Explore historical monuments in Bangalore
As much as a city is recognized by its significant points of interest, the real essence of the place lies in the not-so-known or lesser known attractions. The City of Gardens, Bangalore is home to few such palaces, monuments, and architecture of historical significance. With its profound influence on art, culture, and politics, the tech-city of India has largely contributed to the country’s history.
Whether you are a local or a tourist, you couldn’t give these 10 lesser known historical monuments a miss.
Besides the natural beauty on and around the premises, the irony of this place is the park itself. Originally a jail, the Freedom Park is paramount to Bangalore’s historical legacy. Formerly, this site of Central Jail had seen captivity of many opposition leaders and protestors. Today, the park is actually used for social protests and political demonstrations, whatsoever. Take a tour across its 16-acre ground, around the jail museum, recreational center, and amphitheater to discover more.
Like the capital and other metro cities, the British rule and its culture were quite profound in the city of Bangalore too. And that is quite prominent on its archaic colonial structures. The Mayo Hall is one such iconic edifice, standing amidst the imposing 21st-century buildings. Made in honor of Lord Mayo, the 4th Viceroy of India, this two-storied structure flanks, imperial style architecture, stone arches, and Tuscan columns. The interiors of the hall have still preserved the ornate furnishings and chandeliers. Once regarded as one of the most elegant architectures of the city, the Mayo Hall still stands as a depiction of its regal past.
Yet another significant but forgotten landmark of the city, Bangalore Town Hall is an imposing structure. Built in 1933, by Sir Ismail, under the patronage of Maharaja Krishna Rajendrawodeyer, the Town Hall displays neoclassical style of architecture with a massive porch and Greco-Roman columns. You can explore the massive auditorium which used to house 1,000 guests. The building is presently called the Sir K.P Puttannachetty Town Hall, after the former president of the Bangalore municipality and can accommodate an audience of 800.
Daly Memorial Hall
Dedicated to Sir Hugh Daly, a resident of the Mysore State, this public meeting place served as the site for Mythic Society. An association of like-minded British and Indians, this Society would gather at the Daly Hall and discuss history, culture, lifestyle and the future of India. You might find mention of some great men like Rabindranath Tagore, C.V. Raman, and Mahatma Gandhi among others, in the building’s keepsakes. As of today, the Daly Memorial Hall is huge public library preserving about 40,000 books on Indian history, arts, culture, folklore, anthropology, politics, archeology and more. If you want to spend a quiet afternoon, immersed in India’s past and present, there’s nothing better than this place.
Omkar Clock Tower
Yes, we do have quite a few clock towers in our country, inspired by their western counterparts. But the one in Omkar Hills, in the south of Bangalore city, is the biggest clock tower in India and the second biggest in the world, after Big Ben of London.
Not many state assembly halls appeal to the general tourist. But the one here in Bangalore is way beyond, anything that you would have ever seen. The state legislature building of Karnataka, the Vidhana Soudha most certainly is of immense political and historical significance. Built in 1951, this iconic structure is nothing less of a palatial one, with intricately carved stone arches, pillars and pediments flaunting the typical Neo-Dravidian and Indo-Saracenic styles. The entire area of the building spread across a whopping 245,000 feet, was one of the first prominent public structures to be made in the state. If you want to view the elegance of Vidhana Soudha at its best, do visit on Sunday evenings and public holidays when the monumental building in aglow with colorful lights.
St. Mary’s Basilica
When we talk of iconic colonial architecture, churches and cathedrals always take the lead. St. Mary’s Basilica is one such structure. The oldest church of Bangalore, this basilica was originally an unassuming chapel, built in 1811. Eventually, with devotees flocking from far and wide, the chapel was transformed into a massive church and remains an architectural masterpiece. The classic Gothic construction, with ornamental motifs, arches, the elegantly designed columns and spires and the stained glass windows, collectively make for a magnificent structure in the middle of a concrete landscape.
Originally the home of Rev J Garrett, who built the place, the entire palace was bought by the royal family of Mysore. The palace was built in the Tudor style architecture. The magnificent palace is open to the public and you can also take guided tours around this royal residence. Apart from being gorgeous to look at, the palace also offers an insight into Bangalore’s history and the people who shaped it.