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.

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

After a week-long whistle-stop tour of central India's least-visited attractions, travel writer and photographer Lottie Gross shares her favourite photos. In…

07 Mar 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

The Himalayan Queen, the Grand Trunk Express, the Deccan Odyssey… the very names of India’s trains are evocative of timeless style and old-school adventure…

09 Feb 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
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