This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.
Once it was planned that I will be going to Bangalore to meet AS, I was in a super good mood. The few remaining weeks just passed by planning the trip. I had been to India couple of time before but Bangalore was a different story. First of all AS was there and everyone had told me that Bangalore is a nice place to be. I was not quite sure what to expect but it didn’t matter as AS was there and I was sure everything will be fine.
Finally, the day arrived. I had a flight from Sydney to Thailand and Thailand to Bangalore. In my excitement, I couldn’t eat much on the plane. I was so pumped to see AS again after so many months.
When I landed in Bangalore International Airport, all I wanted to do was collect the bag from the carousel and run to find AS outside. It was hot in the airport but I didn’t care about anything at all. I passed the immigration, picked up my bad and went to find AS.
There were so many people there and the airport was really big. Everywhere there were people patiently waiting for their loved ones to come out and in the middle of this chaos I spotted AS. I just ran to hug him. I was so happy to hold him again and I was over the moon.
I know I was in India and PDA is not common but I couldn’t hold my excitement. In all this excitement, I left my baggage trolley a few meters from us. Once the initial meeting was done, AS hurried to get the baggage as it not safe to leave it without anyone looking after it.
AS had a car booked with a driver and he took us to our hotel. I really didn’t care what happened after that because for the next 2 weeks AS was going to be with me and we were going to have heaps of fun.
The serviced apartment he booked was in a quiet street with only a few rooms. I didn’t know much of the Bangalore but AS lived there and I trusted him completely to plan of the days and take us around. We went to a nearby restaurant for dinner and just talked till late. I don’t know when I fall asleep but I had a very good rest.
Rest of my time in there was fully planned by AS. There were so many things I wanted to do and see and AS was making sure they happened. He took me to many attractions around Bangalore for the next few days.
The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar King in 1887 on the 400 acre space. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam
We bought our ticket and were given an audio guide to take us around. The ground floor consisted of an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles. It also contained a ballroom for holding private parties. I wished I could take some of the furniture and paints home as they were really beautiful and I am sure very expensive.
The first floor, containing an elaborate hall known as the Durbar Hall, can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. This is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly. The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings and the Durbar Hall has a massive elephant head mounted in it.
One side of the hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The yellow colour is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. A screen on one end separates the area where the ladies used to sit and watch the assembly proceedings in relative privacy. Some paintings of Raja Ravi Verma are also displayed here.
The interior walls of the palace are adorned by old paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings. Some of the other attractions include a dining table belonging to the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. This table contained a mother-of-pearl inlay with Chinese lacquer work.
The maharajah’s courtyard has a bench and a fountain which was a gift from the King of Spain Don Alphonso. I loved that bench so much that we ended up taking many photos there.
According to the audio guide, when he was deposed of power in year 1931 he visited Bangalore and found solace in this courtyard, because the columns and arches were of Moorish Architecture which were from back home. The Wadiyar’s gracious hospitality made him present this fountain and bench made of bright coloured tiles by the leading art deco ceramicist Seville.
I was really amazed by the palace and could imagine how the rich and famous lived their life. When we exited the palace, we were in a big beautiful garden.
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
I was surprised to see such a green open space in the middle of a city full of hustle-bustle. Spread over 96 acres of landscaped terrain, Lalbagh or the Red Garden was laid out in 1760 by Hyder Ali, and is now one of Bengaluru’s most famous greens. A beautiful glasshouse, modelled on the original Crystal Palace in London, is the venue for flower shows and we were lucky to be there during one of the shows.
The garden has trees that are over 100 years old. It also has an aquarium and a lake. Rose garden is one of the other attractions.
It seemed like a nice place for lovebirds to date as we saw them everywhere.
It reminded me a lot of the zoo in Nepal where young people date hiding from preying eyes of society.
Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple)
Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple) is situated in the N.R. Colony, Basavanagudi area of South Bangalore. The Hindu temple is inside a park called Bugle Rock.
The bull referred to is a sacred Hindu demi-god, known as Nandi; Nandi is a close devotee and attendant of Shiva. Dodda Basavana Gudi is said to be the biggest temple to Nandi in the world. The stone cult image of Nandi is continually covered with new layers of butter, benne in the local language of Kannada.
The majestic structure of Nandi, 15 feet tall and over 20 feet long, has been carved out of a single granite rock.
Outside the corridors of the Bull Temple, there is huge 20 ft high pillar which has its base adorned with relief figures on all sides. One figure is of special interest which shows a male playing a string instrument facing the Big Bull.
Legends abound regarding the origin of the magnificent bull carved in a crouching position. The surrounding area of the temple was inhabited by groundnut growing farmers and a bull used to graze on the flourishing groundnut crop. Enraged at the loss caused by the bull, a farmer hit the bull with a club and the bull was was transformed into a stone. Stunned by this event, the worried farmers built a temple to appease the bull of Lord Shiva, Nandi; thus originated the practice of farmers offering their first crop of groundnut as an offering to the bull. The occasion gradually metamorphosed into the famous the Kadalekayi Parishe (The Groundnut fair), which is held in the month of November. Every year, during the fair farmers offer their first crop of groundnut to the sacred bull of the temple.
I went to a few more temples in Bangalore but the thing that impressed me the most was the shopping mall in there [OBVIOUSLY!!!]. We went to a few different shopping malls every day and I did find a few items I liked to buy. AS also took me to the market where they sell accessories like chura and tika and a street where they sell saris only.
At the end, I bought a few saris for our mums and few for me, a lehenga set and few accessories. I wish I can go back and shop again as they have so much variety.
In addition, we spent some time with AS’s friends. Some of them were really nice inviting us to their home for lunch while we met some in restaurants for dinner.
It was nice to know his friends and see him in his environment. They seemed to be nice people and just happy for AS and me. Before I left, they gave me some gifts as well and I was really touched.
From Bangalore, we went to Mysore and I will write about it more in my next post.
Till then take care,
M from nepaliaustralian