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Can You Believe This Is Bangalore? (In Photos)

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Unseen Bangalore Photos From a Plethora of Day Outings in Bangalore City

These are not your usual Instagram Bangalore pictures.

My motive behind this piece on Bangalore images—which is really nothing but a collection of day outings in Bangalore—is to show real Bangalore. Not the cosmopolitan Bangalore city of the Manyata Tech Park, Cubbon Park, Forum Mall, and Koshy’s that every outsider like me knows. I wish to bring forward the old city, the city dense with flower shops, colorful food, coconut stalls, cycle hawkers, chaotic streets, and ubiquitous hot chips corners. Bangalore would be incomplete if we don’t mention its giant trees jutting out of buildings and breaking out of concrete roads, multicolored Hindu temples with a cornucopia of deity sculptures towering above, the most random stuff being sold in bazaar shops, old-style South Indian dosa joints authentic to their practices even hundred years later, and the feeling of the night during the day when thick Bangalore clouds threaten the residents way more than they would like.

In this essay of Bangalore photos, I share moments that have sparsely studded almost ten years of my life. Starting in 2010, I arrived in and left Bangalore so many times I won’t dare to count my shift outs. Irrespective of how much I wanted to let go of the city, Bangalore (and Karnataka state) didn’t leave me, not so soon.

Finally — after ten years — I’m all moved out of Bangalore— like many times before. But this time I don’t plan to return to Bangalore ever (unless destiny has some other plans for me). My partner and I are traveling in India in our car. We are now in Himachal and would stay in this beautiful state for a few months before moving onto another destination (taking it slow and careful in the pandemic).

I won’t say I miss Bangalore, but I long for some particular essence of the city. Maybe putting together this memoir on day outs in Bangalore is my attempt to keep those memories and feelings that Bangalore arouses in me close. Most of these photos of Bangalore city are taken on small walks, half-day outings, or full-day outings either done alone or with some lovable company. I walked or sometimes took a cab and even metro or our car and cycle and auto-rickshaw and anything else that has been seen on Bangalore’s busy streets. Mostly I strolled around aimlessly, but sometimes I also had an outline of the walk I was going to do.

I won’t apply any particular order to these pictures of Bangalore city. What sort of seemed the best fit for the moment has been put in its place. I’ve added small descriptions of what I think of the photo or on which day out in Bangalore it was taken. That’s all.

Hope you enjoy these Bangalore city images as much as I enjoyed the outings.

weird mannequins of bengaluru
Taken on a day outing in Bangalore’s Commercial Street. My guess is the shop owner used these weird bucket-like mannequin faces to grab street shoppers’ attention.
views like these are possible in bangalore hsr
Stay near defense lands in Bangalore. Your best bet to a good and green view and open setting. This is in HSR.
Now you get every vegetable all the year round in Bangalore. But Russell Market, where I clicked this picture, especially caters to the expats, of which about 10,000 live in Bangalore.

This article on tried and trusted organic stores in Bangalore will help you buy healthy, medicine-free food ingredients and grocery.

Again in Russell Market on a day out in Bangalore. The same columnade comprises of meat shops, dairy, vegetables and fruits, flowers, clothes, and much more.
Don’t miss these handy advertisements on the trunks of old, fat trees throughout Bangalore.
The running track of HSR Agara lake. Tell me the name of the tree? Once, I used to go running at this lake almost four times a week. One circle of the lake is about 2.5 km. The timings of the lake are weird. It shuts down for long hours during the day for no good reason.
Pink Poui. What a funny name. This tree beautifies large parts of Bangalore. Blooms around November-December. Clicked on a one day outing Bangalore.
How can buildings restrict the dance of the sky?
One has to see the Bangalore sky mostly through the intricate net of the leaves and branches of these generous trees that fill the city.
A sunset as seen from Agara lake.
Just resting on top before descending further. Bangalore’s twilight time is gorgeous. The sky takes uncountable hues within an hour.
This is me stuffing a bitter gourd with raw mango and onion mixture. The city gets all these ingredients through all seasons. Do try.

Finding a homestay or an accommodation in Bangalore isn’t so easy. My guides on home stays in India and finding lodging in India might help if you are planning to travel here.

smoke over bangalore
The evening traffic doesn’t stop for anything. In the background smoke released from a fire looms over the neighborhood.
small wooden cart horses being sole in bengaluru
Wooden toy horses. Somewhere near Shivaji Nagar on a one-day trip within Bangalore. You can find everything if you just walk and don’t shy away from obscure mucky streets. Mostly the rain is the culprit behind the filth.
sheep tied to scooter in bangalore
I told you you can find anything in Bangalore. Sheep tied to Activa scooter.
How lucky are those who wake up under the shadow of a tree! Just a regular Bangalore home.
Can you see? I’m not religious in the traditional sense but I love this photo.
Shot in the pandemic when the cases in Bangalore had gone really low. Business doesn’t seem as usual.
These green friends will keep showing up.
Again somewhere near Commercial Street. Bangalore introduced me to shopping for footwears on street kiosks. Though some of the slippers could be exquisite, they don’t last long.
night street in bangalore
Bangalore Streets at night.
moth in bangalore
Just found her still on the pavement one morning (or was it evening?). Exquisite colors, eh?
Well, we can see the moon from anywhere. But here it is on one Bangalore night when I must have taken the effort of bringing out my Nikon. The photo is never as gorgeous as the real though.
Matt making in progress. Bangalore people are skilled. But seldom do you find such intricate handwork on the road free to see and admire.
Oh, stuffed and grilling in the wok now.
The red Kerala bananas. A bit earthier, more molassy if I may say, than regular bananas. You also see the tiny avalakki bananas at the back. My father (from Uttar Pradesh) loves avalakki bananas and talks about them as if they are from out of this world. I guess that’s how we feel about any other place (and its things) that is not our own.
Totapari mango is often eaten as a spicy snack in all of India. This mango is a bit sour even when fully ripe so goes well with salt and chily. Bangaloreans love it.
A glorious sunset beckoned me to bring my camera out. Clicked in HSR.
Gulmohar tree, unmatched beauty of Bangalore.
Mornings can get really foggy in Bangalore. You have in view the outskirts of a forest.
99-variety dosa stalls fill Bangalore city. Crispy and crunchy dosas are on the way.
Do you think this old phone will work? Clicked in the Shivaji Nagar area.
I told you mornings can look like evenings. Agara lake, HSR Layout.
The clouds form the crown.
I love the painting of the broken patient. Oops. Facetiousness aside, would you ever trust a local person to fix your bones? Once the whole of India was on the mercy of such self-proclaimed doctors. Taken on a walking day outing around Bangalore.
Clicked from under the HSR bridge. This one mundane scene shows a lot of Bangalore.
The crape myrtle flower. The shiny purple stands out against the grey cloudy skies of Bangalore.
Beautiful bougainvilleas of Bangalore. You can find them just about anywhere.
In Koramangala, Near Jyoti Nivas college. One of my first photos in Bangalore and a graffiti I will never forget.
The colors and her beautiful smile. Clicked this near Shivaji Nagar or Basavanagudi, I forget. But you can find flowers being sold throughout Bangalore.
Snow Aura ice cream in Bangalore. I think the store has shut down now. I wonder why. This is one of those rare ice creams I liked. Lots of fruits, shavings of flavored ice, and cream. If only everyone made ice creams so simple.
These tree-studded photos can never be too many. This could be any Bangalore road.
Yes, bras are sold in loose pieces like these. Collecting dust, insects, pollution through the long day.
I shared these plates of vada with a friend in an old Shiv Sagar restaurant in Basavanagudi area.

Recommended Read: Relishing Karnataka Dosas – Your Guide to Eating Crunchy Dosas in Bangalore

Here are the chefs in action.
bangalore mosque
A mosque rising high up in the sky. And together with the birds this scene is complete.
Outside MG Road metro station, one of the few metro stops in the city.
And here is the  Mahatma Gandhi Metro station. Until I started putting this piece together I hadn’t noticed this building was of the metro. I assumed the graffiti was just randomly painted on any building.
Mayo Hall. This building was not always red. Frankly I don’t know what is done here. I just love the colors. Would I try to find out? No. Because for every piece of memorized information we don’t need, we have to give up a knowledge we could really make use of (courtesy Sherlock Holmes).
bangalore lakes
Another big lake of Bangalore. This view was caught from the top of an apartment building where I had gone to see one room. I didn’t take the place but had a cup of Irani tea with some expats from Dubai. Fun outing.
bangalore koramangala view stay
View from a temporary stay in Koramangala. I met my husband in this building where I was crashing at my friend’s place. Lucky days. And nothing to complain about the coconut-fringed view.
bangalore karnataka dosa camp
A very very old eatery of Bangalore. Four idly in 20 rupees. Just beautiful.
bangalore images uttapam and dosa
Enjoying rava dosa and onion uttapam with a French friend. We ate a lot that day. You can’t not eat when roaming Bangalore streets.
bangalore images old eatery
The chefs had this wood fire going on underneath this steel machine. I think I asked them what they were doing but I have forgotten now. Maybe just keeping the idlis hot?
bangalore hot chips shop
Hot chips  shop. This is one of the many shops that can be found on every street in Bangalore. You can buy fresh chips of many kinds here. Jackfruit, potato, bitter gourd, banana, peanuts. They come in all flavors. It is a good shop to buy bakery biscuits and namkeens too.
bangalore hindu temple
An army of deities.
bangalore deity temples
It looks so real I’m almost scared.
bangalore city images of shops selling bangles
Bangle store in Commercial Street. If you can brave the crowded Commercial street, you can get all your shopping done there.
bangalore book shops
I really love this picture I clicked at a bookstore. Enjoy the music of books, that’s how I think about it.
bangalore art gallery on street
If you pay attention, you are never far away from art in Bangalore.
astrologer in bangalore-17
Want an astrologer? Follow the directions. Basavanagudi.
I was not sure if I should click this photo. Slums fill Bangalore city. Most of the people staying in them are construction workers who set up temporary abodes near the construction area. Sometimes you will see the slum dwellers going on with their regular activities out on the road. What option do they have? The scene seems so complete and wholesome with the little girl child happily enjoying her play time in the toy car wile watching her mother cook. But if I have to cook on the street on a temporary earthen chulha every day I will pull my hairs. or will I?
I just never get tired of these vibrant temples.

Many more Bangalore photo essays will follow for I can hardly put up everything I have seen in one piece. The idea is not to impress but just to share a city I spent a lot of time in, even if reluctantly. Hope you come back to see more of my day tours in Bangalore.

Did you like my collection of day outs in Bangalore? Tell me in comments.


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1 thought on “Can You Believe This Is Bangalore? (In Photos)”

  1. Very realistic lovely perspective! Aptly titled too, it’s the non-gram/glam day-to-day shots on Bangalore streets. I was brought up in Bangalore in the late 90s and I’ve seen it change through two decades when I went back to work in the last 5 years. I still enjoy visiting those old Blore pubs (Pecos, Noon Wines), book shops on Church street, old bangalore eataries (Taza Thindi in Jayanagar etc). These photos brought back good memories, can’t wait to do all of these and more again!


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