Bangalore Jam: 5 sober things to do in Bangalore (#3)

"Bring out the bread and get your spread of 

Saturday Jam!"

Greeting and Happy Saturday. 

Party patrols, pub crawls and brunch parties- synonymous with Bangalore city! I disagree because there is SO much more in the city to do besides eat, drink and party. Here is my list of 5 (tried and tested) things to do in Bangalore city that don't involve alcohol and eating at a restaurant. 

#1. Go for a picnic to Cubbon Park  

Remember how as kid this was an absolutely dreaded activity because it involved so many family members, food, no bathroom, the long journey, the crammed car- all of which reduced the amount of time that one could spend running around playing made up games. *sigh* Fast forward a decade later, it is an absolute joy. I went on two myself! It's easy peasy, get a bunch of people together, get food (lemonade, sandwiches and other picnic food not lavish meals that need a million types of cutlery to eat), a few mats or bed sheets, board games and outdoor game equipment (like badminton rackets, Frisbees, cards) or even speakers. 

You will be surprised at how fun this can be.

Pro tips
Use google maps to give people location because no landmarks means no one will have sense of directions, not even the men who try to explain over the phone. Imagine having to say "Can you see that tree over there? The tall, green one? The one after the third medium tall green one? No? You can't tell the difference?"

Go between 2-6 (it closes at 6:30 and the heat comes down by 2, sometimes 3 pm) 

#2. V.V. Puram for a food walk of your own

So you probably have received an invite on Facebook, viewed a promo email or heard about these very fancy themed food-walk which seem SO expensive or not on a date that matches free time on your schedule. To top it, the idea of trying to time food cravings and your eating- speed to an entire group of strangers makes you awkward, then head to Vishwarapura, fondly abbreviated for convenience as V.V. Puram. Its near Cubbon Road

The only other time, this kind of deal happens is during Ramadan. This is like a vegetarian version with dosas, akki roti, kod bele, dabeli, hollige and this crazy cool snack called Potato Twist. If you google V.V. Puram/ food street you will get comprehensive lists on what not to miss. But you absolutely must go. Rumor has it they are open until 2 am! (I am just as astonished as you are)

Pro tips: 

Do not try to enter the street on a bike or with a car, park further up and walk down to the street. Its SO much easier to navigate. 

Carry cash for all your transactions. 

#3 Visit the Bangalore Palace

Historically this used to be the Wodeyar family's summer palace. The children and family who live in Mysore (which is a 2 and a half hour drive from Bangalore) would visit their uncle and aunt for summer breaks. The palace is still Wodeyar property which means that it is still maintained and not like the usual stock of peed-on, wallpapered and generally defaced, far and few monuments in Bangalore city. On the flip-side this makes the entry tickets fairly expensive- a whopping 250 odd rupees (of course twice that for foreigners)! 
But this includes and audio tour, by Narrowcasters, of the palace, which is ironically narrated by an Englishman with a few clippings of the royal family and other Indians people involved on the palace project. 

Is it worth the money and drive? Yes, it is! 

The interiors are a tad bit gaudy, remnants of the very extravagant Baroque era, but full of rich history (from essentially everywhere!). Fun fact, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's son happened to have visited the Bangalore palace and went hunting with its occupants at some point. 

Pro tips: 
If you have the headphones and their walkie-talkie looking audio guide on, the pesky security guards resist from chasing you out while you meander in and around the palace. 

 If you are actually interested in the history and back story of the palace, This is best done alone, but no harm dragging along a few or just one willing friend because it has potential display picture-worthy backdrops. 

#4 Drive to the airport 

Good, unclogged by traffic, well lit, not littered by people and garbage, wide roads are very hard to find in Bangalore, let me tell you. Even more difficult than finding sober hobbies. The road to the airport is exceptionally wonderful, so much so that Bangaloreans feel ever so grateful and frequent it as often as they can to keep from turning from David Banner to Hulk during peak traffic hours. It can be romantic, relaxing, "trippy" depending on who and how you are going. Its one-straight road and will take you at-least and hour (round trip). 

Pro tips: 
Its best to do this post 9 or 10 pm because traffic dwindles down considerably and you can get other work done such as catch up on sleep, find a car and driver etc. 

If its late into the night you can even hunt down a chai-wala who will be waiting around the toll booth and get yourself a cuppa. If you like you can go beyond the toll booth and even hover around at the departure section and wave bye to random strangers! Make note this second option involves paying toll charges on the return journey and parking charges at the airport.

#5 Make a trip to Nrityagram Dance Village

This dance village is famous for hosting the 'Vasanthahabba', a nightlong Indian classical dance festival. They invite performers from around the world to enchant an audience through the night. The festival usually takes place in the month of February of every year.  

Founded nearly 26 years ago by an Odissi dancer- Protima Gauri, Nrityagram is a beautiful property surrounded by trees, fresh mud and stone structures.  It is an architectural beauty! Walking around the lush, green campus transports you to another world. I implore you to make the 30 km drive from Bangalore to spend time at this Indian dance community, learn about the dance forms taught here, meet a few performers or simply enjoy nature.  

Pro tips: 
Depending on your interest you can either just drive down and take a tour on your own or you can call them and make a reservation or arrangements of sorts in case you want to watch them practice. 

If you get hungry but unwilling to be separated from all the beauty and grace this place radiates, you can have a meal at Taj Kuteeram which is located opposite the school. 

Been here? Done this? Feel free to leave behind a memory, advice or feedback about your experience...


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