Sprawling metropolis of Bangalore
Trip Start Aug 10, 2012
4Trip End Aug 15, 2012
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That evening we left for Bangalore. Madgaon-Bangalore is an overnight bus journey through the dizziness inducing Braganza ghat. The main reason to go off track to Bangalore was to visit my sister working there. You know you are entering a big city when reaching your destination takes over an hour from where the city had actually started. The snarling traffic and the crowded public transport bringing you jolting back to the reality of a metropolis.
We spent that day just strolling around the huge bungalows in the Kormangala area. Huge houses in the middle of the city....a rare privilege !! I was made to buy clothes, since "I was now in a big city and not a waterfall in the middle of the forest" and the clothes I had were unsuitable for city dwelling !!
The next morning we set out to the Lalbagh Botanical garden where the bi-annual floral exhibition was on. Every year, for a week around the Independence day and the Republic day, this exhibition is held in the Botanical gardens, which has floral arrangements as well as plants and seeds and related products on sale.
It was heartening to see the people of Bangalore take home gardening keenly. Young women with their kids, senior citizens, women's groups had all turned out in huge numbers. They were buying various seeds and plants in large numbers. I think it s a wonderful thing to have gardening a a culture in a huge and busy city like Bangalore.
Besides this exhibition, the Lalbagh Botanical garden covers a massive area with different sections. One part has a collection of bonsai plants, some of which are a 100 years old. There is another section with a huge collection of roses. Still another has a section of the big trees like the teak, banyan etc. One of those is fabled to be from the ear of Tipu Sultan(1700s) !!
They have a competition for the best vegetables grown. This was the first time I saw the white brinjal, it looked like an egg hanging from the plant.
The floral displays are the main attraction if the exhibition and they are extremely crowded. While some of them look attractive, most of it is a lot of artificiality at display.
The next visit was to a place called Mavalli Tiffin Room, popularly known as MTR. Its again an institution in Bangalore, being there for generations. They have several branches throughout the city and this is their main branch. Its a small hole in the wall place, one you ll surely miss unless you are looking with eyes wide open. Even when you enter, skepticism sets in and you question your decision of going there. Its got old, dark interiors and a rickets stair case. It looks pretty gloomy inside. But once you are seated, and you start savouring one dish after the other, all of these doubts are laid to rest...and how !! We had some 4-5 different dishes, and all of those were exemplary, to say the least. The coffee, which they serve in silver glasses is just perfect. A common chord in all such places that you visit is sincerity and passion. You feel like a personal guest at such places, and you dont just taste the food there, but hospitality that's not found is restaurants.
After MTR, we ended the day with a visit to the new face of Bangalore, the uber rich and pompous UB city. Housing mostly international brands and labels, it reflects the buying power that the fledging IT sector has brought to the city.