Namma Bengaluru! Isn't it? And thank God for that phrase and Bengaluru because this is one city that I call home after Delhi. Even with the traffic. Whenever I visit the city, though I have just come from the country's capital city, I find a strange kind of calm in the chaotic, IT-hub that is Bengaluru. Most of the time it's a very short visit, like a day or two, but there is always something new to experience. And just the right amount to keep the motor running for the next time you visit. On my last visit to Bengaluru, I had only a couple of days to spend in the city, one of which I decided to dedicate to the city. I was going to do nothing but spend my 24 hours enjoying the best that Bengaluru had in store for me...including traffic. Traffic because in Bengaluru it does become a part of one's daily existence. Accept it. Own it. Be one with it...
First word of advice: Breakfast.
When in Bengaluru it is always a smart choice to eat a traditional and local breakfast. There are many restaurants in the city that serves delicious food early in the morning. They have been standing there for decades and have become some of the most popular city landmarks. One such iconic restaurants I got to experience on my last visit was the Konark Hotel, an 18-year-old establishment in the Commercial Street that serves authentic Bengaluru flavours and is known for its service and attention to cleanliness. A heavy breakfast of fluffy idlis, masala dosa, the fried goodness that is vada and my favourite, bisi bele bhaat. Some will feel this to be a bit much for a breakfast but hey, you have one day in the city so do what you have to do. Carpe Diem!
Second word of advice: Learn.
By now it's time to accept the traffic, namma traffic! I won't lie, the traffic did make me want to suddenly own an aircraft and fly off to anyplace I wanted in no time. But that's the fun about one being stuck in early morning traffic, you get to be work your mind, be creative. At the end of my tad ambitious thoughts, was the HAL Museum--a museum located at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited premises as a part of HAL Heritage Centre and Aero Space Museum. Whatever India achieved in the field of aviation in the last six decades, you'll find it all here. A quick glance at the wall of fame told me a lot of success stories of HAL, one of Asia's largest Aerospace companies. From English Electric Canberra, a jet-powered bomber to HAL Dhruv ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter), from the DRDO Lakshya to a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, an indigenously-developed launch system of the Indian Space Research Organization or ISRO), a visit to HAL Museum was enough for me to gasp in wonder. I was star-struck no doubt but somewhere near me I overheard a visitor go "and I thought it was a water tank!"
Third word of advice: Heritage.
Bangalore Palace and what else! The 1878 palace was built in Tudor Revival style of architecture, complete with fortified towers, turrets, the works! The palace belonged to Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, the twenty-third maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. The palace is a great architectural beauty that one must visit. To make the visit easier, one can do an audio tour of the palace. You just follow the instructions on the device and are free to take your own sweet time exploring each and every aspect of the palace. Don't miss the intricate artworks, floral motiffs on the walls, floors, framed photos of the royal family. The 45, 000 sq ft palace is gorgeous and I can imagine why. If you think the interior is beautiful, wait till you come out again and take another good look at the palace facade.