Ute Bottcher | Vice President | Senior Relationship Manager, Deutsche Bank AG
First published in M+V’s India Insight in December 2011
Bangalore, also called Bengaluru, is the capital of Karnataka. While Bangalore has been nicknamed the “Garden City”, today it is better known as the “Silicon Valley of India”, being the country’s IT exporter. Bangalore is India’s third most populous city, and home to many well-recognized colleges and research institutions, numerous software companies, aerospace, telecom and defense organizations as well as heavy industry companies. Being located on the Deccan Plateau with an altitude of 920 meters, the weather is moderate and pleasant throughout the year.
The Taj West End, Bangalore: Beautiful, 100+ years old property which successfully combines the feel of old-school luxury and modern convenience. Lush green gardens in the midst of the city and I highly recommend the Sunday Brunch in the garden.
The Oberoi, Bangalore: An oasis of tranquility with a lovely garden which is very much in contrast with the hectic MG Road. Excellent service and great attention to detail.
ITC Royal Gardenia, Bangalore: New, “green” luxury hotel, practicing energy efficiency, waste management, green banqueting, natural lighting, wind-cooled Atrium lobby and more. This modern ITC property is located downtown Bangalore.
Eating Out and Nightlife
UB City Mall: UB City Mall on Vittal Mallya Road is one of the latest top spots in Bangalore. This property houses a highend mall, offices and “The Oakwood” Service apartments. It has also become a top location for restaurants and bars. You can sit outdoors in the courtyard area without any traffic noise. Asian fusion restaurant “Shiro”, Indian “Rajdhani”, French bistro “Cafe Noir”, the Mediterranean restaurant “Fava” and the Italian “Toscano” are just some of my favorites. “City Bar”, “Skyye Lounge” and “Shiro” are the hot spots for a drink after dinner.
Indiranagar: Indiranagar is a cozy, residential area which accommodates almost everything from supermarkets to shops, restaurants, temples and more. 100 Feet Road and 80 Feet Road are home to fashion boutiques and cafes. The small but affluent “Defence Colony” with large bungalows and neat tree-lined lanes is located along this stretch.
From MG Road to Whitefield: Great restaurants have come up across the city. I love exploring new places but also come back to the same old ones such the “Tandoor” to taste its wide range of North Indian dishes, “Caperberry” to have another exquisite fine-dining experience or “Soo Ra Sang” for some authentic Korean food.
Culture and Recreation
Festivals: The multi-cultural spirit is seen during the many festivals celebrated throughout the year with great enthusiasm. All the important festivals are celebrated with immense fervor. The culture of Bangalore is a reflection of the contemporary India – a liberal, tolerant and a symbiotic existence of the different religions and of the ancient & the modern.
Greater Bangalore Hash House Harriers: The ‘drinking club with a running problem’ also walks, runs & parties in Bangalore on a regular basis. An interesting mix of business folks and expats meet every Sunday afternoon for a scenic cross-country run or walk followed by the typical ‘hash circle’ where the gang gets together for a few laughs. This is a great way to meet new friends, to enjoy India’s beautiful countryside and to improve your fitness.
Places to see in Bangalore
K R Market, Bangalore: Bangalore’s oldest city market is an exciting experience. You can buy or watch people buy fruits & vegetables, meat, fish, spices, household goods and much more. The flower market is surely the colorful heart of this Bangalore market and a treat for the eyes. There is nothing you can’t find in this neighborhood – with lots of patience.
Bangalore Club: The oldest club in the city, founded in 1868 as the Bangalore United Services Club in the traditions of the Colonial Clubs for the officers of the British Empire. It counts among its previous members Winston Churchill and the Maharajah of Mysore. Membership is closed, and last when open, had a waiting list of over 30 years. As a visitor you will need to be invited and accompanied by one of the members.
Hampi: Hampi is both a historic & religious place in India. This was the capital of the Hindu empire, Vijayanagara, who ruled the South India during 14th to 16th century. Hampi ruins are packed with giant temples, palaces, market streets, aquatic structures, fortifications and an abundance of other ancient monuments.
Cauvery Fishing Camp: The Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp is a beautiful 120km ride away from Bangalore. During the trip, you can see silkworm farmers, flock of goats and traditional villages. The camp with comfortable bungalows and tents is located right next to a river. While fishing is no longer allowed, trekking on the surrounding hills, the adventure park, kayaking or simply relaxing by the river banks are only some of the fun activities at Bheemeshwari.