Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Backpacking in Bangalore

There is a lure in uncertainity. IMHO, the best way to get to know a city is to travel in the public transport and stumble on the tourist spots rather than do the usual carefully planned AC car stopovers.I backpacked all my luggage and armed with a camera decided to seek refuge in KSRTC. Of course I was also armed with the tri-lingual knowledge ( English,Hindi,Tamil) but no maps of bangalore and gothilla kannada.

9 am : Boarded a bus at Coxstown . Met an interesting person, who turned out to be a fellow tamilian (born and brought up in Bangalore) and gave me an education on Tamil-Kannada conflict , the Kannadiga pride,the evolution of Bangalore and directions to Bannerghatta National Park, my ultimate destiny.
10 am : Got down from the bus close to Shivaji Nagar.After 15-20 mins of walking and losing the way, landed up at Shoppers Stop.
10.30 am : Reached Richmond road on foot and was advised to take a bus to Shanti Nagar,BMCT. Found fellow "I am new to Blore" passengers who were cursing the "Kannada" boards on all the buses ( All Bangalore buses carry the FROM , TO info only in Kannada).
11 am : Reached BMCT and was informed that there is only one bus to Bannerghatta. A bus by that number came and I asked the conductor (Wow , Blore has so many female conductors),if it goes to Bannerghatta.She waved at me, which I misunderstood (She actually had asked me to board at the rear but I understood that as " No, this doesnt go" ).
11.30 am : Finally another bus came and this time I asked no questions.
12.45 pm : After a marathon journey I reach the Bannerghatta national park and I promptly buy tickets for Grand Safari ( Herbivore,Bear,Lion,Tiger Safaris) and the Zoo.
1pm : Grab a biscuit packet for lunch. The security guard at the entrance transfers all my biscuits to a paper bag since plastic covers are not allowed inside. I congratulate them on their environmental consciousness.
1.15 pm : I commence the Safari. I am assigned a seat in the rear of the Safari Van. However on seeing my huge camera , the driver invites me to the seat next to him and asks me If I am from the press (!!).
1.30 pm : I spot plenty of spotted deers,nilghais & Blackbucks ( Which they call the Salman Khan Deer) at the Herbivore Safari. I also catch a glimpse of a few bears in the Bear Safari.A bear attracted by the scent of food inside the Safari van tries to open the Van doors !
1.45 pm : The lions are all sleeping. The driver wanting to impress the passengers manages to awake a Lion which strikes a regal pose for my camera.
2 pm : This is awesome. A tiger is trying to climb a tree and I manage to get a nice photo.On seeing the Van, the tiger inches closer and stands half a feet away from me, both of us separated only by our Van's caged door.Unforgettable experience !
3pm : I wander around the zoo , which doesn't have a great variety of animals.Also manage to catch a Film on Lion Conservation in Africa.
4pm : Leave Bannerghatta.
5pm : Reach Forum Mall in Koramangala. I had heard about this new mall from a lot of friends.The Mall looked very impressive but the food prices didn't. I promptly cross the road to have a nice Idli vada at the opposite udupi hotel. Interestingly, I find most of the KFC staff eating vadas at the udupi ! So much for western craze and Globalisation !
6pm : The mall is excellent though a shade below the giant Gurgaon malls that I have seen.
7pm : GBS finally arrives and picks me up.We get stuck in the famous "Bangalore Traffic Jam".Bangaloreans either have lots of patience or lots of money or both.
9pm : He takes me out for a wonderful dinner at Chandni Chowk restaurant and we finally head to the Railway station where I catch my train.
Backpacking was fun.Bangalore's weather was fantastic as usual. So long ...............


  • Although the IIM campus was in Bannerghatta I hv never been to the National Park there....how sad.

    planning to post some pictures soon?

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:45 PM  

  • nice day u had there, great descript :) trips to bannerghatta and other reserves are always hit-or-miss - ur lucky u managed to see the big cats up close!

    like kaps, waiting to see the pictures, given that u appear to be a press photographer :P

    By Blogger mitokondrion, at 6:28 PM  

  • cogito.. you didn't write about forefathers?

    By Blogger Ram C, at 12:34 PM  

  • Not only in Bangalore...anywhere else in Karnataka is the same story....I pray they dont start writing the numbers too in Kannada...I wonder when did Tamilians get the name of Lingual fanatics!!

    By Blogger Krish, at 7:12 PM  

  • Nice write up.!

    1) Didn't know that there are no English plates in buses. I think its a must if we want to promote tourism. Forget to foreigners...among ourselves.!

    2) So..what camera was that which made the driver think that you were from the PRESS? And....where are the photos??

    3) Why are there so many English names still in Bangalore ( Cox town, Richmond) ...and yet no English in buses?

    Interesting post, thanks.

    By Blogger Narayanan Venkitu, at 2:16 AM  

  • Kaps -- Sure. Expect the pics next week.

    Mito -- The press thing is a fantasy of the common man :-)

    Ram.c -- Actually not many forefathers there

    Krish -- I guess the pride thing started as a reaction than a pro-action. So tamilians equally deserve the blame..

    Venkitu -- I have Nikon film SLR F75 Camera. The point about english names is definitely worth pondering ...

    By Blogger Cogito, at 11:54 AM  

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