Fujiyama, Japan

Tuesday, 6 November 2001

Bangalore

Google Maps: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
How to explore a city that boasts of being listed in the English Dictionary. Being 'bangalored' means getting outsourced literally now. The consequence is an amalgamation of traditional Kannadigas with tech savvy crop of new IT professionals.

Water Tank, IIM Bangalore

As a child I visited Bangalore in 1996 and duly covered the Vishvesaraiya Technological Museum and Lalbagh. There was nothing much back then. There is nothing much now except for rapidly developed megamalls and yes the landmark Iskcon Temple. Yes there are half day outings possible to Nandi Hills, Wonder La , Sangam / Mekadatu or Savandurga but you need to book a cab for the day.

Bangalore is more of a gateway to South India. My Kerala trip was inceptioned here. Kodaikanal is overnight by train and subsequently Munnar, Periyar, Alleppey are in line till you reach the end of peninsular India which is Kanyakumari, only 50 miles away from the scenic beach of Kovalam. Religious detours are possible for Madurai and Rameshwaram.

Kerala is more towards south-west. To exact south sits the royal city of Mysore. One can visit Ramnagaram and Srirangapatna on the way. From Mysore basically three routes crop up each worth a week of exploring I would say. Bandipur, Mudumalai, Ooty & Coonoor are further south in the exact sequence. A digress before Bandipur will take you to Wayanad and Kozhikode. To the west of Mysore is Coorg through the dense forest of Nagarhole. To east flows Kauveri which makes a huge waterfall at Shivasamudram.

West of Bangalore are beautiful ghat towns most famous of them being Chikmagalur which hosts the grand Hebbe Falls. The twin temples at Belur-Halebidu on the way and a small diversion to Shravanbelgola makes this route a cornucopia of tickmark tourism targets. Further to Chikmagalur are Kudremukh treks, the temple town of Shringeri and the sunset town of Agumbe before you hit the beach towns.

To the north-west a road will take you through Tumkur and Shimoga to Jog Falls. Karwar and Gokarna beaches will be a natural extesion should you decide to take this road.

The north is watched by Chitradurga Fort city. From here a diversion will take you to the ruined city of Hampi. Its another world if you believe me. Hampi has been the crown jewel of my wandering experiences in south India.

All in all a plethora of options right from half day to as long as a month are available from Bangalore and each one as fascinating as other.