ThrivingAt13: We celebrate the top 13 spaces in Bengaluru where you can experience a plethora of cultural events that make us all proud

Bengaluru is known across the globe as a hub of arts and culture, but these arts and artistes couldn’t have grown without the presence of spaces that supported them. 
13 cultural experience centres in Bengaluru
13 cultural experience centres in Bengaluru

Despite its dynamic evolution into a cosmopolitan city, namma Bengaluru has retained a stronghold on art and culture. Home to several cultural hubs like Ranga Shankara, Bangalore International Centre, Chowdiah Memorial Hall and Shoonya Center for Art and Somatic Practices, the city offers a rich array of captivating dance performances, immersive theatrical  presentations, soul-stirring concerts, vibrant art exhibitions and rib-tickling stand-up comedy indulgences. Bengaluru’s cultural scene extends beyond mere observation as these venues invite active participation through a plethora of events and workshops hosted almost every weekend. As award-winning Indian and international artistes frequent the city, weekends in Bengaluru become a delightful venue to a world of fun-filled cultural explorations. Paying homage to locations that have been serving us with the best events in town, we curate a list of the top 13 cultural experience centres in Bengaluru.

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath
Established by by the late M Arya Murthy and the late MS Nanjunda Rao in 1960, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (CKP) is the city’s most-beloved art complex for more reasons than one. Enveloped by greenery, the visual arts centre boasts several spaces where artistes display artworks ranging from folk and traditional to modern and contemporary. Over the years, numerous events like the annual art market fair Chitra Santhe and Vastrabharana by the Crafts Council of Karnataka have turned this space into a tourist spot. Besides a small eatery and an in-house shop, CKP is dotted with several smaller art displays such as Leather Puppets, Kejriwal Folk Art, Mysore Traditional Paintings and more. At Kumarakrupa Road.

Chowdiah Memorial Hall
Dancer Rukmini Vijayakumar, theatrist Leila Alvares and comedian Vir Das, are just among the several distinguished artistes to grace Chowdiah Memorial Hall — a cultural auditorium constructed in the form of a seven-stringed violin, complete with strings, keys, the bridge and the bow. Built in the honour of the renowned violin maestro Tirumakudalu Chowdiah in 1980 — the four-decade-old venue hosting a diverse array of cultural events, including carnatic and hindustani concerts, ballets, dance performances, theatre productions and music festivals — is located a short walk away from Sankey Tank. At Vyalikaval, Malleshwaram.

Bangalore International Centre
Presently hosting over 400 events annually, Bangalore International Centre stands as a privately enabled, public purpose non-profit institution that opens doors to events for the public  at no cost. Established in 2005, BIC transitioned to its expansive 50,000-square-foot premises post-2019. This dedicated space comprises a 180-seat auditorium, two seminar halls, a gallery, a boardroom, a library, an amphitheatre and a café. The spectrum of events hosted here spans a wide array of subjects, encompassing performing arts such as dance, music and theatre, as well as visual arts, including films and exhibitions. At Domlur.

The Indian Music Experience Museum
Since its inception in 2019, The Indian Music Experience Museum has received over 200,000 in-person visitors. This interactive music museum, spearheaded by a non-profit initiative generously supported by the Brigade Group, takes the audience to the depth and diversity of Indian music and preserves India’s rich musical heritage. Encompassing state-of-the-art multimedia Exhibit Galleries, a Sound Garden, a dedicated Learning Centre for Music Education, multiple performance spaces and Sound Bites (an inviting café); IME also plays host to the annual music festival — Many Musics, One City — a thoughtfully curated series of programs that pay homage to Bengaluru’s multifaceted musical history. At JP Nagar.

Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts
Transitioning from its previous location, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts has found a splendid new home in a state-of-the-art building, situated a mere 300 meters from its former premises. Committed to interdisciplinary and intercultural art practices, the space has been a pioneering force since its establishment in 2001. Making significant contributions to the evolution of the performing arts scene in India, the focus lies particularly in the domains of physical performance, stage technologies, choreography and pedagogy. The new facility boasts multiple studios, a performance arena and a café area. At Wilson Garden.

Jagriti Theatre
Operated by the not-for-profit ART Foundation, a registered charitable trust, Jagriti stands as a dedicated hub for performance arts encompassing theatre, music, dance and comedy. Established in 2011 by Arundhati Raja and Jagdish Raja, the 200-seater theatre is thoughtfully equipped with adjoining areas 
for informal lectures and gatherings, fostering a holistic artistic experience. Additionally, patrons can enjoy the culinary offerings within the premises at Bean to Tea, their in-house café and Lyfe: Farm to Fork, the attached restaurant. At Whitefield.

Alliance Française de Bangalore
As an Indo-French cultural centre, Alliance Française de Bangalore is an institute where French enthusiasts embark on a comprehensive language-learning journey. It warmly welcomes artistes from across the globe, promoting a vibrant exchange of perspectives and experiences. The centre actively fosters Indo-French artistic collaborations, organising a myriad of events, including concerts, dance and theatre performances, as well as film festivals. With a legacy spanning 21 years, Café de la Liberte  stands as a testament to the enduring charm of AF Bangalore. At Vasanth Nagar. 

Shoonya Centre for Art and Somatic Practices 
Nestled amidst beautiful palm trees, Shoonya boasts curated events and activities, along with workshops and classes meticulously designed for practitioners, students and professional artistes seeking to deepen their knowledge and refine their skills. Established in 2014 by the Ollapally family in memory of Joseph Ollapally, this light-filled sanctuary stands as a non-profit, multi-arts centre. Spanning close to 3,300 square feet, the centre features a serene and relaxing lounge, complemented by an open kitchen. At Lalbagh Road.

Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) 
Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) is the newest kid on the block — on a mission to 
democratise art. Opened earlier this year, the museum founded by Abhishek Poddar is 
spread across five floors that house art galleries, an auditorium, a library, a multimedia gallery, 
a technology centre, a sculpture courtyard, a learning centre, a specialised research and 
conservation facility, a gift store, a café, a member’s lounge and a fine-dining restaurant — Cumulus. MAP is custodian to a growing collection of over 60,000 artworks (paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs and more) dating from the 10th century to the present. At Kasturba Road.

Vyoma Artspace and Studio Theatre
Beyond theatrical endeavours, Vyoma Artspace and Studio Theatre founded by Rajashree SR in 2018, is a versatile space that extends a warm welcome to theatre education sessions, workshops, talks, interactive performances and readings, with the help of in-house and external teams. At its heart, lies the Black Box Theatre — a multipurpose space designed for adaptability, allowing for customisation of the stage and seating dimensions, as well as the orientation and nature of the performing area. Offering the opportunity to rent out its 2,000 square feet space for myriad activities, Vyoma also has a small café space that serves simple snacks and beverages. At JP Nagar.

Lahe Lahe
Launched in April 2016, Lahe Lahe was conceived to establish a haven where individuals could freely express themselves without the burden of judgment regarding the quality of their art. This inclusive space does not cater to renowned artistes but to ordinary folks with jobs who aspire to stay connected with their hobbies or develop artistic skills. Lahe Lahe offers a diverse range of events spanning poetry, theatre, music, dance, wellness, pottery, stand-up comedy, storytelling and visual arts and crafts; and is also open to regular open mic sessions. At Kodihalli.

Ranga Shankara
Spanning 1575 sq ft, Ranga Shankara stands as a prominent theatre established in 2004. This auditorium is the brainchild of Arundhati Nag, conceived in loving memory of her late husband, Shankar Nag, a revered figure in the Kannada film industry. Interestingly, the theatre prides itself on acoustics that are meticulously designed to ensure that even a mere whisper resonates crisply to the furthest row. Besides hosting an annual theatre festival, Ranga Shankara features a dedicated bookshop situated at the front corner of its lobby and a café offering specials like akki roti and sabudana vada. At JP Nagar.

Atta Galatta
What now occupies the space where once founders Subodh Sankar and his wife Lalitha Lakshmi’s home once stood, is Atta Galatta, a distinctive hub designed for a discerning audience with a penchant for literature, arts and culture. At its heart is an Indian vernacular bookstore, catering to the literary tastes of the mature thinking clientele. Beyond its extensive collection, Atta Galatta serves as a dynamic platform for theatre workshops emphasising interactive skits and short performances in various languages, book clubs, reading programs and poetry readings. Additionally, it facilitates a range of workshops 
encompassing creative writing, photography and storytelling. At Indiranagar.

Bengaluru is known across the globe as a hub of arts and culture, but these arts and artistes couldn’t have grown without the presence of spaces that supported them. 


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