Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bangalore: Not Quite Sights Galore but Enjoyable Nonetheless

My reasons for being in Bangalore right now have almost nothing to do with specific sightseeing attractions I wanted to explore.

As I discussed in some detail a couple posts ago, I have a couple friends who live in the southern India city of 8.5 million people, who I met when we lived in Los Angeles in 1990.

Both Yashu and Harish grew up elsewhere in India and have friends & family in various Indian locales, but whatever their variety of rationales for settling in Bangalore, it seems like a good choice from my much more limited purview.

Evidenced by the 2-hour traffic jam we were caught in this afternoon, the vast metropolis can be quite congested and chaotic. And as elsewhere in India, dogs, cows and other animals roam the streets freely.

But compared to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra, Bangalore feels considerably more modern, organized and clean. (Even the more homespun shopping strips are fully paved here, unlike the prevalent mud and dirt elsewhere.)

Known as the Silicon Valley of India, the country's third largest city has grown by more than 500% since 1971, with population doubling just within the 21st century.

So while there are several new high rise complexes--such as the one in which Yashu and Harish reside--some of the surrounding infrastructure lags. (We tried to order from Pizza Hut last night but they wouldn't deliver to here.)

And while there is considerable history to be explored and attractive temples throughout the city, from a sightseeing and photographic perspective, Bengalore (aka Bengaluru) lags behind the other cities I visited.

This isn't a complaint, as sightseeing here wasn't my reason for tacking 5 days onto my trip, and seeing--and just hanging out with--my friends has been wonderful.

I've also been beset with a minor ear infection, something of a cold and some muscle soreness, so I'm happy to take it a bit easier.

And it's not like I haven't seen some amazing sights.

Thursday Yashu and I went to the vast ISKCON (Hari Krishna) temple, yesterday was a private driver tour to Mysore and today another driver took Yashu, Harish and me around Bangalore.

At some sites I was happy just to snap a few photos--such as of the Vidhana Soudha government building--but we toured the Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, strolled the Lalbagh botanic garden and quickly visited a few temples.

So my camera--and legs--still got a decent workout. Pix are up on Facebook for those who have access.

No big plans for tomorrow, my last in Bangalore...and India.

But especially if it helps me rest up and feel better before a 3-hour flight followed by a nearly 15-hour one, I think that will suit me quite fine.

Sometimes on vacation one needn't run around all the time, snapping the shutter like a madman.

Heck, some actually champion the idea of rest and relaxation.

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