Bangalore lies at the heart of the Deccan Plateau, and is the capital city of the state of Karnataka. It is nearly 920m above the sea level and its area is 741 km². The city has grown significantly in the last decade, creating a large city sprawl with infrastructure struggling to accommodate the sudden growth.

The majority of the city lies in the Bangalore Urban District of Karnataka and the surrounding rural areas are a part of the Bangalore Rural District. Bangalore is bound by Kolar district in the northeast, Tumkur district in the northwest, Chamarajanagar district in the south, Mandya district in the southwest and the state of Tamil Nadu in the southeast.

The topology of Bangalore is flat except for a central ridge, on which lies the highest point (Doddabettahalli) which is 962 m (3,156 ft) above sea level. No major rivers run through the city, though the Arkavathi and South Pennar cross paths at Nandi Hills, 60 km (37 miles) to the north (the wine region area).

Bangalore is vast but the two areas that define the centre of Bangalore are Gandhi Nagar (the old part of town) and the areas around Mahatma Gandhi (M.G.) road, in the center of the city. You can also visualize the city as North Bangalore, South Bangalore and East Bangalore, clustered around M.G. Road. South Bangalore is a preferred residential location for IT employees, due to the excellent connectivity to their place of work and improved infrastructure. East Bangalore is most central, and also most expensive, while North Bangalore is quickly growing and becoming popular due to its easy access to the new international airport.

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