Bangalore City Tour

on Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Day 2 in Bangalore and I think in 2 hours we have probably seen everything there is worth seeing in this city. We get down to reception and our Tuk Tuk driver Steven is waiting outside. He first takes us to find some breakfast, we both have an omelette for 22R (30p) and fresh lemon and pineapple juice (15p and 25p). Our first stop on our tour of Bangalore is the Bull temple, there is actually 3 temples at the site, we go straight up to the bull temple and after removing our shoes go inside. Apparently there are several Bull temples in India, but this is the second biggest one.

The Bull is carved out of one giant piece of rock, we walk round the bull and are given a blessing as we leave. This includes a red dot being put on our head and about five little flowers strung together. We make a donation 5R and then leave. As we get our shoes and leave the guardian of the shoes demands money, I was unsure if it was for looking after the shoes, for using his plastic chair to put them back on or just because we’re foreigners. Anyway he gets 10R because that is the smallest note I have and he shakes his head, which apparently is a sign of thanks. Our next stop was Tipu’s palace, the entry fee is a 100R (£1.50) for foreigners and 5R (8p) for Indians, a bit of an excessive price difference we thought but ended up paying. We wished we hadn’t because there wasn’t much to see, with only a little information. From what I can remember it was built in 1862 and Tipu invented the rocket launcher.

Next was the parliament building and the high court of Karnataka. We could not enter either building but took some photos from the pavement until we noticed that we were being watched by a sniper up on the roof so we quickly jumped back in our Tuk Tuk.

We then had a tour of 5 shops so our driver could get some cheap petrol coupons, I wish we had just bought him the petrol. The shops gradually get more and more pushy trying to sell the same things every time. There favourites seem to be the sandal wood elephants, silk table runners, rugs and birth stones. We get a chance to practice a bit of haggling even though there is absolutely no chance of us buying anything. Do they seriously think we want a 12” x 6” rug that they want over a £1000 for! In the last shop I finally get away from the bloke trying to make me buy a table cloth, which I manage to get him down to 4000R from 7500R and go and find Tom. I find him upstairs in the jewellery area being hassled along with another foreign girl who is also desperate to leave but just can’t be rude and walk away. Eventually they realise their efforts are futile and there is some fresh meat in the shop that they might be able to get a sale from and we are free to leave. Our final destination was Bangalore palace which we were told you could see from the outside or pay 500R (£8) to go inside. We decide this is far too much to go and see and unfortunately you could not see anything from the outside because it’s surrounded by trees so no photos. With that, our tour of Bangalore is over and Steven takes us back to the Royal Regency Lodge.

We go out for something to eat and decide to try some proper Indian food, so when Tom spots a local restaurant that looks quite busy we decide it must be good, without reading the sign outside we walk straight in. We sit down and are brought the menu which has an English  translation but not a very good one. I have absolutely no idea what anything is anyway as I have never eaten Indian food before. Tom has some sort of idea, but when asking if something has chicken in it, we get the response “It’s all vegetarian” which it clearly stated on the front. Fools rush in and all that. We decide to stay anyway and order two curry dishes, rice, noodles and naan, we soon realise we have gone a bit over the top but the bill ends up only coming to about 350R, about £6. We head back to the hotel and pick up some toilet roll as the hostel doesn’t provide anything and also get chatting to an Indian man who wants to practice some English on us. He is fairly dreadful but we say he is great. We try and find out how to connect to the wifi at the hostel but find you can only pay by card so give it a miss. Mum you will have to wait another day for a Skype call. We have to be at the bus stop at 7:30 for our 11hr sleeper bus to Goa, that should be an experience.


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