The best way to get acquainted with Bangalore is walk through it. Apart from the state-run tours, you can try the other conducted tours and walks suggested here. However, if you want to avoid going behind the usual backpacking crowd with a well-thumbed lonely planet book, try some of suggested walks given below.
1. City Swaps
This is a guided bus tour modelled on London's open top double-decker buses.
2. Bangalore Walks
The Bangalore Walks group organises walks in the city that aim at understanding the history and culture. Go for a walk on the MG Road and learn more about its Victorian history or take a walk through Lalbagh and discover more about the trees here. The walks usually end sumptuous breakfast at one of the city's popular eateries.
3. Cubbon Park (Sri Chamarajendra Park)
Start at Vidhana Soudha and High Court area and take photographs in front of these iconic buildings. You enter Cubbon Park from here. The greenery all around is a welcome change from the city's noise and traffic. The Park is strewn with statues and government buildings. As you walk towards the Mallya Tower that looms large in the Bangalore Skyline, take a left and head towards the Queen Victoria Statue. There are archaeology, art and science museums on the right and at the entrance to the Queen Street, on the right is Bal Bhavan. If the walk has worked up an appetite, have a leisurely lunch at Koshy's on St Marks Road.
4. City Market
Walk through the hustle of City Market where all the fresh produce is sold. The entire area outside is mostly commercial. As you come out towards the KR Road, you can see the remnants of Bangalore Fort. Visit the Tipu's Palace nearby and ancient Venkataramana Temple beside it. Take a rickshaw or a bus from the Market to Basavanagudi and visit popular Dodda Ganesha temple and the mammoth Nandi's (Bull) temple. Walk through the narrow winding lane of DVG Road if you are fond of shopping.
5. North Bangalore - Malleswaram & Vasanthnagar
Walk along the commercial Sampige Road or the calmer Margosa Road. The area is dotted with temples and small eateries. Its wide array of shops that sells everything from textiles to vegetables is a middle-class shopper's delight. Down the 16th cross is Chowdiah Memorial Hall, a violin shaped building constructed in the memory of great violin maestro, Chowdiah. The place is a venue for many plays and cultural events. Across the road is the serene Sankey Lake. You can go boating here or just take a walk through the leafy avenue beside the lake. Adiga's on Sampige road serves good South Indian food and is an excellent place for lunch.
Palace Grounds, venue for innumerable music shows & events, is very near to Sankey Lake. There is a horse-riding academy in Palace Grounds. Take a walk through the historical Bangalore Palace. Built in Tudor architecture, it resembles the Windsor castle. Go through its Durbar Hall and experience the Mysorean Raj aura inside a typical English castle.
6. Kempegowda's Bangalore
Catch a bus to Majestic and walk through the narrow lanes of the pete. The Bangalore Fort does not exist anymore, but you can visit the areas that still retain the same names - chickpete, doddapete, balepete, akkipete, nagarethpete and upparpete. The whole place is a dense commercial area. Many wholesale traders do business here. It is also a shoppers paradise. You can shop for the elegant Mysore silk saree or buy a traditional Gold ornament at a better price here than from the retailers in your area. Anything from Interior decorators to second hand books can be found in this area. ⊕