Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is often referred to as the ‘Garden City’ because of the numerous parks and gardens that dot the localities of the city. It is also considered as a major information technology (IT) hub of the country and thus called the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Kempe Gowda, a feudal ruler affiliated to the Vijayanagara kingdom, first established a mud fort, which turned out to be the foundation of the present day city. The city passed through a myriad of rulers ranging from the Marathas, Mughals and Mysore rulers before becoming a part of independent India.
Budget Hotels in Bangalore
There are a couple of good budget hotels in the city. Some of the options which are worth a try are Suntrupthi Residency (Tariff – Rs. 950), Citizen Lodge (Tariff – Rs. 850), The Royal Nest (Tariff – Rs. 900), Vijaya Residency (Tariff – Rs. 900) and others.
The official language of Bangalore is Kannada. Hindi, English, Telugu and Tamil are also understood and widely spoken.
Events in Bangalore
The important festivals of the area are Pongal in January, Karaga in April, Ganesh Chathurthi in August-September, Diwali in October-November, the fasting month of Ramadan, the two Eid(s), Easter and Christmas.
Places to See in Bangalore
Some of the places worth trying out in Bangalore are Bangalore Palace, Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park, Bannerghatta National Park,Vidhana Soudha, Seshadari Iyer Memorial, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Bull Temple, ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, Meenakshi Sundaram Temple, Holy Trinity Church and St. Mary’s Basilica. Wonderla Amusement Park at a distance of 28 km is popular with youngsters and children looking for a break on weekends.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport at a distance of 36 km.
Bangalore City Junction Railway Station is the major railway station in the city.
There is bus service running from almost everywhere in south India to Bangalore city. State transport buses as well as private operators ply their buses to and fro the city. SRS Travels, Kallada Travels and SRM, Travels are some of the major operators in the city as well as the region. Do away with standing in ticket counters and opt for online bus reservation facility instead.
A village near Sirsi in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka Sodhe also known as Sodha, Sonda, Swadi houses the Sodhe Matha, which was set up by Swami Sri Vadirajatirtha. A quaint village surrounded by lakes and lush green meadows, Sonda has many ancient temples that is steadily attracting pilgrims. The Sonda Mutt is situated very close to the lake known as the Hayagriva Samudra.
Places to Stay
While there are not many hotels or lodges in Sonda, travellers can stay at Sirsi and drive down to the Mutt. Places like Samrat Guest House, Jayashree Lodge and Madhuvana Hotel offer accommodations for Rs.500 onwards.
The annual festivals like Sankranthi and Navrathri are celebrated in a grand scale here.
Kannada is the Local Language here.
Places to Visit
The Hayagriva Samudra lake, the Dvaja Sthamba, Rama Thrivikrama temple, 'Dhavala Ganga' pushkarini and smaller 'Sheethala Ganga' tank are located within 1-2kms of the village bus stand.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is at Hubli (111kms).
The nearest railway station is at Haveri (100 kms).
Sonda Bus stand has bus service to Bangalore and Sirsi. Private bus operators like SRE Travels, Varalakshmi Tours & Travels, Sugama Tourists and Seabird Tourists run regular buses to and from the village. When you book your bus ticket online you don’t need to go to ticket counters and stand in long queues.