"There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go." Keith Bellows
This is India for me. Which I find very interesting, as India was not on my list of “must visit” countries. Last November, D had a business trip to New Delhi, so of course I tagged along – why not? I became intrigued with this exotic country. When I learned he was scheduled for a second trip, this time to Bangalore, I could hardly wait to go. And it did not disappoint.
There is something about India; its color, culture, people, streets ... they seem like pages from an ancient story.
Bangalore is in the southern part of India. It was a 4 1/2 hour flight from Singapore with a time difference of 2 1/2 hours. Don’t ask about the half hour time zone… it is the craziest thing.
We know it as Bangalore, but the real name is Bengaluru, changed in 2006. Actually, this change brought it back to its original name, which was Bengaluru. The city is said to be over 1000 years old.
Bengaluru has been referred
to as the Silicon Valley of India due to having the highest number of
software companies in India and the highest number of software professionals in
They have amazing street art/graffiti.
India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35.
While we were there, a small bomb went off in the city. It was politically motivated. This is the first time in our travels we have had a bombing in the city we were visiting.
Look closely at the animal below - it is a calf, not a dog. And, this house is right in the middle of the city.
Christiana, my friend who lives in China, was traveling with her spouse so I had a buddy to run with during the visit. We had a blast! We hired an auto rickshaw (tuk tuk) the first day we arrived and we liked the driver so much we used him for five days. He was great and took good care of us.
This was one of the craziest sights we saw... a man carrying a casket down the street. Was it real? Was it paper? We have no idea.
There were cows EVERYWHERE! Here they are on the front porch of a house. In India, the cow is sacred and never killed for food. It is used as source for milk and symbol of life. Most every household has one and they are considered pets with names and personalities.
Sweet little one with a bindi.
The one below belonged to a beggar. His owner was walking down the street playing an instrument. Oddly enough, he was doing this for the locals not for tourists. There were no tourists around but us. What a beautiful costume for a cow.
On any given road you would see cows walking with no owner. They say stray and homeless cows, especially in Southern India, are cared for by temples.
Several of them blocking traffic!
Well... um... no words needed here.
India is the second most populated country in the world and Bangalore is India's third most populous city. The traffic is crazy.
On the highways there are no white dividing lines and what looks like space for about 4 lanes of traffic, they make into 5 or 6 lanes. Weaving any which way they can go - even if it is the opposite direction!
Approximately 8 million people live in Bangalore.
As always - we ventured into the local part of town to check out their food market.
Oh my, this is where you are happy we do not have the ability to smell photos on our computer! I have to say... this was by far, the filthiest market we have ever been through. I felt like I caught something just from smelling the air.
Continue at your own risk...
As in most countries, the locals were very friendly and open to us taking their photos, even smiling and posing for the shots.
You can't really see them, but the flies were all over these chickens.
Not only are the markets dirty, but streets are also filthy. And the air quality is very poor compared to Singapore. Although, this is all relative; as Christiana, from Shanghai, was enjoying the "clean air" in Bangaluru (the air in China is very very dirty). This is one thing we love about going home to Singapore - it is SO CLEAN!
We were surprised to see turkeys... especially just cruising around the streets.
Like many Asian countries, a lot is sold in the streets: clothes, cooking items, and food.
Must have been something really good below. You might have noticed how many Muslims are in our photos. Islam is the second-most practiced religion in India after Hinduism, encompassing around 15% of the country's population.
I was fascinated by how they hung these grapes. I have never seen them displayed this way before. And notice the size of the grapes - beautiful!
They say the best guava fruit are grown in India.
How could I resist giving these guys their moment of fame?
There are many beautiful, colorful, old temples throughout the city. We had our tuk tuk driver take us to a few of them. He even went inside with us and told us a few facts about the temples and the religion.
Narasimha, the Man-Lion, is regarded as the greatest and most powerful of the deities (god or goddess or divine character). He is known as the "great protector" who defends and protects his devotees in times of need.
Interesting how they placed the red and yellow markings on the statues.
And below, where the water is poured on only one figure.
Hindus believe in millions of female goddesses. Each goddess has her own story and looks different from the next.
Ganesha, the Hindu Elephant God, is one of the
best-known and most widely worshipped deities in India. He is the remover of obstacles and Lord
This is a very large statue (65 feet tall) of Lord Shiva, a Hindu god. He is sitting in the Lotus position (meditation) and has 4 arms, which represent the four cardinal directions of the compass. He is both a destroyer and a restorer.
Indian phone booth.
Shopping! Oh yes so much fun shopping in India - D had a few hours on Sunday to check out the city and help me and Christiana shop. The tuk tuk driver took this photo with my camera. I told you he was good!
Deep in negotiations!
In India, they have an unusual setup when you go to a shop to buy a Sari, a Khadi, or a scarf. The sales people sit on a raised floor, you sit in a chair in front of them, and then they pull 20 to 30 outfits and lay them out on the platform for you to examine. I bought a ready-made outfit here as well as I had one custom-made. If you are traveling to India for the first time, don't be intimated by this process.
Here I am with Lal, our tuk tuk driver. Again, making me look like jumbo woman - just to remind you, I am only 5'4!
Sunset from our hotel window....
Goodnight beautiful India - until next time!