“Old” Bangalore: Gandhinagar, Chickpet, Food Street
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Bangalore isn’t really what you can call a historic city and the urban heritage is light and spread-out. Still, before English established the city as the main “Cantonment” of Karnataka, the city was already built around “pets” (neighborhoods) under the famous Kempe Gowda.
Those “pets” are still existing today and represent more or less the heart of the Indian historic city.
The most famous of them, Chickpet is a maze of small streets, hole in the wall shops which seems to be infinite. A real labyrinth, wholesale market or simple shops where you can buy almost everything: saris, material, electric cables, cooking pots, bicycles, plastic items, school books… you name it, they have it. Of course, this wholesale market in those tiny streets is provoking big traffic jams of rickshaws, two-wheelers or even pedestrians (specially on a Saturday afternoon)! You have to see it to believe it and don’t hesitate to enter the smallest streets, shops and courtyards. It’s a neighborhood where you’ll find something new everytime and where the “organised” Indian chaos is at its best.
Not far away, an other area is pretty unique and emerged from the rest of Bangalore, it’s Gandhinagar. Everyone has to pass there at it’s also the transport hub of the city with the bus station Majestic, and the train one, City Junction. You find there many “lodges”, “guest-houses” or hotels where you wouldn’t want to have to stay more than a transit night. But more than that, it’s also the local movie theaters hub with at least 15 different ones in this area (so in Kannada but also Telugu and Tamil). You recognize them from far away as they all bring a pretty crazy tradition of erecting giant actors statues made of painted wood or cardboard with the flower garlands usually reserved for idols.
To finish this “desi” (local) experience, do not miss VV Puram, also nicknamed Food Street or EAT street as it’s the main hub of the city for veg street food. Perfect to taste the local heroes, dosa and idlis plus some other interesting less known ones.