Although situated in southern India, its location at 1,000m above sea level means that Bangalore is quite unlike any other city in the region. Bangalore is classed as a city of major scientific research and is at the cutting edge of India’s technological revolution. Kannada is the official language, however you’ll find that English is understood and spoken well by many people here, so you shouldn’t have any problems communicating when you first move to Bangalore. Landlocked Bangalore sits in the heart of the Mysore Plateau in southern India’s Karnataka state. The thriving metropolis has come a long way since its early beginnings as a mud fort, built during the Vijayanagara Empire. These days the Karnatakan capital is often referred to as the "Silicon Valley of India;" the IT hub ranks among the top ten entrepreneurial locations in the world. Its elevation provides a fantastic climate, and the city enjoys distinct seasons throughout the year. Despite its heavy pollution, traffic and mosquitos, the city is often described as one of the more pleasant large cities in India, boasting excellent local and international schools and colleges, fantastic local food, good shopping opportunities, and welcoming local communities. What is special or unique about your city? Synonymous with the IT revolution in India, Bengaluru (or Bangalore) is the capital of the state of Karnataka in India. With a population of approximately 7 million, Bangalore is India's third-largest city. The sylvan surroundings of Bangalore are sure to soothe your weary nerves. Bangalore has earned the sobriquets "Silicon Valley of India," “Pub Capital of India," with the largest number of pubs in Asia, and "City of Gardens," among others. With its beautiful parks, avenues, multiplexes and historical monuments, Bangalore is bubbling with life and energy. Today, as a large and growing metropolis, Bangalore is home to numerous public sector-heavy industries, software companies, aerospace, telecommunications, and defense organizations in the city. Demographically diverse, Bangalore is a major economic hub and the fastest-growing major metropolis in India. What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city? On entering Bangalore, like any other Indian city, the first thing many notice is the traffic but, apart from that, the gardens and weather make the city very special. Bangalore used to be known as the Garden City of India, due to the many city parks in every area in the city, including the large 300-acre Cubbon Park in the center of the city, similar to New York City's Central Park or San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in the United States. But that was 20 years ago, before Bangalore doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in population to seven million. A lot of gardens have been encroached upon because of urbanization and the number of gardens is being reduced every day. The temperature is moderate throughout the year, giving Bangalore the title of “air-conditioned city of India” due to its tropical and pleasant climate. Are these impressions likely to change? The city and region continues to experience global change in temperatures and every year the summers seem hotter and drier, although Bangalore still remains one of the most pleasant cities of India. Changes in impressions are likely based on the city expansion, but the overall impression of the city will probably remain. What is the local language? The regional language is Kannada, which is the state language. Because of its varied and vast population, English is the most commonly spoken and understood language in most places. Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Urdu are also widely spoken among the commoners. How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language? It's fairly easy to live in Bangalore as most people understand and speak English, including local auto rickshaw drivers and street vendors, though the Indian accent may take a little getting used to. What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city? Do not use your left hand to touch anyone, accept/give money, or eat (unless you are left-handed). Use it as a support hand for the right hand, if absolutely necessary. People in Bangalore eat food with their fingers. While most of the nicer restaurants will serve you with spoons, forks and knives, you can expect food without cutlery at homes and local restaurants. Wash your hands at basins available in these restaurants and always remember to use your right hand to have your meals. One should remember to wash hands after touching footwear. No footwear is allowed at places of worship and in some of the Hindu houses. Most locals would like you to keep your footwear out of the house entirely, especially in the kitchen. How might the local weather affect my daily life? Unlike other parts of India, which are extremely hot in the summer months, Bangalore enjoys a relatively mild climate year-round. February to May are the warmest months of the year, June to August is windy and the season for the south-west monsoon; September to November is rainy due to the north-east Monsoon; and December to February are the coldest months but are very pleasant and not too chilly. There are often light showers of retreating monsoon in December as well. Temperatures are moderate and the goes as high as 38 degrees Celsius to a low of 11 degrees Celsius. Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people? People are quite friendly and some of them are still traditional when interacting with a new person. However, expats in the country are treated like guests in homes. You may also find commoners coming out to help you voluntarily.