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It was India's IT boom that really brought Bangalore to world attention, but the capital of the southern state of Karnataka, at the southern end of the Deccan plateau, has always been a cosmopolitan city. In the 19th century it was known as the "Garden City" because of its many parks and gardens and gradually began to attract grand residents. Since the 1990s it has been re-christened "India's Silicon Valley" and has sprouted shopping malls, bars and fast-food joints - particularly in the area around Brigade Road - but it still has excellent traditional arts and crafts, some fine colonial buildings, and is an ideal urban gateway to northern Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Bangalore is still full of green spaces, including the famous Lalbagh Gardens, and its altitude - 1,000 metres - means that its climate is relatively cool. Main sights include the Bull Temple, Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace and the Dravidian-style Venkataramanasvami Temple.

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I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson