Bangalore, Gateway to an Indian Odyssey

Why India? I don’t really have the exact words to explain it but I really wanted to go to India. I don’t know what triggered me to like this place; maybe its the culture, maybe the famous sites, or maybe just to brag about that I’ve been to this place; but whatever reason or reasons it may be, it just hit me. I wanted to go to this country.

It was more than a year ago when it passed through my mind that India has to be my next out of the country destination. I was able to find few people that I can be with during the trip but it was only Paula who remained determined till the end. You know, it’s really frustrating when people shows disapproval of your interests; why don’t we just respect each other’s businesses. I was supposed to be with another friend but due to maddening stories about India, her colleagues show disapproval about the trip making her to decide not to push through with the trip anymore. Oh well, I did everything I could to make her change her mind but it’s her hesitation that still prevailed.


India is  a big country. Deciding on what places to visit in a short period of time is a challenge. Every picture, place and discovery about this country as I searched for our itinerary made me just feel even more excited to go. This country is just so challenging to travel to. With 15 days to travel in India we had decided to have 9 destinations from south to east, exploring different tourist spots, attractions and landmarks.

En Route to Bangalore

We were one of the few passengers who had made it to the boarding gate too early for our flight to Bangalore. If we only knew that our flight schedule has been changed, we could have spent a little more time in Kuala Lumpur – maybe do a little window shopping in H&M which is just across our guesthouse.

Our emotions were filled of excitement, fear and worry as we waited for our boarding announcement.


It was around 3:30 PM when the boarding gate opened for our flight; few more steps and we will be embarking to a new journey. It doesn’t feel like it’s true but it’s real, it’s happening.


The flight was full. I never thought that it’s going be that full. The aircraft was filled with various nationalities with only us Filipinos aboard.

It was around 6:00 PM when we had finally touched down India.
The immigration process in the airport was a breeze. Unlike the may speculation about how untidy India is, the airport is surprisingly nice. We haven’t experienced any difficulties inside the building; the facilities are good, the ambience is nice and the airport staff are helpful. No trace of any discomfort.


Before we headed out from the terminal, we had exchanged few of our US dollars to Indian rupee first so we can have money to spend for initial expenditures as we go to our hotel.

Accommodation in Bangalore

Outside the airport where the bus terminal is, we rode a BIAS12 bus towards BTM (Kuvempu Nagar). We asked the bus conductor to drop us at the Minerva Circle where Hotel TAP Goldcrest is nearby. 


After an hour and a half of bus travel, the bus dropped us at the unlit road of KH Circle. We were advised to walk further to reach our destination.

We don’t have any map with us aside from the screenshot of the streets surrounding Minerva Circle that I had in my phone. After walking for about 10 minutes we suddenly got lost (couldn’t figure out which street to take) so we have just decided to take an auto rickshaw.

We were asked to pay for about Rs 100… we didn’t bargain with the driver anymore as long as he could be able to bring us to our hotel.

We reached our hotel in a short ride. 

We were about to check in when we were asked what is me and my buddy’s relationship, I answered that we’re friends. With that, we were declined to check in as they are not allowing opposite sex to check in to their hotel unless married. The news shocked us. Tired and exhausted… we didn’t know where to go if the hotel couldn’t able to accommodate us. The hotel then advised us to check in somewhere else. But they didn’t neglect us, one of the staff accompanied us to a hotel across the street which allows everyone to check in, Hotel Nandhini.

It was a lesson learned. I even asked Paula if the same thing applies to our next pre-booked accommodations, we have to pretend that we’re a couple. So now before booking a hotel, find out first if they accommodate friends of opposite sex.

We had a deluxe room for double occupancy that costs Rs 1,600.


Feeling tired, lazy and all… we had just stayed in our room and eaten some of the snacks that I brought to be our dinner. 

We woke up at around 7:00 AM and had our breakfast. The hotel provides complimentary breakfast.

The manager was too kind and hospitable to let us be known with what was being served in the breakfast buffet. Because I was still unprepared to feel something odd in my stomach, I had eaten only those that looks familiar and appetising.

Here’s to my first breakfast meal in India.


After our breakfast, we asked the manager if we have to check out already since we will be touring around the city and we might go back from the tour late already. Then we were told that we can stay until late evening because the hotel stay is 24 hours from the time of check in. Well, a good news as we can still rest after our day tour around Bangalore.

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

We went out from our hotel and walked through Lalbagh Fort Road to reach the main entrance of the famous botanical garden. The morning breeze was so cold. We never thought that this part of the country could bring such cold breeze. What also brought amusement to us is walking through the street and seeing the locals do their daily routines. We reached the incredible country 12 hours ago already but the feeling of being here and actually seeing more of the country was still surreal.


It took us 10 minutes walk to finally reach our first destination of the day. We then went to the counter and paid Rs 10 each for our entrance fee.

Labagh Garden means ‘The Red Garden’ in English. It is a well known botanical garden in Bangalore, India which has a size of 240-acre. The garden houses the country’s largest collection of tropical plan and holds a number of flower shows especially on the Republic Day

 

Lalbagh Garden is open daily from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. 


One of the important landmarks in India that can also be found inside the botanical garden is the Peninsular Gneiss. It is a term coined to highlight the older gneissic complex of the metamorphic found all over the Indian Peninsula.

The Geological Survey of India declared it as a National Geological Monument to propagate the knowledge of the rock formation among the public. This landmark is also called the Lalbagh rock.


The botanical garden also has an aquarium and a lake which is one of the main tourists spots in Bangalore.


Animals like monkeys and squirrels are scattered inside the botanical gardens as well. But don’t worry, they’re harmless as long as you don’t bother them.


The garden also has a glass house which hosts an annual flower show.


Bulk of local tourists starting to come in during lunchtime.

We left the garden at around 11:00 AM and proceeded to the public bus terminal where ticketing agencies are around to buy our bus ticket to Goa.

Big Bull Temple

Situated at Bull Temple Road, Basavangudi, we rode an auto rickshaw to get to the Big Bull Temple. Travel time took us 15 minutes to reach our destination.


The temple was built by Kempe Gowda I. It is said to be a reminiscent of the 16th-century Dravidian-style architecture. It has a huge granite monolith of Nandi which is said to be the biggest Nandi idols in the world.
 

We then went to a nearby fast food for lunch after visiting the temple.

After lunch we rode an auto rickshaw to get to a Prithvi Exchange, a nice money changer in Bangalore, and had our remaining US Dollars changed to Indian Rupees.

The Auto Rickshaw Ride in Bangalore

Next on our destination is Ulsoor Lake. We hailed an auto rick shaw and asked him to take us to the lake. He’s not adept in English so he still asked someone from the road to tell him where’s our destination is exactly. He was then told by the random stranger that we will be going to the lake and even told how the direction is. Feeling confident that the driver knows already where we will be heading, he asked us to hop on to his rickshaw.
About an hour had passed but to our dismay our driver couldn’t able to take us to the lake as he didn’t know where it is exactly. We ended up roaming around Ulsoor. We were able to see the lake, but we couldn’t find the park or spot that we were talking about.  So we have just decided to ditch the plan of visiting it and asked our driver to take us to Bangalore Palace instead.

As we go to our destination, he brought us to different spots in Bangalore. We were able to pass by Vidhana Soudha, which is the seat of Karnataka‘s Legislative assembly.


Another hour had passed and the same thing happened. He couldn’t able to locate where the Bangalore Palace is. He even contacted his brother to help him about the location but we still ended up wandering around the city. We felt frustrated, the meter is getting close to Rs 400. After passing by a familiar street which the Bangalore Palace (based on my research), we then have decided to hop off from the auto rickshaw. The driver then asked us where we will be going. We just told him that we will be going somewhere else. We paid him, then he left. It was such a relief. It’s nice to roam around the city but for like 3 hours with no direction, it’s frustrating. I asked Paula to ask a local young girl for direction to the Bangalore Palace; the girl then directed us to the right path.
Bangalore Palace

We walked for about 10 minutes until we reached the palace. We were about to take photos when the guard whistled and told us that we have to pay first before taking pictures.

We then went inside the palace and to our dismay, the cost for entrance for foreigner is Rs 450 with additional fee of Rs 650 if we’ll be taking pictures. Of course, we didn’t pay the huge amount. We then went out from the structure and had the photo of the palace taken from afar.


After a few and quick clicks, we went out of the vicinity and moved on to our next destination.

St. Mary’s Basilica

We rode another auto rickshaw to get to our destination, hoping that that time – the driver could take us to the right one. Well, after traveling the road for about 15 minutes we reached a church which at first I thought it isn’t the church that I was talking about. But when we entered the vicinity, it then looked like it is.

St. Mary’s Basilica is the oldest church in Bangalore and is said to be the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. It is famous for the festivities held during the St. Mary’s Feast in the month of September each year, an event that attracts a number of devotees from in and around Bangalore.


A wedding was happening when we visited the church. It was such a nice experience to witness a church wedding in India.

Cubbon Park

We rode an auto rickshaw and went to Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is located within the heart of the city in the Central Administrative Area. It has a size of over 300 acres. The park was created in 1884 by Major General Richard Sankey



The park is home to numerous trees and plants that span over 68 general and 96 species.


Not only for people but the park is also a great place for dogs and dog-lovers.


It was getting dark when we left the park. We walked the street outside the park and searched for a fast food to have our dinner.

It was already 8:00 PM when we went back to our hotel. We took some time to rest for a bit before we packed our things. We left the hotel an hour after and took an auto rickshaw going to the bus terminal for our night bus trip to Goa.

Bangalore is a good city to kick off a journey in India – starting and ending a tour by visiting nature parks. The rule in the hotel that we had pre-booked might have been shocked us but having a glimpse of culture of this city took us on how to slowly embrace India. Truly, it felt amazing that we were able to get through the first day of our odyssey.

**********

Hotel Nandhini
# 114/2, Lalbagh Fort Road, Minerva Circle
Bangalore – 560 004
Phone: 080-43411111
Fax: 080-22421711
Email: reservationmc@nandhini.com

12 Responses

  1. marxtermind says:

    Hi! Yes you may share but please don't remove or cut the watermark. Don't forget the photo credit of course! Thanks!

  2. marxtermind says:

    Hi! Yes you may share but please don't remove or cut the watermark. Don't forget the photo credit of course! Thanks!

  3. ishviene says:

    Hi.. Absolutely fabulous pics of Bangalore… would it be okay if we share some of these on our community page https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreRenaissance?

    Photo credits to you of course 🙂

  4. ishviene says:

    Hi.. Absolutely fabulous pics of Bangalore… would it be okay if we share some of these on our community page https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreRenaissance?

    Photo credits to you of course 🙂

  5. marxtermind says:

    Nauunahan na ako ni Paula, kelangan ko syang habulin sa post. 🙂

  6. marxtermind says:

    Nauunahan na ako ni Paula, kelangan ko syang habulin sa post. 🙂

  7. blissfulguro says:

    pakyawan! haha. matutuwa nanay ko sa garden na yan. hmm.. sino kaya ang makakasama kong magpapanggap na asawa ko. hehe

  8. blissfulguro says:

    pakyawan! haha. matutuwa nanay ko sa garden na yan. hmm.. sino kaya ang makakasama kong magpapanggap na asawa ko. hehe

  9. marxtermind says:

    Hmmm… not sure but wala din naman akong kakilala na married couple na who travels with their marriage certificate. Hehehe.

    Pero it didn't happen naman na in our next accommodations in India, sa Bangalore lang.

  10. marxtermind says:

    Hmmm… not sure but wala din naman akong kakilala na married couple na who travels with their marriage certificate. Hehehe.

    Pero it didn't happen naman na in our next accommodations in India, sa Bangalore lang.

  11. iAn says:

    If you're gonna pretend that you're couple, hindi ba hahanapan ng marriage certificate?

  12. iAn says:

    If you're gonna pretend that you're couple, hindi ba hahanapan ng marriage certificate?

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