Sanctified with a healthy climate, plush greenery, architectural landmarks, shopping malls, restaurants and business opportunities, Bangalore is the ideal gateway to India and beyond.

Driving in from the airport, I could see that the traffic is crushing but if you choose a nice location to stay in you are sorted. Shangri-La Hotel, where I stayed, afforded me with someattractive views, including visions of the stunning Bangalore Palace and the sunken skyline.

The hotel is located just about half an hour from the airport and only a few minutes away from the beautiful Cubbon Park and marvellous UB City with its extravagance shops and exciting nightlife. As I walked inside, I was enthralled by the majestic standing and welldesigned interiors.

That evening was spent enjoying a drink and some taps at Shangri-La’s Hype Bar overlooking the city lights.

Lalbagh Botanical Garden

Indeed a botanical delight for anyone, who enjoys nature and gardens in particular, and a good place to go to even if you just want a morning or evening exercise walk. Many of the trees are 100 years old. A must see is the 200- million old fossil tree.

Make sure to visit the smaller gardens inside as they are quite interesting, particularly the Japanese and the Rose garden. As a matter of fact, the name Lal Bagh has been given to it for the wonderfully bloomed red roses that remain blooming all through the year.

Lalbagh also hasa large, clean lake with its fair share of resident ducks. One end of the lake is covered in exquisitely delicate looking wild pink lotuses. You may even spot kingfishers and other pretty birds at this spot. Do not forget your camera.

Bangalore Palace

Next day was spent on a sort of a history tour. During a visit to England, Chamaraja Wodeyar, the Maharaja of Mysore was inspired by the Windsor Castle in London, and along similar lines built this palace in Tudor style. The palace is well-known for its gracefully carved woodwork.

The inward walls of the Palace are also wreathed with paintings belonging to the mid-19th century. One of the ramparts of the Durbar Hall has a set of windows that are ornamented with stained glass.

The main attraction is an art gallery that displays several historical photos, including those of Viceroys, Maharajas and other royal personages and exquisite paintings and carvings.

Last supper

Yataii, which translates into “food stall” in Japanese, is an elegant restaurant with a not-to-be-missed Sake and Teppanyaki experience.

It is guaranteed to be a memorable experience, tasting superb contemporary and classic Japanese cuisine at this luxurious sky-high restaurant. It’s hard to go wrong with food in this restaurant ~ fresh sushi and sashimi, tempura delivered to your table still crackling and wagyu that melts in your mouth like butter.

Reserve a table by the window for spectacular city views ~ just like I did.

Fast facts

Best way to reach: There are many flights from Delhi.

Best place to stay: Shangri-La Hotel, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru. Tel: 08045126440