Bangalore has retained its old-world charm - The New Indian Express

Bangalore has retained its old-world charm

Published: 09th November 2013 09:55 AM

Last Updated: 09th November 2013 09:56 AM

South Bangalore has changed but has not lost its identity. Basavangudi is an old suburb of Bangalore, and a fascinating place to live in. Rich socio-cultural milieu, tree lined avenues and old fashioned tiled houses were its hallmark. Our own house was one such building - with a large hall and veranda, to which all rooms opened. High ceilings with wooden bars clad with terracotta tiles were a common design.  The roads looked empty with a few people.  An unforgettable memory was the sudden downpour almost every evening, playing spoil sport to our outings. The hottest of summers were not hot in Bangalore and we never used fans. Evening walks on Puttanna Road would provide a glimpse into the cultural practices of the residents. One could hear the strains of music practice or Sanskrit sloka recitation. Music concerts at the adjoining Makkala Koota would attract a large number of music lovers and the temples never lacked devotees.

Passing through Chamarajpet, we would peep out to see which Kannada film was running at Uma theatre, a well-known landmark in south Bangalore. Further down, the market at Gandhi Bazaar used to be abuzz with activity; the fragrance of flowers would be all pervading, particularly in the vicinity of Vidyarthi Bhavan, very well-known for its Masala Dosa, dripping with ghee.

A visit to Majestic was a must. The main street was lined with theatres showing movies in all regional languages. Since my uncle was fond of English films, he would board us into a bus going to Shivajinagar, the closest bus stop to MG Road. We would walk from the stop to Plaza/ Blue Moon theatres which prided in having shows of the best English films. We didn’t mind the walk, as soon after the film, we would be treated to crispy dosas at Brindavan Hotel.

Like all things, the passing time has left a mark on Bangalore.  In Basavanagudi, small grocery shops have made way for bigger stores and malls; old quaint bungalows to modern houses and flats, lehengas to chudidars, salwars and pants; tree lined avenues to broad and bustling roads. The modern city is cosmopolitan, attracts investors worldwide, with the best of retail outlets and restaurants that are located in the city. Soon we will have the swanky Metro criss-crossing the city, a part of which has already been completed.

These changes are inevitable for a growing city. However, no matter what the change, Bangalore still retains its old-world charm, and deep within, the nostalgic memories of music, fresh air, charming houses, women sitting in verandas cleaning rice while gossiping remain etched in time.

(The reader is a resident of Banashankari)


■ Rich culture

■ Music and dance classes

■ Shady trees

■ Quaint bungalows

■  Gandhi Bazar for shopping 


■ Overcrowding

■ Loss of tree cover

■ Potholes and construction

■ Growing number of layouts

■  High-rise buildings changing the landscape

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