After our 14 hour overnight journey from Nagercoil, we were grateful to reach Bangaluru, the capital of Karnataka. With a population of over 8.5 million, this metropolis features almost anything that a city in the United States does. In fact, I almost felt like I was back home many moments during the day. Also called the "Silicon Valley" of India, this city boomed during the country's IT Revolution, and is the starting place for hugely influential companies, such as Infosys.
We checked in at a very nice hotel near the center of the city, Hotel Regalis. It was definitely the classiest place we stayed at over travel week, and surely less rugged than the house boat in Alappuzha!
Before being left to our own devices by Smriti for our "free evening", we travelled to Sri Big Bull Temple and Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace. Sri Big Bull Temple displayed another awesome goparum, with the most significant feature being what you would think: a ginormous bull (with all the flowers and colorful decorations of course). After spending a little while there, our taxi took us to Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace. This destination highlights Indo-Islamic architecture and was where Tipu Sultan lived during the summer. The Sultan has been hailed as a military hero and good with foreign relations; for instance, Napoleon of France sought to ally with him. He's also known for the advancement of rockets in Mysore, and finding a balance between Islam and Hinduism. However, some historians have analyzed that the Sultan displayed negative attitudes towards Christians. The Sultan served in the Second and Third Anglo-Mysore War, and died in battle during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799 (See "Tipu Sultan" in 'Useful Links' for more information). Photos below.
Sri Big Bull Temple. I think I have been in more temples than churches at this point...
The Big Bull him(or her)self! Bangaluru, India.
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace.
You can see the Indo-Islamic architecture in Tipu Sultan's Palace.
The Blues Sisters? (featuring Michelle and I)
In Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace!
Gardens outside the palace.
That afternoon, we decided to try some different cuisine, as there were so many places to choose from. Upon the dedicated research from Tanzeela, we decided on Hae Kum Gang, a Korean restaurant, and loved it...we ordered sweet and spicy chicken, sushi, and beef sizzlers. Afterwards, we had a craving for something sweet, so we went to Dunkin' Donuts and enjoyed an American treat! Afterwards, we went shopping at a mall and enjoyed just observing the bustling city.
That evening, a few of us went wandering through Brigade Road and Commercial Street, both brightly lit, energetic, and full of anything you would ever want. I loved walking around and enjoying the hum of humanity. It reminded me of a crowded Washington DC, probably more of a New York City feel. The climate in Bangalore was also superb, as it was warm, not humid, with a slight breeze. It was paradise weather, but in the city. Nightlife in Bangalore was happening and shut down much later than 10 or 11 p.m., unlike in Manipal. In short, I highly suggest it for anyone visiting! Overall, I very much hope to return someday and experience more of this awesome city. Photos below.
Look at the energy and crowds!
The next day, we all got into our taxi to go to Bannerghatta National Park about 2 hours from the middle of the city. On the way there, we had a very spicy, but very good South Indian lunch. As soon as we arrived in the park, we were bombarded by enormous masses of people. As it turned out, the Dashara festival attracted huge crowds and the safari had filled up before we got there. I still hope that I can see some great animals before leaving. One thing about traveling, and especially in India, is you must be flexible! We returned back to Bangalore, got delicious sundaes and enjoyed the city at dusk before getting on our train back to Udupi. Photos below.
A quiet Sunday morning in Bangaluru
Our taxi was decorated for the Dashara Festival... (see "Decorated Trucks" in 'Useful Links')
Waiting at the train station
Travel week throughout South India was one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my entire life. Not only did I sew new things, enjoy new cuisine, and meet new people, but I learned so much more about India. What I have discovered about being here is that even a four year stay, let alone the four months I am here, would never teach me everything I would want to know about this country. Actually, I think I could spend a lifetime and not know everything! I most definitely hope to return to this region of India someday and am excited to keep exploring until the very last minute when I board my plane in Delhi. I am so grateful for this opportunity!
The journey through South India!
Thank you for reading my chronicles of travel week! I hope you enjoyed them. For the last 4-5 weeks I am here, I will be resuming my posts about life in Manipal, so be sure to keep on reading. I have come to immensely love writing for this blog, as I love to write and I love to travel. Please do not hesitate to comment or email with any questions or remarks.