My Li'l Travel Book | Bangalore › Sushmita Malakar

My Li’l Travel Book | Bangalore

Oh yes, Bengaluru, if you must. So first things first, I have been to this city twice. I don’t like this city at all. Period.

However, this place deserves some credits for being very close to some pretty awesome places on this earth! To name a few – Pondicherry and Coorg!

I have no clue why everyone keeps on insisting that Bangalore is a nice place. No, no, no. Sorry, my bad. Bangalore is a “happening” place. I have no clue why and how. UB City is a mess. Nightlife is so screwed up that it will force you to sleep at 10 PM. The traffic is so bad that you would just want to come back to Delhi and then kiss the roads here. And yes, the airport of Bangalore is located in Chennai.

But this travelogue of mine is not about my cribbing. So yes, there are certain good things about this city.

The customary travel trip – For Bangalore, I have just one tip. Do not go there.

If travelling from Delhi (or any major city for that matter), you can take a flight to reach Bangalore.  From Delhi, the flight is of approximately of three hours. Then you spend the same amount of time to travel to the main city of Bengaluru from the airport and realize that flights are as exhausting for this city. All right, no cribbing.

The last time I went to Bangalore, I covered Mysore and Pondicherry. This time, though I was for a longer duration, I just went to Coorg. There is so much to write about Mysore and Coorg. But yes, Bangalore is a city city. It is not like Delhi which is culturally diverse and has a great heritage attached to it. A typical modern city which offers you avenues for a good career and a crowd which is young – that is Bangalore for you.

I decided to give this city some time of my life. I went to this super amazing brewery in Whitefield which offered a very limited yet amazing food menu with nice crafted beer. This place is called Windmill Craftworks. Then one fine day, I went to UB City which is just a huge shopping place for the riches. If you have been to Delhi’s DLF Emporio, then let me put it this way – UB City is a poorer version of that. Then I went to Kormangla for lunch one day. There was this place called Sotally Tober which had some really indigenous cocktails. This place refueled my dream of becoming a mixologist.  And then another day, I went out for dinner to that place again, with my brother. Yes, my life is that sad. However, I went to Kormangla again because I liked that place. You get some nice amount of positive vibes from this place. Then there is M.G. Road too. But I am not very fond of that place. So yes, that would be it.

Because Bangalore is a city city. Fast paced – somewhere near M.G. Road. 

I then went to Coorg, a beauty of the Western Ghats and rightly called the Scotland of India. That trip needs an entire blogpost and I will be posting it soon. So after my adventure at Coorg, I really wanted to do something in Bangalore. So I, along with my brother and brother -in-law, planned this weekday getaway to the outskirts of Bangalore. If you move towards the outskirts of this city, sadly towards the airport, there is this beautiful place called Nandi Hills. I was staying in Whitefield. Nandi Hills is some 60 odd kilometers from there. This is an absolute beauty. People go to this place for a short drive or bike ride. The weekend is not the best place to go here because you won’t be able to appreciate the serenity of this place.

This is the place where you catch the rising sun. We left from our place at four in the morning. The road to this place is pretty good – unlike the rest of the city.

The kind of rest which make you enjoy your journey. 

And once you reach near the hills, you can feel the chills. This place is like a mini hill station in the middle of a plain area. And a drive to this place is a mini vacation – instantly refreshing. The view from the roads towards the hills is so beautiful. To put it in words, it’s like someone just took loads of fog in their hands and then gently  blew it towards the hills. It’s cute!

The wind -blown fog. 

While our way up, the road seemed scary as it was still dark and too curvy!

The curvy roads with numbered curves. This path has some beautiful stoppages where you can just sit and enjoy the beauty, from an altitude, 

But the scare was worth everything. I had never seen such a beautiful view of the sun till that day. Peaceful.

For once I couldn’t believe I was somewhere near a place which had a temperature of 35 degrees in the middle of March. The sun playing hide and seek. 
Oh, I wouldn’t have missed to get clicked. No?

The drive down the path was good. Why? Because it was not scary now. There was broad day light and the route was just so picturesque. Lot of self-obsession came along that ride!

The love for red – red shirt, red hair and red flowers. So much of love! 

The next stop after Nandi Hills was the Grover – Zampa Vineyard. I had to do a lot of coaxing to convince my brother and jiju for a tour to the vineyard. I was very convinced that I have to do something good in Bangalore, otherwise I will always hate this city. And after so much of adventure in life, I really wanted a fancy shit to happen. And yes, a tour to the vineyard was indeed the highlight of my stay in Bangalore. My brother and jiju, who are now localites of Bangalore, couldn’t agree more and thank me till this day for the vineyard tour.

Try visit a vineyard once. It is a great experience altogether. 

You just have to book a tour in advance. A tour to the vineyard includes a complete guided tour of the vineyard, refineries, wine tasting and a hearty lunch. Before going to this place, we were skeptical because the reviews on the internet were very repellent. However, we had a great day because of a very friendly guy who was the host and the guide and secondly, a great company.

The host and the guide! A super friendly guy who knows his wine and job. 

Photography is prohibited in the vineyard and the area where the wine is fermented. This guy, Vipin, took us around the place. He explained the whole process of fermenting wine – too technical but interesting to the core. And finally he took us to the storage area where the wine is aged in barrels. This place smelled like heaven. The moment you enter there, you get the feel that you are in one of the ships of Tintin comics and any moment Captain Haddok will pop out of nowhere shouting “Billions of blistering barnacles”. The air around here smells of rich oak wood soaked in the finest of the grape juices.  

Yes, this was trippy!

And then we knew that this was the time for the wine tasting. They offer you the finest of their wines for tasting. Did I mention fancy shit earlier? Oh yes, the typical tasting with cheese and crackers.

The five varieties for tasting. 

Since this was my first visit to a vineyard, I might be exaggerating, but a tasting tour to a vineyard is an experience in itself. Please don’t go to judge the place on the food offered or the amount of wine being served. But with this host around, the amount of alcohol was not an issue!

The fascination!

I was in awe of the fact that I am just learning so many new things. The process of fermentation which is different for different wine, the fact that Champagne is Champagne only in Champagne and for the rest of the world its sparkling wine, the five S’s to judge the quality of wine – everything is just fascinating.

They offered the following five varieties. They might not be the best of the wines but the choice was good enough to bring out the difference and individuality of every grape variety that goes into making the myriad of wines!

This one – La Reserve (Cabernet Sauvignon – Chiraz) was just too strong for me. However, the aroma is surely something. 

The purest Chiraz – Cabernet Chiraz from the Art Collection. All right, so I have hots for this one now. 

Rose wine is my all time favourite. Why? Because red. 

Sauvignon Blanc from the Art Collection. Not a huge fan of white wine, but yes rich enticing aroma defines this one. 

Viognier from the Art Collection. The lightest of the white wines. 

This was a great thing to do. Tasting wines with a group of strangers who were pretty like minded and having a lively discussion about everything on this earth. The tour ended with a happy lunch and good memories (at least for me. Because Bangalore).

A day well spent! 

And that is all I have to share about Bangalore as a traveler. It is not a tourist’s delight but as I mentioned this city has certain good things to offer. I have been in Bangalore for almost a month. I know I will be frequent visitor to this city now that I have my sister staying there. But I am not a huge fan of this place. So any Bangalore – lover reading this, please help me out with this city the next time I visit.

And yes, one important lesson – after deciding to make this year my year of travel and after travelling to four different places already, I have learned that planned or spontaneous, it is important to do a thorough research of the place where you are “tripping”.

Author’s Note
My sister constantly bugs me to shift to Bangalore and start a life there. I don’t see this city where I can get a house and a car and settle down and start a family. This city is too fast paced and a make-shift city for my kinds. Yes, it is.

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Picture Credits : Rohan Raizada