Rambling solo in Bangalore
*This article contains video clips for better insights of the spots so do click the links.
It was noon when I received a call for Interview in Bangalore. I was quite excited because it was totally unexpected and moreover for it was going to be my first solo trip. I had one month in hand to prepare and get family agreed on the fact that I will go all alone. They insisted on taking some friends or cousin along but clearly disagreeing I managed somehow and left them no other choice in hand but to grant me permission.
Now let me give you a little insight about Bangalore and then I will continue with how I made a work trip convert into a travel.
Bangalore is a city in Southern India in the state of Karnataka. The city host the silicon valley of India for the techies with all the major companies offices established. From a travelers point of view, the city is a hub for shopaholic with numerous local market and malls overloaded with premium brands to fill your wardrobes with. One can witness Indian heritage at the Bangalore Palace or go for a deep dive into nature’s laps at Nandi Hills.
But how I ended up traveling Bangalore?
Well as I told you I was there for an interview but with no return dates finalized I only booked a one-way flight from Delhi.Since it’s wintering here flights were getting delayed so booked an early morning Spice Jet flight to report there at 2 in the noon.
I was there at 11 in the morning and stuck!!!
They refused to entertain before the scheduled time. Standing at the gate, struggling over my thoughts I took this as an opportunity to start exploring the nearby areas.With 3 hours in hand, I visited two spots Commercial Estate and the Ulsoor Lake.
Market located close to the Manipal Center offers shoppers all kinds of goods from high-end brands to local street. The faces of the market are the big shops and as one walks down the street in the back are the shops for low-cost shopping.
Another nearby site was this Lake. On recommendation from a rickshaw driver, I agreed to give it a visit. But, I wonder it was a big mistake to trust him. Wondering why I said so? Well, the gates to the lake were closed and I had to just see it through the grills.
It was quite a large lake with a central island though the place was not attractive and can be skipped if short of time.
After a long wait, it was time to report at the center. By the time all formalities were completed we were all set for the Dinner and then after a short walk in the vast campus, we were ready for a good night sleep. All this was taken care on the company’s end.
The next day after the process we left the campus post lunch. Waiting along with others at the station in a dilemma to decide the further action it was 7 in the eve when I received a message for flight booking for the next day.
Immediately called up my brother to get it canceled and book ahead in time.But, it was not as easy as to cut the cake and I was asked to check-in in the hotel for the night and take a half day city tour as the flight was in the eve.
Next morning I was there again calling my bro to get it rescheduled and luckily this time I was successful. Now I was enjoying the relishing breakfast at Ramada by Bangalore and eagerly waiting for the agents’ text for the new flight bookings. The masala omelet was so delicious that without second thoughts I ordered it twice and the strawberry flavored yogurt just can’t be left out.
Five hours before departure my new bookings were confirmed and now I had 2 days to spend in the city.
And then started the real fun….
It was 1 in the noon and I quickly checked out from the hotel…Now you must be wondering why did I do so if I had to stay for two more nights?
Well, If you see my previous experiences you will find that I don’t stay at the same place for more than one day to enjoy a variety.
Today I visited a nearby Church followed by Racecourse, Bangalore Palace and Iskcon Temple and at last Orion Mall.
St. Mary’s Basilica Church
It was quite hot in the noon and with no idea where I was going walking on the roads I discovered this church and since it was Christmas time I couldn’t miss visiting it. The place was quite crowded and a huge tree ( of course Christmas tree) welcomes you. Further, as you go the interiors of the church were well decorated with props. After spending half an hour I left and explored the street market outside which were full of items like stars, Santa, trees and much more giving a full-fledged festive feel.
I was really excited to visit this as I had heard from the locals and hotel staff that one can visit the stallion and see the jockey practicing for races and even enjoy witnessing the horses merely for an entry fee of Rs.20 or Rs.40. But all my expectations were gone vain when I was told that “It’s just on television on which the race that was taking place in Chennai is telecast live for people to bid money”.
Watch the video for better insights
Quite disappointed I headed to next spot. The moment I got down in the first sight of the palace seeing the fortified towers of the palace left me with only excitement and no more disappointments. I quickly took few pics of the exterior and moved in. Purchasing the tickets for Rs. 285 ( will vary for foreigners and camera ) and dropping my luggage at the counter started my 40 min audio tour. An audio tape was provided in your preferred language.
As I moved up the wooden stairs the beautiful carvings at the posts can be seen. Also, it had uniqueness in it for no two flowers were carved out to look similar.
The walls were decorated with paintings of prominent personalities and also the architectural blueprint of the palace. The ceilings were crafted with relief paintings which make you feel the grandeur of the palace.
The sprawling ground surrounding the palace and a vast garden is used for organizing events like music concerts or more.
It was 3:30 in the noon when I was here. From the entrance itself I could see the numerous stairs that were to be climbed in the temple. Now, since my phone’s battery was dying and I was totally dependent on it for hotel booking and GPS, I decided to first book a place to stay nearby and then return back to visit the temple after throwing my luggage in the room.
At 5 in the eve I moved out of the room back to the temple. The temple, devoted to Lord Krishna is majestically built-in four levels with the top-level residing the main temple.
The temple gives an amazing sight at the sunset and it not only looks grand from outside but is actually big with a whole shopping and food street present in the basement of the temple.
This was the last spot for the day and I had to quickly cover it before the phone dies.
Close to the Iskcon temple at a walking distance is the mall which was not left untouched with the Christmas celebrations.
On one end was a huge Christmas tree shining in the lights and on the other end was a stage where people were getting selfies with the Santa.
Within it resided numerous brands to cater to your shopping lust and on the top floor is the gaming zone which your kids are gonna die for. Be ready to lose some money to try hands in the food court and relish your taste buds.
The day was coming to an end so I returned back to the hotel by 9 PM and filled my tummy at the hotel’s restaurant.
Today it was planned to visit Nandi Hills which is about 1.5 hrs by road from Bangalore. On a chat with one of my blogging friends from Bangalore Neha who shares her traveling experiences on Revolving compass she suggested me to visit Lepakshi too along with Nandi Hills. And there I was all set by 10:00 AM after a heavy breakfast waiting for the bus at Majestic Bus Terminal.
Here I met another solo guy Shyam, who was traveling to Nandi Hills and since there were no direct bus at that moment I asked him join me for Lepakshi and then further to reach Nandi Hills by the eve so as to witness the spectacular sunset and leave the next day after sunrise.
Watch the video for better insights.
From majestic terminus, we took a bus going towards Gorantla and after 3 hrs bus ride we were dropped at Kodikonda check-post and were to take an auto-rickshaw for further 16 km. In total it cost Rs. 120 + 15 .
Located 120 km North of Bangalore in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi village is significant for the shrines of Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Veerbhadra. The temple is an archaeological site and is supported on numerous pillars one out of which has gained popularity for it is hanging and touches the ground only at a pinch of a point.
200 m from the temple is built a giant granite statue of Nandi Bull ( Vehicle of Lord Shiva) which faces towards the shivling in the temple which is guarded by a serpent majestically carved out of a single rock. Myths are that it was carved while they wait for their mothers to get the food prepared. At 3:00 PM we rushed for the Nandi hills for we did not want to miss the sunset.
Route – Lepakshi – Hindupur ( Auto-rickshaw) – Chikkballapur( Bus) – Betta Cross (Bus) – Nandi Hills ( Hired a two-wheeler)
All thanks to the bad public transport, the bus we took for Chikkballapur dropped us at 6:30 PM and since we had no bookings for stay at Nandi Hills we were recommended to stay there itself.
After dinner we found another Church, better than the previous one.
Chikkballapur being a small village has not much hotels so at 7:15 PM we decided to settle for a lodge named Swagath Guest House very close to the bus stop.
As told by the locals we were suppose to catch the morning bus at 6:00 AM for Nandi Hill but to utter shock there was no bus till 7:30 AM and so we decided to take the next bus which would drop us half-way at Betta Cross from where we luckily got a two-wheeler on hire ( Rs.6 /km & Rs.10 / hr).
Reaching the hill after missing both the sunset and sunrise we thought we would find nothing much to be amazed about but to prove us wrong our cameras didn’t took a breath of relief. All clicks….clicks…clicks………….
There was an amazing hike through the forest, a picturesque 270 degree wide open scenery, a heritage building and also shooting of a promo for a Kannada film.
Reached the Bangalore airport at 1 in the noon for a 6 PM flight so had plenty of time to explore.It has all you need feed your shopping lust to hunger calls.Time to bid a goodbye to Bangalore…..
Tips from my experience –
- Always have a power bank and rely on GPS
- Use Ola auto instead of local autos for they are cheaper
- Make your booking for stay at Nandi Hills prior and reach there by evening
- Nandi hills timings are from 6 at dusk to 6 at dawn
- Hire a car for you can cover both Nandi hills and Lepakshi in a day and return back to Bangalore on the same day
Follow us for more great experiences upcoming soon…