Last month took me to Bangalore after almost 8 years. Last time I stayed there for a couple of days and I don’t remember much about the city besides visiting a mall called Garuda. This was a time when malls were something mighty impressive and Pune wasn’t quite inundated with malls as it is today. This time I was here for 4 days for a gaming conference. While the initial 2 days were mostly spent at the conference we managed to spend some leisure time in the evenings.
Weather, Food and People
Though it’s currently the peak of the summer season Bangalore seems to have a different way of dealing with the heat. Though it was quite hot in the day time. It rained quite heavily in the nights 2 days in a row. This really cooled things down and morning were actually quite pleasant. I had often heard of how bad traffic in Bangalore could be like and mostly it was. Compared to Pune, I actually thought it was actually more disciplined even though the volume of traffic there was so much more. The roads in general also seem to be much better maintained than ours. On the whole I quite liked the city. It seemed vibrant and alive with a lot of young people from different parts of the country.
I visited some nice restaurants while I was there. We had our anniversary dinner at a lovely place called Smoke House Deli. The décor was very unique and interesting and the food was incredible. Maybe the fact that it was my anniversary made it more special but in my mind it was the best pasta I ever had trumping even my favourite in Pune Dario’s. As an added bonus there happened to be a Lamborghini showroom very close to the place.
Smoke House Deli on Lavelle Road
The only thing that can distract a guy from his wife on a romantic night out
Rickshaws and Ola
In Pune I have very rarely used auto rickshaws and usually travel by the meter. In Bangalore the majority of the regular rickshaws refuse to ply by meter and quote exorbitant fares at any time. Some friends suggested that we use Ola cabs. I never used them in Pune before but they were the best and safest travel options for someone who might not know the city. On a particularly rainy night we needed to get back to the hotel and the rickshaws were asking us for Rs 200 per rickshaw to get us there. There were 9 of us and it would have taken 3 ricks and Rs 600 to get there. We called for 2 Ola cabs and all of us got there for half the price.
When I asked some of my colleagues when we got back to Pune about what they thought of Bangalore they felt that it was much greener on the whole as compared to Pune. When I think about it now this actually seems to ring true. I also visited the massive Cubbon park. I have no idea if I walked across even half of it that day.
Bangalore Bandh and Banergatta
After the conference we had a flight back to Pune only on Sunday evening so we had sat and most of Sunday free to ourselves. Unfortunately Saturday was declared as a bandh in the state and we were out of options to do pretty much anything. Transport was off the roads and almost everything else was shuttered anyway. Some people had mentioned the Banerghatta zoo to us and I thought to call and find out if they were open. Turned out they were open but the next part would be to find transport. After calling pretty much every cab service in the city and almost giving up we found an Ola cab after a lot of waiting. Since the streets were empty we got there in record time and also got to appreciate how well maintained the roads were.
While the zoo itself was ok, the 45 min safari was a lot of fun. Other than the driver trying to coax us into parting with some extra cash for the privilege of sitting in the front and getting some extra photos for us, it was great to see these incredible creatures up close.
On my last trip to Bangalore I had seen the Vidhan Souda building but the only thing I really remembered about it was that it was really grand and I had been impressed by it. So I thought I would go have look before leaving the city. It’s still grand and impressive and made me wish we had more such buildings in my own city.
After spending some time with friends one whom I met after almost 10 years we had some time to kill. We decided to visit Bangalore Palace which wasn’t very far from our hotel. I was expecting a small entry fee as is the norm in most such places. The only option they had was an audio tour where they give you a device which plays short audio clips corresponding the sections that you visit in the palace. I initially wondered if it was worth it, but my wife convinced me that we never knew when we would visit the city again so we went ahead with it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the audio production was of a very high quality with great narration and music accompanying it. It really evoked a sense of another time and place while walking around the palace.
Overall it was a nice little trip and I would be glad to visit the city again.