Since photography is only a hobby for yours truly, on my recent week-long stay in Bangalore I mostly conducted business other than photography. Nonetheless, I had a bit of time for morning walks in the edge-of-the-city technology cluster area, snapped some reasonable shots through the windshield of our chauffeured car, and on the last day took full advantage of the several hours of sightseeing organized by our hosts.
Here are a few highlights.
This palace next to the hotel I was staying at is actually a large medical center. You wouldn’t say by looking.
The full name is Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, for those interested.
Distinctive auto-rickshaws – known colloquially as tuk-tuks – rather captured my attention. I was not adventurous enough to actually ride on one, but I took many shots of them. They made an especially colorful palette when idly gathered at their little parking stands.
The first stop on our final-day sightseeing trip was Shiv Mandir temple, where we were greeted by this statue of the god Ganesha.
The temple offers several “activities” that allow a curious Westerner to observe and participate in Hindu little rituals. We lucked into a time when there weren’t that many visitors, although I heard that it can become quite crowded on holy days.
Long rides in the car accounted for nearly half of the sightseeing program. Taking pictures through the windows is hardly ideal (and rolling down the windows was hardly an option, on account of air pollution you could literally taste), but I managed a few passable shots. Here is one with the Karnataka (the state that Bangalore is part of) High Court in the background.
Shots of the vehicles on the roads prevailed in such conditions. Here is one that I sort of like.
Since I was riding shotgun – nobody from our group contested my right to the forward seat given my superior photographic equipment – this shot appears to me as if we are moving against traffic. I believe we are simply crossing the main road while these tuk-tuks are waiting at the red light.
One other sightseeing stop was the Bangalore Palace.
It was actually originally built in mid-19th century by a British Reverend, and bought by local maharajahs only twenty years later. As castles go, it is sufficiently interesting and worth a visit, with an understated but spacious gardens and many appealing decorative features on the interior. Here is a detail of the arches in one of the inner courtyards.
Our sightseeing culminated in an hour of strolling through precisely named Commercial Street, lined with boutiques and discount shops.
I obviously did not have enough time to explore Bangalore to my heart’s desire, but I did get a serviceable impression.
These and quite a few more pictures from Bangalore can be found in my Flickr photostream.