Monday, July 14, 2008

Bangalore and Traveling in India

Last Sunday - yesterday - I decided that after two weeks in Bangalore it would be time to leave my much loved technology park, at least for a couple of hours, to venture into downtown Bangalore. Yes, of course, I have been there before, but all I knew was basically the area around MG Road - and that was it. I decided to give it a start with some of the best-known sights in Bangalore, namely the Vidhana Soudha and its neighbouring building, the Vikasa Soudha which house the state parliament. I took the bus to Kempe Gowda bus station (for those of you ignorant of the history of Bangalore: Kempe Gowda is widely claimed to be the guy who 'officially' founded the city) and had a good walk to finally reach my destination. (In India it always looks so easy on the map, 'ok, the big road to the left and after half a mile at the next corner to the right and I am there', but in practice it is quite a task to navigate between new buildings and temporary road layouts, to cross six lanes without a traffic light in sight. All this combined with my marginal sense of orientation, I am now planning my travel at the speed of 1 kilometer per hour if I am trying to get somewhere. Seriously. But since I enjoy the process of traveling itself this is actually something I am quite happy with.)

But now let's see where I actually went:

The Vikasa Soudha - as I understand a kind of auxiliary building in support of the legislative body, the Vidhana Soudha. Located close to MG road and generally the center of Bengaluru.


The Vidhana Soudha (i.e., the actual parliament building) - from far away ...

... and from a bit closer. My definite favorite is the 'Government work is God's work' inscription at the top - you gotta trust your government, so please read this again and again until you believe it.

Selling sweetcorn in front of Cubbon Park, right next to the government building. Quite a nice park indeed - and popular with the people of Bangalore, too.

Having a smoke while selling ice-cream. (Or to be precise: Currently not selling ice-cream, therefore having a smoke.)

Having no smoke while selling no ice-cream.

Crossing the street.


Religion and business.

An art gallery, next to Cubbon Park. It is difficult to see from the picture, but in real life the colors in this situation were just incredibly powerful.

Not running out of fruit anytime soon...

If your head hangs low sometime - you can get cured.

After walking through Cubbon Park I attempted to get back to the place I knew in Bangalore: MG Road (yes, again at my conventional speed of about 1 kilometer per hour, after taking the wrong turn a couple of times, crossing some military planes as statues on the street etc.) And finally I was there and back at MG Road again (here at the western end of it)! It was, surprisingly, emotionally touching to be back again. I think not in particular because I connect any memories with this place, but I have the feeling that I understand India now better than I did before - say, it used to be 1%, and now it is 2%. But still. It gets boring if there is nothing left to discover.

On my way back to Kempe Gowda bus station I passed the Bangalore Horse Racing Club - I should come back next time to watch a race and do some betting. It was amazing to see people who didn't get admitted to the race sitting everywhere on the street, following the outcome of every race on the radio or on TV screens.

Evening is coming, time to pack your things and go home.

Which one is my bus? Thank God it's Sunday, that's why it was so empty at the bus stand.

Back at the ITPB. It really felt like coming home this day and it was good to venture into downtown Bangalore.

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