature fine architecture and a large repository of beautiful sculptures and carvings adorning the walls and ceilings, dating back to few centuries.

The rustic ambiance of the temple, the tinkling bells, the strong aroma of ‘dhup’ and the prayers and rituals practiced inside the holy premises make you feel blessed and one with the higher Self. The temple is visited throughout the year by spiritual seekers looking for peace and serenity of mind.

It is a treat for trekkers and nature lovers and one can get a glimpse of the pristine grandeur and poise this place has to offer. For adventure seekers, the neighbouring mountain and the deep dense forests present an excellent opportunity to explore and trek on its meandering ways. It is advised to carry your own umbrellas, sunglasses, bottle of water and some snacks to eat along the way.

Visiting Hours: All days, 6.30 AM to 7:00 PM

Entry fee: N/A

4. Devanahalli Fort

This small fort is famed for its century old temples and provides architectural and historical association of great magnitude. Located at an hour’s drive from the city, it is one of the popular tourist places in Bangalore, and day tourists flock here in large numbers. The idyllic place is a must visit if you are seeking spiritual and mental bliss. The fort is spread over an area of 20 acres and like most other South Indian structures, it also boasts of a large tower with integrate carvings and there are various cut plasterwork on either sides of the main dwar of the fort.

The old world charm was captured by the Marathas from the Dalawai in 1747, and has a rich history associated with it. The fort was subsequently taken over by Hyder Ali, and finally, passed onto his son Tipu Sultan. Devahahalli fort is a great paradigm of the extensive battles fought for the rule of Bangalore.

Visiting Hours: All days, 7.00 AM to 6.30 PM

Entry fee: N/A

5. Gudibanda Fort

Looking for some other promising famous places to visit near Bangalore? Drive to Gudibanda Fort, located at a distance of around 80 km from the city, an ideal destination for trekkers and history enthusiast owing to its accessibility, ease of trek and breath-taking views. There is a cornucopia of hidden treasures, nature trails, forests and temples to be explored on the fort, waiting for you to be explored!

The magnificent fort was constructed 400 years ago in the 17th century, and has stood the test of time. It is circumscribed by huge walls and gates and interconnecting escape routes which would aid soldiers to flee in case of emergency. Once uphill, the fort offers a beautiful landscape of the neighbouring villages and the Byrasagara reservoir and there is a Shiva temple, which is believed to be one of the 108 Jyotirlingas. The fort’s dominant feature is the rainwater harvesting during the monsoons and winters, with around 19 rock ponds at different levels of the fort, providing a serene, rural and peaceful vibe associated with it.

Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, photographer or a plain nature lover, this amazing place will provide you with opportunities to spend your share of time with nature and appreciate it. For adventure seekers, the huge mountain and its surrounding dense forests present an excellent opportunity to explore and trek on its meandering ways. Make sure you plan a visit in such a way that you can enjoy the serene and calming view of sunrise or sunset from atop.

Visiting Hours: All days, 7.00 AM to 6.30 PM

Entry fee: N/A

6. Chola Temples

The Chola dynasty reigned supreme over the South Indian city for over a century and built numerous places of religious significance across the city. These historical temples in Karnataka are of rich cultural significance and continue to be studied and observed by archaeological seekers and scholars.

The sacred temples including the Old Madiwala Someshwara temple, the Halasuru Someshwara temple and Sri Ananda Lingeshwara temple are some such temples, that are more than 1500 years old, and are thronged by devotees round the year. The temples depict the early medieval South Indian temple architecture with beautiful sculptures and intricate carvings typical of the golden era.

Spend few minutes of quiet time to meditate and bring out your spiritual self, introspect about your journey, revel in the serenity or simply soak in the relaxing aura. 

Visiting Hours: All days, 6.30 AM to 7.30 PM

Entry fee: N/A

7. Attara Kacheri

Attara Kacheri

This two-storey stone edifice, whose construction goes back to the British rule, was completed under the reign of Tipu Sultan and is currently home to the Karnataka high court.

Its history dates back to the 17th century, when the kingdom of Mysore was divided into 18 kacheris (or departments), influenced by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb’s style of administration. Since then the Hindi name Attara (or 18) was coined to Mysore governance. The 18 departments presided over all the public related issues, revenues and military. Following Tipu Sultan’s demise, the administration style reverted to ancient Hindu law practice, but the public offices continued to be named Attara Kacheri.

Built in the European classical style, the fierce red look of the two storied building along with the Gothic style of architecture, offers an insight into history through its exotic treasure trove of coins, paintings and scriptures, and is one of the best places to visit in Bangalore.

As you walk past the corridors of this centuries old structure, you will not fail to notice the elegant European faces that adorn the beautifully designed banisters of the staircase, the vibrant red uniforms of the patrons and the lush green gardens surrounding the building.

Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM

Entry fee: N/A

8. St. Mark’s Cathedral

Located in the heart of the city, St Mark’s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Bangalore and is named after Saint Mark, who is believed to be one of Jesus’ students and the first gospel writer. The 200 years old Cathedral is influenced by the 17th century St Paul’s Cathedral in London and has a seating capacity of 400.

The exquisite colonial architecture, exquisite woodwork, stained glass work and fancy carvings done on the ceilings and domes add to the beauty of this church.

The cathedral is open for anyone irrespective of religion or faith and the large gardens of the cathedral with plenty of trees offers a peaceful refugee from the rat race of life. To make the most of your visit, plan to go when the choir is practicing or a wedding ceremony is underway.

Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM

Entry fee: N/A

9. Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace

Mentioned in the same breath as the royal British home in Berkshire, Windsor Castle, the Bangalore Palace is known for its unique blend of architectural excellence, cultural heritage and modernity. It took close to a century to complete this historical marvel and the magnificent palace finally took shape in 1874. Today, its huge grounds are open to public to host events and soirees and its ballroom is also offered for private parties. A perfect blend of Tudor and Scottish Gothic style architecture, it is an epitome of architectural beauty and without second thoughts, one of the best tourist places in Bangalore. The wooden carvings of the palace along with beautiful interiors, fortified towers, relief paintings on the ceilings, battlements and turrets, both inside and outside, showcase the royal culture in different ways.

Spread across 45,000 square feet, the ballast is situated amidst busy surroundings and offers an opportunity to explore the splendour of the kings during that time.

Visiting Hours: All days, 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM

Entry fee: Indians 230 INR, Foreigners 460 INR

So, now you are all set to explore the history of Bangalore as per your taste and budget. Make sure you book your hotel and flight in advance to get the best deals and locations.

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