The moment we get back from our home town, we think of all the good things that we miss back home. It’s that feeling, which is making me write this article about my home town, Bengaluru(Bangalore). Having been born and brought up in South Bengaluru, I have seen the city transform into the Silicon city of India. Though, the land scape has changed, population has tripled, traffic has become unbearable, there are things which has remained the same. Only a local can tell you what one should try and explore in the city, which you might not find in other cities/states and is unique to Bengaluru (or Karnataka).
Apart from the familiarity of the language, roads, the noise and the honks, here are my top things, that I miss the most and you should surely explore “When in Bengaluru”.
Temples of Bengaluru: If not for religious purpose, visit some of the old temples of Bengaluru to admire the architectural wonder and to explore the history it beholds.
Big Bull(Nandi) Temple, Dodda Ganesha Temple, Ram and Hanuman Temple, Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple (Gavipuram Cave Temple) in South Bengaluru and Someshwara Temple in Central Bengaluru are some of my favorite temples.
Big Bull(Nandi) temple dates back to 1537 during Vijayanagara empire, if you visiting during the annual fair “Kadalekaayi Parishe” (groundnut festival), it’s an added treat to the eyes. It’s also one of the biggest Bull statue in the world. In the same vicinity is the Dodda Ganesha Temple. It is believed that both the idols are emerged out of a huge monolithic rock.
Gavi (cave) Gangadhareshwara temple dates back to 16th century. The temple is built in natural cave and has a couple of tunnels which has been rumored that it leads to Varanasi and other religious places. As kids, we have tried to sneak into those tunnels, only to have chickened out every time.
Food: I am not much of a foodie but when in Bengaluru, I swear by street food. Some of the local eatery that I definitely visit are:
Karnataka Bhel House: Of all the things, I miss Masala Puri (spicy savory) the most. The first thing I do as soon as I am in Bengaluru is to visit my regular chaat guy in South Bengaluru. Other awesome chaat places can be found in Jayanagar shopping Complex, Banashankari complex, Sahakarnagar market street and Gullu’s chaat near Kumara Park, to name a few.
VV Puram Food Street: Visit the food street to savor the mouthwatering yummalicious Bengaluru delicacies Holige/Obattu (sweet), churmuri, gulkan (made out of rose petals) with banana and Ice cream, roasted corn, raw mango masala, chilly bhajji and the list goes on.
Visit the most popular joints like Vidyarthibhavan (for dosa) in Gandhibazaar, CTR in Malleshwaram, Brahmins Café in Shankarpuram (do try the idly here), MTR for south Indian thali and any local Darshinis for local foods like Idly, Dosas and chow-chow bath (try to find out what is chow-chow bath).
Other than South Indian styled coffee in any Darshini’s, Grab a coffee in our very own local coffee joint “Café Coffee Day”. I have spent most of my Post-graduation days in these outlets 😉
Corner house for Ice creams, my all-time favorite is “Death By Chocolate”, “Hot Chocolate Fudge” and Litchi with Ice Cream.
Transport: For sure, the fastest mode of transport in Bengaluru has to be Auto Rikshaws. Though, they look a little scary the way they drive and not recommended for longer journey, it’s definitely worth taking a ride, at least once. Auto Rickshaw’s are found in most of South-Indian states.
Shopping: If you are in Bengaluru during the festival season, you should experience the hustle bustle of the city, since I am from south of Bengaluru, I would be partial towards Gandhi Bazar. Other places would be “Malleshwaram” and “Jayanagar” markets.
My most favorite place to shop otherwise is Commercial Street, there is nothing like street shopping and bargaining, which we Indians love the most. It doesn’t feel satisfying, if you don’t bargain even if its for Rupees 5 😀
As I come to end of my article, I also realize I am a obsessive South-Bengaluru fan and I swear by the place, though Bengaluru as such is a beautiful city and you would find something unique at every corner of the city.
Oops! I almost forgot, I love and miss South Indian wedding food (madhuve mane oota), if you are not there for a wedding then just gate crash into one 😛