When I asked people what they think of ‘Bangalore’ – the first word that popped up in our conversation was the ‘traffic’. Until I visited the city recently, I had no idea how true they were, but then it took me more than four hours to reach JP Nagar from the airport on a Friday morning.
Luckily when I checked the jet airways flight status, my flight was on time. Yet it took me as much time if not more to travel within a city than to reach Pune from Mumbai.
But jokes apart, the Bangalore airport radio taxi driver was a good guy, who put on some foot-tapping music and the long drive didn’t feel half as bad.
It is important to remember that every city has its advantages and disadvantages and after having lived across so many places across India, I am happy to experience every new city with an open mind.
While Mumbai is a fantastic place to network and work, Pune is a great place to catch up with friends at a cafe, Bangalore boasts of its greenery and climate only if you can look past the traffic.
Here are a few things that make Bangalore very special for me –
This is no surprise as to how wonderful a place Bangalore can be for those who love to shop. One of my favourite haunts in the city is Mother Earth in Koramangala. It’s got everything that you need under the sun to do up your home or personal space in ethnic and eco-friendly products. No trip to Bangalore is complete without a stopover at Mother Earth. And on weekends if you have the time, drop by for a fun shopping spree on Commercial Street. I had no idea the street was full of shoe stalls such like you have in Linking Road in Mumbai. What a fantastic place to shop and eat.
2. Eating out
My dad recalls some memorable trips to Bangalore during his Army days in the ‘60s, when the city was a completely different fable altogether. His way of unwinding after a busy week would be hanging out with friends over a platter of fish and chips and beer at the then portico at Koshy’s. In fact, very recently when I visited Bangalore, I discovered this truly brilliant place to dig into a juicy burger or a hearty breakfast at A Hole Lotta Love in Koramangala. Next time you’re there, please do make it a point to drop by there for a grub.
3. Cubbon Park
I have several cousins and friends settled in Bangalore and owing to the traffic and busy weekday schedules, we make it a point to meet at Cubbon Park that is central for everyone there. So while the kids play, we cousins gather around over colas and ice creams and enjoy a perfect evening outing – a complete win-win situation for all of us.
4. Bicycling trips
In all these years of running The Lifestyle Portal, I’ve had the chance to write about several restaurants and start-ups in the Garden City and one of them is The Art of Bicycling Trips, which is on my wish list the next time I visit Bangalore. Whether it is within the city or the outskirts, the founder of the Art of Bicycling Trips – Pankaj Mangal and his team will plan a cycling tour for you; can’t wait to go on a cycling trip the next time I’m there.
Bangalore is booming with IT and its breweries. I had no idea how big the brewery industry is until I visited the city recently and went out for a meal with my cousins. We visited the Biere Club on Vittal Mallya Road, and tried a variety of craft beers and succulent meats.
So the next time someone tells you Bangalore is known for its traffic, you tell them it is also known for other good things too, you just have to find out what makes you zing with the city.
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