You need only look at what’s in front of you and find something there to appreciate.Peter McWilliams
I remember in 2006 we had come to Bangalore as a tourist and enjoyed our trip a lot. When I go on a trip to some place I always try to imagine what it would be like to live there.
After living for more than a year I realised that I had not been to any of the tourist places in Bangalore. That is when it dawned on me that we make plans to go to different places but we forget to appreciate the place we live in. So as a New Year resolution I decided to visit as many tourist places as I can. I researched all the tourist attractions in Bangalore and made a list of places I wanted to visit and how to reach via metro. Since there was no hurry to visit all the places in a few days, I visited 1 or 2 places at most in a day.
29th April 2018
I went to meet my college friend after almost a year in MG Road. After having snacks, we decided to go to Cubbon Park. By the time we reached there, it was time for closing so I convinced my friend to walk to Vidhan Soudha with me.
On the way we crossed General Post Office, which is a beautiful structure building.
We reached Vidhan Soudha which is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. It is constructed in a style sometimes described as Mysore Neo-Dravidian, and incorporates elements of Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian styles. The construction was completed in 1956. We reached there at around 6pm and there were a few tourists apart from us outside the building gates. Vidhan Soudha building looked beautiful with grey background.
We could also see the High Court of Karnataka across the road. It is a red brick building known as Attara Kacheri (means 18 government offices).
12th August 2018
Melissa & I planned to do a photoshoot in Cubbon Park. It is officially called Sri Chamarajendra Park. Originally created in 1870, when Major General Richard Sankey was the then British Chief Engineer of Mysore state, it covered an area of 100 acres (0.40 km2) and subsequent expansion has taken place and the area reported now is about 300 acres (1.2 km2). We had researched a few places where we could do photoshoot and all the articles suggested Cubbon Park since it has different spots available. Melissa had borrowed her friend’s DSLR for the day. She is an amazing photographer. She clicked lots of beautiful pictures of me. I just hope she was happy with the pictures I clicked for her.
18th August 2018 – 21st August 2018
When Reena Mausi & family came to Bangalore for 3 days, she stayed in The Leela Palace. It is an Indian luxury hotel chain, founded in 1986 by C. P. Krishnan Nair, and owned by The Leela Group. In 2001 the group’s first modern hotel was built with 357 rooms in Bangalore, inspired by the Mysore Palace and the architecture of the 13th century Vijayanagara empire, and is surrounded by seven acres of gardens. I stayed with them and shared Nana Nani’s room. I had a lot of fun in the pool with Anisha, Rishika, Sarish and Mausi when they tried to teach me how to swim. We also enjoyed in the whirlpool even though the water was too hot. When we went for dinner with Mama in Zen which serves Thai, Japanese, Chinese I tried Shushi for the first time. Although I didn’t like it very much as Anisha & Rishika had predicted, it was a new experience for me. The next day while we waited outside our rooms for others to return after dinner from Indiranagar, we kids pretended to be royalty. Staying at Leela palace was an unexpected yet welcome addition to my list thanks to Reena Mausi.
16th December 2018
Rest of my touristy places to go were checked off because of Vibhi. I took him everywhere I wanted to go. After lunch in MG Road, we started our tour.
Our first stop was Bangalore Palace. The palace was built in Tudor Revival style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling. The furniture, which was neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style, was bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. The ground floor consists of an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with blue ceramic tiles. First floor is a Durbar Hall which can be reached by staircase. There are lot of old paintings in the interior walls. A self tour with an audio guide is enough to find out about the fascinating history of the palace. The palace is as magnificent from inside as it appears from outside.
After the palace we went to Lalbagh to relax. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, meaning The Red Garden in English, is a well-known botanical garden in Bengaluru. It has a famous glass house dating from 1889 which hosts two annual flower shows (26 January and 15 August). Lalbagh houses India’s largest collection of tropical plants and has a lake. Lal Bagh is also home to a few species of birds. Hyder Ali commissioned the building of this garden in 1760 but his son, Tipu Sultan, completed it. Hyder Ali decided to create this garden on the lines of the Mughal Gardens that were gaining popularity during his time. Hyder Ali laid out these famous botanical gardens and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants from several countries. We walked around in this grand garden until we were tired.
29th December 2018
Vibhi and I went for lunch in Two Friends Cauldron which is a Harry Potter -themed cafe with a Hogwarts like decor in JP Nagar. In Harry Potter, Leaky Cauldron is an ordinary looking place which can be easily missed but it is a passage to the magical world. The building of this cafe is also very insignificant looking but as we go inside it is a magical place. The cafe is built like Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop integrated with the Hogwarts theme. The spiral staircase taking a person to the top floor of a mansion where the cafe is situated. The interiors of the cafe has brick walls, colourful light fixtures, cobweb and wooden furnishings adorned with the Deathly Hallows symbols. The props such as wands, witch’s hats, house flags, Sorting Hat and a Marauders map poster are decorated all around the cafe and some of them can be used to take pictures. Broomstick hanging from the ceiling completes the look of the wizard world. The cafe offers a delightful Marauders’s Map menu. They serve European and mainly Italian dishes with magical names, such as Fred and George’s Skiving Snack Box offering three desserts of users choice, Elf burger, Hogwart’s Steak, Marvolo Rings, Butter Beer, etc. It was a dream come true moment for me because this was my first ever harry potter themed experience. I took as many photos as I could and didn’t want to leave the place at all.
Next we went to Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace. It is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture and was the summer residence of the Mysorean ruler Tipu Sultan. Hyder Ali commenced its construction within the walls of the Bangalore Fort, and it was completed during the reign of Tipu Sultan in 1791. The structure was built entirely teak and stands adorned with pillars, arches and balconies. There are beautiful floral motifs embellishing the walls of the palace. The site also holds a painting of grand throne visualized by Tipu Sultan himself. The rooms in the ground floor have been converted into a small museum showcasing various achievements of Tipu Sultan and his administration. The palace is elegant and beautiful.
Finally we walked to Bangalore Fort which is less than 500m away from the palace. Bangalore Fort began in 1537 as a mud fort. The builder was Kempe Gowda I, a vassal of the Vijaynagar Empire and the founder of Bangalore. Haider Ali in 1761 replaced the mud fort with a stone fort. The army of the British East India Company, led by Lord Cornwallis on 21 March 1791 captured the fort in the siege of Bangalore during the Third Mysore War (1790–1792). At the time the fort was a stronghold for Tipu Sultan. Today, the fort’s Delhi gate, on Krishna Rajendra Road, and two bastions are the primary remains of the fort. It was a small stone enclosure with not much to see. However the stone walls provided a good background for our pictures.
Mystery Rooms is a challenging race against the clock where the sole motive is to get yourself out of a theme based room before time kicks you out. We are locked in a thrill space with our team and have exact 60 minutes to use logic, solve puzzles, find hints, and prove the power of team work to pave your path to freedom. I have been to Mystery Rooms 3 times now with different groups of people and tried Lockout which A Prison Break Challenge with my Pondicherry group of friends, The Kon of Kohinoor which is A Robbery Challenge with Reena Mausi & family and The Hurt Locker which is A Bomb Defuse Challenge with Vibhi. Although I have never won it has been fun every single time. There are 2 more challenges left for me and I am determined to complete atleast one.
I enjoyed being a tourist in my city, Bangalore. Now if any of my friends complain about no place to go in Bangalore I can just send them my blog and let them know what they are missing out!
PS: There are still a lot of places in Bangalore where I have not got a chance to go. I will update this blog as and when I go to these places.