Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sightseeing in Bangalore

When you're alone in a foreign land like Bangalore for 10 days of work, which is defintely not a tourist destination and somewhere I would not pay money to visit, what could be in store for the weekend. Sightseeing of their so-called touristy spots lor - after all I've been to Mysore 2 years ago during my first business trip to Indian (and the Mysore palace is gorgeous!!!)! I was fortunate to have the client arrange a one day tour for me around the city with a driver who spoke English with such a deep Indian accent, I totally gave up trying to understand him after a while!

The day started at 9.30 and I was whisked off in a Tata, a locally produced car with Mr Guru (yeah he has a pretty lengthy name gurusomethingsomething prasad), my guide cum driver.

First stop, the government musuem on Kasturba Road and the Venkatappa Art Gallery. Established in 1886, it is the oldest museum in the country with a wide variety from the past- terracotta models, pottery, copper plates, weapons and so forth. I must say that I was a bit disappointed with the maintenance of the museum. Artifacts were showcased behind glass windows that were cracked while some others did not have proper lighting. The art gallery displays the exclusive collection of K. Venkatappa's art works, a great artist of yesteryears, born in 1887.

Some stone carvings at the entrance of the museum
Photo taking was not allowed in the museum, but I managed to sneak a few shots.Hmm, a strange musical instrumentCubbon Park was just next door, named after Sir Mark Cubbon, Bangalore's longest serving commissioner. I am so thankful that Bangalore's weather is cooling all year round - considering I went to 3 different parks today! I'm surprised that it is the hangout place for the young and old alike, couples, kids. Definitely very different culture than in Malaysia. I think we'll melt under the KL heat first!
A statue of Krhisnaraja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore from the past in Cubbon Park.
A bunch of kids, I guess, taking a stroll on Cubbon ParkI'm really curious as to why most historical buidlings are painted red, but like I said earlier, I found it almost impossible to understand my guide, therefore, could not be bothered.
Below, a picture of the High Court of Karnataka.Peddlars, just outside Cubbon ParkA 3 wheeler taxi which I believe is called the auto.
The Parliament House - Vidhana Soudha, an architetural wonder!
When I initially saw pictures on Lalbagh Garden, I was pretty impressed by all the myriad colour flowers - so was pretty excited to see it in person. Haha, but it was a different story all together when I got there. The glass house was a totally empty plot of muddy land. Wrong timing I guess. As read from the guidebook in my hotel room, 'Lalbagh is the most beautiful garden sprawling over 240 acres......raised by Haider Ali in 1760 ...... has 150 varieties of flowers and rocks believed to be 3000 million years old.' Ok la, but to give them some credit, I did in fact see some nice looking plants and flowers.Check out the floral clock at far end, which actually tells the time!The Lalbagh lake, which kinda reminds me of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, but much smaller.Monkey eating ice cream on a tree just by the lake.The much talked about Bull Temple was one of my last few stops for the day- said to be built during the period of Kempegowda. Reading the guide book, one of the many stories regarding the origin of the big bull goes as follows: The surrounding area, known as Sunkenahalli had groundnut growing farmers. A bull started grazing on the crop, enraging a farmer who hit the bull with a club. The bull sat stunned and was suddenly transformed into a stone. The shock farmers then build a temple for the bull to atone what they had done but were shocked to see the bull frowing taller! The worried farmed then prayed to Lord Shiva who advised him to retrieve a trident buried few feet away from the bull and place it on the forehead of the stone statue to stop it from growing.
Bull Temple is a small lil temple with a bull right in the middle of the temple.
And another park outside the Bull Temple with a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
And finally, Tipu Sultan's Palace, which is made mostly of wood with finely embellished balconies, pillars and arches. This 2 storey palace served as a retreat of Tipu Sultan. Something I noticed about Bangalore or perhaps even India, foreigners and locals are charged different entry fees. My guide's entrance fee was only Rs5, while I had to pay Rs100. Strange!

Magnificient teak pillarsYup and that sums up my day tour of Bangalore! I'm exhausted and trying to get some good rest in the hotel. Gonna continue watching Drop Dead Diva series season 1(recommended by Virginia) and complete my final online exam for the fraud examination. DDD is pretty darn funny and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a good laugh.
XoXo ..happy partying to my friends. Can't wait to get back, have an ice cold beer - KOJI - better bring me to that place u were telling me about last night. I hope you're not too drunk to forget which place you mentioned!


Sue-Ann said...

thanks for the pix on bangalore. inneresting!!

Siao Yue said...

sue ann: u wanna go visit@!!! hehe