We had another day in Bangalore as our train to Hampi didn’t leave until 10pm. So after a lazy start we headed out to the Sri Radha Krishna temple to see the Hare Krishnas. The grounds were huge and judging by the crowd barriers set up and the number of spots to leave your shoes they must get thousands in at once. Luckily for us it was only a little busy so the line in wasn’t that bad.
After dropping off your shoes and going through security you were ushered into the complex where there were three temples all in line up some stairs. So filing single file we passed through the first temple and into the second. Nothing different to any of the other temples we have been to really but the last temple was the biggest. It was a combination of traditional Hindu temple with a glass skyscraper in my opinion. Upon entering your eyes were drawn to a giant gold temple at the front of the room. It wasn’t real gold but it was still pretty eye catching. There was a guru at the front blessing groups of people. To get into this section you had to pay for the VIP ticket which we declined. I have seen it all now. VIP ticket for a temple. It also included queue jumping!
Now came the unusual part where we were filed past all kinds of merchandise for sale from books on the Hare Krishna movement to wooden flutes to bracelets. It wasn’t even one room either. More like four or five. We spent more time wandering through (which you had to pass in order to exit) the merchandise than we did doing the spiritual stuff. Oh well I suppose everyone has to make their money somehow. I was secretly a little disappointed there wasn’t any Hare Chrishna chanting, drumming or clapping but you can’t have it all.
Next stop was the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. We have been using Uber to get around a lot in Bangalore and it has been great. So much easier than trying to get the rickshaw drivers to turn on their meters. They work perfectly fine for the locals but apparently every time we get in they are broken. Dodgy little so and sos! Anyway we got sick of trying to negotiate reasonable rates so started using Uber.
The gardens were a well established lovely green space in the city and it was great to walk around under some trees! By this stage we were hot hungry and sweaty so decided to get in our last Western meal and headed to the air conditioned mall for some Subway. Ahh a sandwich! It was amazing!
Watching all the people before us order, we noticed one difference in preparation. They all ordered a combination of 3 sauces. When it came to my turn and I only ordered 1 the guy looked at me funny. I suppose when you are used to Indian flavors good old honey mustard on its own just isn’t going to cut it!
Back home we sat back and relaxed, recharging for our overnight train to Hampi. We were a little apprehensive just because we would be sharing with 4 others but I am sure it will be fine. We have really enjoyed Bangalore and we can’t figure out why. Is it just because we got a slice of home? Because the sights were not anything to write home about. But I don’t think that was the only reason. Yes it was definelty the most familiar part of India we have visited so far but it still had its Indian flair and mannerisms. I personally think we got a slice of new emerging India where the two worlds are merging and the feeling is a good one. The people are well educated and their prospects are plentiful. The future is bright and it oozes into the general feel of the city.
It must be said that we spent most of our time in the center where the ‘haves’ dominate. I think further out of the city the ‘have nots’ might be falling further behind and their future certainly not as bright. We have noticed in our observations that the ‘haves’ here ooze a certain entitlement or arrogance towards their brethren. The treatment of restaurant workers or hotel staff is not the nicest I don’t think. It’s as if they almost see them as servants. But that is just my observation and I could be totally off the mark. We wouldn’t recommend Bangalore to fellow travelers we don’t think but nevertheless have enjoyed our time here. S
The three temples.
The detail was quite beautiful
There were some beautiful big old trees in the park.
The green space was a welcome change from the dust and concrete jungle.