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Friday, February 3, 2023

Travelling Suitcase | 36 Hours in Bengaluru, India

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Central Library heritage building, Cubbon Park. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

Central Library heritage building, Cubbon Park. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

If you are in India’s most cosmopolitan city, Bengaluru, there is so much to see that it will take you many days but if you have 36 hours you can still enjoy a slice of the city.

DAY 1

7.00 am: Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

Start your day with a walk at the best lung space in the city, Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. The 240-acre park is home to a variety of unique botanical species as well as a watch tower built by the founder Kempegowda. When here, you will see many species of birds as well as a plethora of flowers as well. A biennial flower show coinciding with Independence and Republic Day sees the space swathed in a kaleidoscope of colours. The park is home to a 3,000-million-year-old rocky outcrop and a tree fossil that is over 20 million years old.

8.30 am: Breakfast at MTR

Started in 1924, Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) is one of the best places to have breakfast and is well known for its excellent Masala Dosa, Idli, Vada, Upma, and famed Badam Halwa. Located close to Lalbagh, it makes for an excellent pit stop to fuel you for the day ahead. Do not forget to wash it all down with piping hot filter coffee. Remember though that you may need to wait in a queue for a table.

10.30 am: Bangalore Fort and Tipu Summer Palace

Bangalore Fort. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Bangalore Fort. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

Built by Kempegowda I in 1537 as a mud fort, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan converted this into a stone fort in the 18 th century. The fort was captured by the British and today the remains include what was then called the Delhi Gate. The small structure is a good example to see the fortifications of that time. Once done, head to the nearby summer palace of Tipu Sultan, a wooden structure that is a good example of Indo Islamic architecture. The teak structure complete with arches, pillars and balconies has floral motifs on the walls. There is a small museum on the lower level that showcases Tipu’s achievements as well as a replica of Tipu’s Tiger which is part of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

1.30 pm: Lunch at Maya

Maya restaurant. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Maya restaurant. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

A concept slow living restaurant and art gallery inspired by Sri Lankan architecture and Geoffrey Bawa’s design philosophy, MAYA as a balanced menu of global cuisine with a touch of Sri Lanka. A fine selection of wines and craft beers pairs well with the fresh food that is enjoyable in the lush green space. The restaurant uses produce sourced fresh every day from local farmers around Bangalore and has sustainability as its ethos even as it aims to be a zero-waste restaurant within the year and feed hungry animals as part of their campaign. When you are here, stop by at the dedicated art gallery where you can see work of some upcoming artists as well.

4.00 pm: Bangalore Palace

Spread over an acre, the Bangalore Palace is an architectural marvel that is said to have been inspired by England’s Windsor Castle. Built in 1887 by Chamaraja Wadiyar, this Tudor and Scottish Gothic architectural palace has wooden interiors surrounded by perfectly landscaped gardens. Ornate pillars, arches, cornices, patterned walls and more make this place a visual spectacle. Do not miss some of the fine works of renowned artist Raja Ravi Verma when you are here. You can use the audio guides that are available to understand the nuances of the palace.

7.30 pm: Dinner at Daysie

Daysie restaurant. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Daysie restaurant. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

A new all-day restaurant and bar that is spread over an extensive 10000 sq. ft, Daysie has a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor seating and is a best way to have a relaxed, laid back and leisurely meal in a beautiful ambience. With a globally inspired food menu that offers various cuisines and includes an array of soups, salads, and crisps to bar snacks the restaurant has comfort food to satiate your appetite. The Lobster Bisque, Mutton Paya, Bohri Keema Samosas, Surf Basket, and Salmon Papdi Chaat are some favourites. Try the lip-smacking range of small plates, scrumptious pizzas, delicious flatbreads, sharing platters, Kebabs and Burgers here. A section of Community Cocktails, Dessert Cocktails, a remarkable set of Long Island Iced Teas infused with homemade brines, teas and floral notes are popular here.

DAY 2

7.30 am: RCB Bar and Café

Benne dose and thatte idli for breakfast at RCB Cafe. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Benne dose and thatte idli for breakfast at RCB Cafe. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

RCB Bar and Café is a first-of-its-kind amalgamation of culinary, mixology, and cultural experiences and serves an eclectic range of breakfast options. In fact, they have breakfast specials that run every Sunday and if you are at that time, you can also sample what is aptly called the ‘Breakfast Club’. Otherwise, the menu has breakfast taco, chocolate babka, French toast, Nandan chicken curry with puttu and egg molee with rice pathiri apart from many more. A purposefully designed space it offers experiences that range from eclectically programmed music, live events, celebrity chef takeovers and more.

9.00 am: St. Patrick’s Church

Dating to 1841, the St. Patrick Church is one of the oldest in the city and is a fine example of Gothic architecture. While it is dedicated to Virgin Mary and the Archangel Michael, it is named as such as it was built for the Irish soldiers who lived here at that time. The facade with twin belfry towers, arched entrance, wooden pews, 12 pillared columns, stained glass windowpanes and some statues has a calm and serene vibe.

10.00 am: Indian Cartoon Gallery

It is hard not to love cartoons and the Indian Cartoon Gallery has a curated display of work from the country’s finest cartoonists. They also display work on new and current cartoonists and have a library space with information on the history of cartooning in India. A small museum with wax models of cartoon characters and an exhibition space are also part of the venue. This is in the Central Business District in MG Road, so you can also do a spot of quick shopping once you are done here.

Street art in Bengaluru. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao) Street art in Bengaluru. (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

11.30 am: HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace MuseumTo wind up your trip, a visit to the HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum is great as it has been established by Bengaluru’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The museum is home to several aircraft models, fighter planes and helicopters as well as a reference library, aircraft simulators, a mock air traffic control tower and an aeromodelling club. There are two halls here which have images showing the growth of aviation from 1940 and a hall dedicated to showcasing the various functions of an aircraft engine. Outdoor displays of MIG-21, Kiran, Ajeet, and a library with rare, interesting, and useful aviation books make this a family destination.



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