The city of Bangalore is India’s third largest city and the state capital of Karnataka, known for being a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis at the helm of the country’s IT-boom. Bangalore is a shopper’s haven overrun with big malls and shopping districts, as well as a food lover’s paradise with one of the highest concentrations of places to eat in the continent. Spotted with parks and natural lakes, Bangalore is alternately known as ‘The Garden City of India.’ Recently voted as the most livable metro in the country, Bangalore is known as‘Pensioner’s Paradise’ on the one hand and as ‘Start-up City,’ on the other, attracting youth from across the world with its trending markets and rapid availability of jobs. With Bangalore’s ever-doubling IT infrastructure, it is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India.
Another aspect of Bangalore is soaked in the history of bygone, ancient cultures. Bangalore has been peopled for up to 3000 years, bearing megalithic monuments that treasure its rich past. Bangalore, as we know it today, was established in 1537 by KempeGowda I, who constructed a well-planned city within an oval mud fort in the area that is today known as City Market. Gradually, Bangalore grew into a commercial center and a chief part of the silk industry. Over successive centuries the Marathas, Mughals, Wodeyars and the Mysore Sultanate, all did their bit to develop the city further. In 1809 the British set up a cantonment in Bangalore, drawn by its pleasant weather and central location.
The earliest recorded usage of the name Bengaluru is found in today’s ‘Old Bangalore,’ in a 9th century temple. According to legend, King ViraBallala was once lost in the jungles that once overran these parts. He was wandering, tired and hungry, when an old woman revived him with her hospitality and a plate of boiled beans. Out of gratitude the King consequently named the area ‘Benda KaaluUru’ (Town of Boiled Beans). It was only in 1831, when the British seized Mysore from the ruling Wodeyars that the capital was shifted to Bangalore. The anglicization of Bengaluru turned it into Bangalore until it was recently reverted back to its original.
Although Bangalore is not a popular tourist destination, there are many sites worth taking a tour of. The legislative House of Karnataka, VidhanaSoudha, is one of the Chief attractions of Bangalore. It was built during the 1950s using granite in a neo-Dravidian style of architecture. Other places of historical interest include the Bangalore Palace, constructed by the Mysore Maharajahs and Tipu Sultan’s Palace, built around 1790 as Tipu’s summer retreat.
A tour of Bangalore must also include Lalbagh Botanical Gardens- built by Hyder Ali in 1760, and the Bannerghatta National Park- a 25,000-acre zoological park one and a half hours away from Bangalore City. Educational tours of Bangalore may include the Vishweshwaraiah Industrial and Technological Museum, the State Archaeological Museum, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, the Venkatappa Art Gallery and the Karnataka ChitrakalaParishad. Religious tours of Bangalore cover the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi, the Maha Bodhi Society Temple- a replica of the Bodh Gaya Stupa, the ISCKON temple, the Maruthi Temple, the GaviGangadeshwara Cave Temple as well as many other temples, mosques and churches of historic significance.
Due to an average elevation of 920 meters above the sea level, Bangalore enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. Although summers can get hot with dry heat waves, it seldom exceeds 35 degrees Celsius and hovers around a mean temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
Kozhikode pronounced also known as Calicut P K Travels, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district. During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Calicut was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District.
Kozhikode has a population of 436,556 as per 2001 census, with an extended metropolitan population of about 0.9 million, making it the third largest urban agglomeration and the third largest city in Kerala. According to data compiled by economics research firm Indicus Analytics on residences, earnings and investments, Kozhikode ranked as the second best city in India to reside in. Indicus considered six parameters – health, education, environment, safety, public facilities and entertainment. Kozhikode was ranked eleventh among Tier-II Indian cities in job creation by a study conducted by ASSOCHAM in 2007. Kozhikode was declared the first litter- free city in India in 2004. A 'Hunger-Free Kozhikode' project was initiated in January 2009 following which Kozhikode was declared the country's first hunger-free city. Kozhikode is expected to come under the radar of the IT industry with the development of Cyberpark by the Kerala government. This will be the third IT 'Hub' in the state developed on the lines of Thiruvananthapuram Technopark and Kochi InfoPark, Kochi and is expected to take off by mid 2011.
Places of interest is
A view of Calicut beach from the southern end
In Calicut P K Travels beach is the most popular retreat for locals. In spite of beautification works and lax coastal management, it remains unexploited and visually pleasing. This shore has been a witness to many historic events, including pitched naval battles and the arrival of ships from distant lands. Uddanda, the Sanskrit poet in Zamorin's court, said "The ocean, the father of the goddess of riches [Indira is a synonym of Lakshmi] seeing that his daughter has settled down in Kukkatakroda [Sanskrit for Kozhikode], is embracing the place, presenting it with shipful of jewels". Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Indira Gandhi and Krishna Menon have addressed people here. The 'Beach Road' was renamed Gandhi Road from Evan's Road after Mahatma Gandhi's visit in January 1934. Two dilapidated piers can be seen extending into the sea. The 'Iron Screw-pile' pier to the north was built in 1871, 400 ft long (120 m) with a 'T' end. Numerous cranes on these piers once loaded spices and other goods destined to foreign ports like Aden, Genoa, Oslo, London, Bremen, Hamburg, New York etc. Near the northern pier is a park maintained by the Lions club, a children's park, the lighthouse with a seafarer's memorial and a marine aquarium. Further north to the Lions' Park is a dirty fishing area where once was located a French Loge with factories and French settlements. Near the south pier is a place called 'Horse's Jumping Point' where horses brought from Gujarat and Arabia were made to jump into the water, swim and would gallop along the shore and be displayed for sale. The beach offers a pleasant view at times of fishermen entering the sea with their tiny boats, fighting the waves and returning with their catch.
Mananchira and nearby institutions
Main gate of Mananchira Square View of Mananchira from ComTrust
Mananchira in calicut P K Travels is a large tank in the heart of the city. Mananchira or Mana Vikraman Tank (Manan or Mana Vikraman being the Coronation name of the Zamorins) seems to have been the drinking water source for the entire Palace complex (previously located at the Kottaparambu Women and Children Hospital). Surrounding the Mananchira are several important institutions. The Town Hall was constructed in 1891 by the salt merchants (previously called Salt Abkari Town Hall) and has been an important stage for several popular agitations and ceremonies during the freedom movement and thereafter. The Pattalapalli or 'Military Mosque' was originally built for the Mysore soldiers who had surrounded the Palace during the 'Mysore invasion'. The Comtrust Textile Factory (previously the Commonwealth Weaving Factory) was established in 1884 by the Basel Mission from Germany. To the western side of Mananchira is located the C.S.I. Church, Basel Mission Complex and the BEM (Basel Evangelical Mission) Girls' School (1848). Once the main courtyard of the Zamorin Ruler's palace, the Mananchira ground along with the older Ansari Park (named after the freedom fighter Ansari) has been developed into a well- maintained park called 'Mananchira Square'. It has a green carpet lawn fenced with laterite- sculpted walls. The entire complex is circled by 250 lamp posts designed in 'colonial' style. The 'Square' has an artificial stream, a musical fountain, an open-air theatre and a music stage.
S.M. Street in calicut P K Travels is a buzzing shopping and commercial lane immediately north of Mananchira Square. The name Sweetmeat is thought to have been derived from a kind of sweet (locally called 'Halwa') which was called 'Sweetmeat' by European traders. S.M. street, like the lanes of Veliyangadi, is about 600 years old and was most likely occupied by the residences and shops of sweet manufacturers from Gujarath. A now-abandoned Parsi cemetery called Anjuman, most likely built in the 17th century, is located here and finds mention in William Logan's Malabar.
Sarovaram in calicut is an eco-friendly development adjacent to Canoly Canal. The project has been developed with an eco-friendly theme and the construction has been done in traditional Kerala style. It is one of the more popular spots in the city to spend an evening.
Tali Siva Temple
The entrance to the Tali Siva temple at Calicut
The Tali Siva temple in Calicut was one of the two Brahmanical royal temples patronized by the Zamorin (the other being the Valayanaattu Kavu) and to this day remains one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Kozhikode. The temple's date of origin is uncertain but was most likely built during the foundation of the city itself in the 12th century or before. The temple is surrounded by gigantic walls of 'elephant belly' (aana palla) type with broad base and narrower neck at the top. One of the two tanks attached to the temple can be seen to the right. The temple hosts the annual 'competition for scholars' called Revathi Pattathanam attended by eminent scholars and philophers of Bharatiya Mimamsa, Prabhakara Mimamsa, Vedanta Mimamsa and Vyakarana. The temple was also the site for the famous anti-caste agitation of 1911 organized by Krishna Vakil (editor of Mitavadi) and advocate Manjeri Rama Ayyar for the rights of 'low-caste' people to use the road between the tank and the temple.
Panniyankara Bhagavati Temple
The Bhagavaty temple on a hillock on the southern side of Kallayi river is one of the two pre-Calicut temples known to historians, built at least two centuries before the foundation of the city. This area must have come under the territory of Porlathiri during the reign of Ceraman Perumal. It is a typical Chera period structure with a square garbhagriha and mandapa and probably had a currambalam and prakara (outer walls) that are no more. Two granite slabs dating to the 10-11th century A.D. were recovered recently carrying three inscriptions in Vattezhuthu, an old Malayalam language. One is a record of a land grant of the Chera king Ravi Kota, who was coronated in 1021 A.D.Mentioned in the inscription are functionaries like Adhikarar (officials), Alkoyil (king's representative) and Poduval (temple secretary) and avirodham (a system of unanimous resolution), kalam (an old measure), etc. The second inscription dating back to 883-913 A.D. records a decision by the Taliyar and Tali Adhikarikal of 'Panriyankarai' to conduct seven Tiruvakkiram (sacred feast) at the shrine of Patari (female deity). The third inscription records a unanimous decision to transfer some land belonging to the daughter of the Chief Queen of Cheraman Perumal for the conduct of Tiru amritu (sacred feast).
Thiruvannur Siva Temple
This ancient and beautiful Siva temple has an apsidal garbhagriha, decorated with typical Chola pillars and pilasters, panjaras and vyalimukhas. The central shrine has escaped any repair or change and is relatively well preserved. An inscription unearthed records a land grant given to Tirumannur Patarakar in the eighth regnal year of Raja Raja Chera. The record has been dated to 1044 A.D. The deity appears to have been a Jain Tirthankara (since the rules of Thirukkunavaye, the premier Jain shrine of Kerala in Kodungalloor, are cited in the punitive clauses). The Jain temple must have been converted into a Siva temples sometime in the 11th century before the arrival of the Zamorins.The apsidal shrine and other features are attributable to this period.
Kappad Beach Vasco da Gama landed here at Kappad in 1498
In calicut, Kappad (Kappakkadavu) Beach is located 16 km to the north of Kozhikode along the Kannur road at Tiruvangoor. Apart from the fact that it is a beautiful rocky beach with high potential for tourism, it is the site where Vasco Da Gama landed on 27 May 1498 with three vessels and 170 men. A monument erected here commemorates this 'historic landing'. However, many authors have questioned the emphasis given to the Portuguese sailor who was one amongst hundreds of traders who reached the shores of Calicut and was guided by a Portuguese-speaking Arab.An ancient temple on a hillock, facing the sea, is an added attraction.
An Uru under construction
In Calicut, Beypore is a small port town situated 10 km south of Calicut at the mouth of Chaliyar river. Beypore is famous for its ancient shipbuilding industry that constructed the Uru, trading vessels more popular during the medieval periods and still used by the Arabs and others for commerce and tours. The place was formerly known as Vaypura and Vadaparappanad. Tippu Sultan named the town "Sultan Pattanam". It is one of the important ports of Kerala and has been an major trading centre for centuries. The dilapidated Kovilakam (palace) of the Parappanad Rajas and a small Basheer Museum (former house of the writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer) can be found here. Towards the sea shore is a big complex that includes a port, a boat yard, a fish landing platform, breakwater project, marine ware shop, ship- breaking unit, etc. There are two man-made extensions to the sea to facilitate easy access for fishing boats. The 2 km breakwater made of stone is another attraction. The Beypore lighthouse is located to the south of the Chaliyar.