- Bengaluru has no dress code. Dress up (only) for parties/IPL, conservatively for religious places.
- Read the Hindu newspaper — while wearing spectacles — on the Metro. It’ll get you a date.
- Never say ‘namasthe’, ‘Kannada gothilla’ or ‘Sachin is better than Rahul’. All very dangerous.
These are some of the tit-bits you can pick off the Wanderer’s Map, a cleverly designed, densely packed riot of colours that leaves you either chuckling at its ingenuity or open-mouthed at all the information it manages to pack on an approximately A3-sized sheet.
An initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and Dekkoh, a travel start-up, under the Incredible India! campaign, the Wanderer’s Map aims to help domestic and foreign travellers.
The maps will be distributed at the visa-on-arrival and immigration counters of international airports across India, beginning with Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, from March 1. The map gives tourists information on five verticals — eateries, tourist must-visits, shopping avenues, stay options, and watering holes, along with safety tips, etiquette pointers, and even a few local phrases to get you through a tricky conversation. It also nimbly explains how mobile connections or forex may be bought, how to use local transport, and what to do in an emergency.
Dekkoh, the start-up that designed the map, comprises artists, writers and techies, and their objective is to get travellers to experience Indian cities through the eyes of a local.
Founded by Aditya Venkat Chelani, an engineer who has recently returned to Bengaluru after working in the US, and Varun Thomas Mathew, a corporate lawyer, their idea was to disseminate important information to travellers the minute they step into a new city.
“If you ask a local to tell you about his city, he’ll be able to tell you a lot in flat half an hour, because he’s lived there most of his life
A new map to greet visitors
The challenge that we faced was to get things across from the city’s spectrum, and again to get a lot of locals to agree on a few essential things. That took us a while,” says Varun.
It takes the team roughly three weeks to a month to make a map and design it.
To zero in on restaurants and other landmarks, the team created a mailing list and sent it out to select citizens. Once the first list was prepared, it was again vetted by locals. Says Varun, “We focused on things that are unique to Bengaluru, of course. So for example, we have a category called ‘Adjust maadi cuisine’, that focuses on food that can only be found in Bengaluru and nowhere else.”
The team at Dekkoh is also working on a mobile application for tourists that is set for launched in about a month.
Want a map? email Dekkoh: firstname.lastname@example.org