In recent decades Bengaluru has experienced a seismic societal shift, predominantly due to the endless job opportunities presented by computer software and back-office services. The population grew by nearly forty percent to 5.7 million in the decade ending in 2001, and is now approaching eight and a half million. By late 2007 every fifth city resident hailed from a different state and Bengaluru‘s software industry had become a US$8 billion behemoth.

Many locals blame IT professionals for skyrocketing living costs, choking pollution and the rise of a liberal, West-leaning bar and disco culture, not to mention traffic jams, regular power failures and crippling seasonal water shortages. In addition, due to higher salaries and bright futures, IT professionals are favoured in the competitive marriage market, creating further tension.

Yet hope springs eternal. After more than two decades of hand-wringing and debate, the first section of a much-needed subway system – known locally as the metrorail – has opened and started to alleviate the city’s infamous traffic jams. The international airport, opened in 2008, facilitates the smooth passage of tourists and business visitors alike. Longtime residents may never regain their urban idyll, but with compromise and elbow grease Bengaluru may yet inspire civic pride.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

It's 25 years since an adventurous quartet of Rough Guides authors set off for the Subcontinent to begin work on researching the inaugural instalment of The Rou…

30 Nov 2016 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
The most romantic places in India

The most romantic places in India

India has to be one of the world's most romantic destinations. Its beguiling mix of ancient forts, pretty palaces, shimmering lakes and gorgeous beaches is boun…

25 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey camera_alt Gallery
13 tips for backpacking India

13 tips for backpacking India

Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains, backpacking India will alwa…

23 Nov 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month