By Satya Tammareddy, Photo by Jerry Randall
I’m no local to Bangalore, or Bengaluru as it is now called, but was fortunate enough to have lived there for two months last summer and visit many times over the years. As India’s third most populous city, it is constantly bustling and is considered home by those from all walks of life – from Kannadigas that have lived here for generations to expats who have moved here for a fleeting couple of years for work. This diversity has created an extremely cosmopolitan, yet culturally distinct hub that is so unique.
Bangalore is known as the Pub Capital of India – what better way to kick off your weekend than to go on a pub-crawl around town? Start your evening at the Bangalore’s first brewery, The Biere Club, for some great brews and atmosphere – they claim they were “established with the purpose of giving beer its due in our country”. If you’re into shopping, take a peak inside UB City, the uber high-end shopping mall created by Bangalore’s mogul Vijay Mallya. Move up to the terrace, where you can grab a quick bite at any of the great restaurants and head straight up to Skyye, the spectacular rooftop bar that boasts 360 degree views of Bangalore city. If it’s your first time in Bangalore, you’ll be surprised to find out that everything shuts down at 11.30pm – so start your night early!
Start the morning by mingling with locals and absorbing the sights, sounds and flavours of Bangalore’ s historic market place, the Chikpete Flower Market (pictured above). On the walking tour, learn about the history of Bangalore as you visit the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore. Revel in a traditional South Indian breakfast at a local picked out by your guide – choose from an array of dishes including masala dosa, idli or pongal.
Head over to the bustling Commercial Street and bargain with the locals – here, you will find a plethora of shops selling anything and everything from shoes to cars. Walk down the wide M.G.Road, Asia’s 13th most expensive street, and enjoy some more browsing. If you feel inclined to, head up for a drink to the 13th Floor, a roof top bar on M.G.Road with amazing views of Bangalore.
Head over to 100 Feet Road, another bustling street in one of Bangalore’s largest residential and commercial hubs, Indiranagar. Visit the 100ft Boutique, where you can explore the various artifacts and nick-nacks, before heading up to the restaurant on the terrace for some great Mediterranean food. End your night at Toit, another of the city’s well known microbreweries for some great atmosphere and of course brews!
Your Bangalore experience wouldn’t be complete without visiting the original MTR, which stands for Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, a restaurant started in 1924, now a Bangalore institution. Try their masala dosa or even some bisi bele bath, a hot lentil rice dish local to Karnataka.
Head over to the beautiful grounds of Lal Bagh, the city’s central botanical garden originally commissioned by Tipu Sultan and his father, Hyder Ali, where you may be lucky enough to catch a flower show at the glass house.
Cap off your weekend by splurging on a meal at Karavalli, another Bangalore institution located in the Taj Gateway Hotel. If you’re impressed by the traditional structure and high wooden ceilings of the restaurant, you will be floored by the exquisite seafood that the restaurant serves up, inspired by coastal cuisine of the South West from Calicut to Goa.
Travspire Bangalore Walking Tour here