Bangalore ain’t just IT!

bangalore style

If I say Bangalore, what are the first things that come to mind? I bet it’s the followings:
huge call centers, IT towers, tecchies and engineers all around, right?
Well, that’s surely what I thought when I was almost forced to pass through the city on my way from Kerala to Hampi.

OH! I was so wrong. Bangalore, probably because of IT and its huge English-speaking, tech-savvy manpower has become so much more in the recent years. The main business city of Karnataka in fact, it’s also a cultural and art hub with an impressive number of galleries, cultural centers, cinemas, restaurants and lots of fun stuff to do. Unfortunately, I had a train ticket booked, otherwise I would have spent there much longer than two day.

So, the best way to enjoy your stay in this varied Indian central state is by landing in Bangalore for a few days of fun and then moving on to Hampi (next blog post) for some chill-out time. Due to time restriction I did not manage to visit Mysore as well, but I’ve heard great things about it. If you are in fact going there, please make sure to stay at the brand new Zostel.
Here’s your:

Bangalore’s Creed

COFFEE

Social Offline
After visiting Social in Delhi, I had to check the one in Bangalore too! I actually came back here twice. For dinner and drinks with a bunch of friends, but I prefer it as a daytime hangout place. With free wifi it is also the perfect spot if you, like me, are working on the go.
Cappuccino and Elvis Presley Waffles is my favourite Social combination.

OM Made Café
Lovely, lovely, lovely rooftop cafe with a great view over the city. It’s meant to be great for sunset too, but I actually spent a lovely afternoon writing there with a bite and a couple of coffees. Delicious beans, overpriced and not super amazing food. But the place is worth a visit for sure! 

Koshy’s
This is the true Bangalorean hub for artists, writers, actors and anyone who feels a bit arty inside. You should totally try the caramel custard along with a cup of tea.
Ph Credits: Bobby Koshi

READ

Blossom Book House
Hands down to Mayi Gowda who moved to Bangalore to study engineering and to sustain his studies he started selling books and magazines on MG Road. Fast-forward to a few years and he is now the proud owner of the best bookshop in Bangalore.

Books

EXPLORE

Freedom Park
Interestingly enough, this large venue was formerly the Central Jail and it was only opened to the public in November 2008.

Cubbon Park
Spread across 300 acres this is the place you need to come for your walking, running or yoga exercises. Come here at weekends and you will e surrounded by happy families with their ice-creams and balloons. Great place for people watching and street photography as well as refresh yourself from Bangalore’s traffic!

KR Market
KR Market, also known as City Market, is the largest market in Bangalore.
Curious fact: It was the first locality in the whole of Asia to get electricity and it is also considered to be the largest flower market in Asia.
Ph. Credits: The Girl Who Clicks

EAT

The Egg Factory
This is truly an egg factory as the name suggests! I never seen SO many different options to cook an egg and the taste is also great. Oh, their menu is super cool too! Ooops! I stole one as a souvenir guys! 😛

Ph. Credits: Rachel Prianka 

Nagarjuna restaurant
A classical south-Indian restaurant that serves all-you-can-eat kind of dinner on banana leaves. Mainly frequented by locals on a night out, it’s a nice place for some spicy and tasty food.

Ph. Credits: Burrp

DREAM

The Laika Boutique Stay is a small boutique hotel located on Bangalore’s Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road. Laika, the lovely owner who runs the hotel received the property from her grandmother several years ago. For decades, the place was left in an abandoned state and shape, but one day, Laika, gifted with incredible entrepreneurial and spirit and incredible energy decided to turn the property upside down and opened this fantastic boutique hotel with a warm, homely feeling. Without showing off, the rooms are stylish and with contemporary design blended with heritage features. There are eight and all are equipped with air-conditioning, wi-fi, television, telephone, 24-hours hot/cold water. The ground level has a beautiful garden, common dining area with an attached kitchen.
Here you can easily get comfortable around one of her two living room’s large wooden table or work a bit on your laptop with the help of superfast internet connection. (The fastest in India I found! Ode to the IT industry!)

Laika and her team also organize tailored tours to Hampi and Mysore as well as to other destinations. Breakfast was also one of the most amazing I had in my entire trip in india, with all sorts of deliciousness from southern and central India, as well as continental options. If you, like me, fall in love with Laika’s dishes, just ask her to show you the secrets: she also hosts mouthwatering cooking class in her own kitchen!

You can book your stay at Laika’s little paradise here

If you are not an airbnb user yet, get your discount here

Gallery

Delhi – There is all India here.

New Delhi or Delhi as people still call it, it’s the reason why I am still here. I could blame the fact that it was my first  stop in India or maybe because there is so much India in Delhi, but the truth is that, on that very first day of my trip two months ago and as soon as I touched Indian soil and looked around, I knew that the three weeks officially planned weren’t going to be enough. I knew this country would have been mine for longer. I would have been hers for as long as possible.

Eight weeks later and with still four more to go, I can’t get my head around it or why I love it so much, I don’t know why it has a magnetic effect on me. What I know it’s that I’ve “post-poned” countries like Mynamar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from the first leg of my trip because of Delhi. I can’t get enough of this country and its people and I’m seriously thinking of moving here.
To Delhi? Possibly, the coffee scene here is spectacular and there is such a huge variety of bookstores.
My fundamentals are there, I just need to find a job now. Can you help me? 🙂

Here’s your:

Delhi’s Creed

COFFEE

Hauz Khas Social
This uber-cool, stylish and vaste co-working space in the Shoreditch-y part of Delhi, blends the best of the office and the café. At Social, you can buy a membership and swap your boring office desk with one of their hip booth. Combining work and play, Social turns into a urban hangout where cocktails are served and music start pumping on the speakers after 6pm.

Address: Haus Khas Village, 110016, New Delhi (but also in Mumbai and Bangalore)

Indian Coffee House
Like the one in Jaipur, this venue in Connaught Place is an iconic cafe in New Delhi. It’s open from 9am to 9pm and the food, which is great, is also very, very cheap. Coffee is also very special as it’s made with old coffee machines. Unlike many modern cafes, you can stay here reading your book or chatting with your friends for hours and no-one would ask you to order something else or to go. Vintage vibe, no wifi.
Address: 2nd Floor, Mohan Singh Palace, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, Near Tivoli Cinema, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Ph. Credits: BBC News

Kunzum Travel Cafe
With a similar concept of Ziferblat in London, at Kunzum’s idea of “Pay what you like”,  you are not under any obligation to even pay for coffee or food or wifi.  It was Ajay Jain, a traveller and photographer who started this cool cafe where travellers still meet in person and interact.
Address: T-49, GF, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, Delhi 110016

Chill & Chai This cute cafe is part of Khoj, a not-for-profit contemporary arts organisation which offers space and programs to local artists, since 1997. You should totally order some food here as they change their menu every day and maybe also enjoy a cappuccino as I did. Free wi-fi comes as a bonus if you have emails to check or upload your cuppa on Instagram. Address: Khirki Extension, opposite to Select CityWalk Mall, Saket

READ

A person that doesn’t read lives just one life whereas a person that does lives a thousand.

For all of you, like me, gifted with a burning passion for reading and books, Delhi will satisfy your hunger as it offers a wealth of bookshops and all sorts of stories.

Cha Bar
I couldn’t include Cha Bar in the above section as this is not just the regular cafe, but it’s a house library also known for its wide variety of teas (more than for coffee). The place can be crowded sometimes, but you should always be able to find a quiet spot to enjoy your cuppa.
Address: Oxford Bookstore, N-81, Barakhamba Road, Block N, Cannaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Galgotia Book Shop
Walk around CP’s (Connaught Place) Inner Circle and on top of the various book stalls you will come across this fabulous bookstore tucked away in the corner of B Block. Your nose will awake right away by the musty smell of old books and then your eyes will be pleased by the endless shelves of literature treasures. There is any kind of book you are looking for here, from children’s stories to enciclopedias, from travel guides to dictionaries passing through adventures and romances.
Address: 17 B, Inner Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi-01

Full Circle
A very special bookstore with a cafe attached and owned by a publishing house. It sits in the heart of Khan Market and it also offers a great terrace where you can watch one of the most spectacular sunset in Delhi while forgetting you are actually IN Delhi. This bookshop is also stocked with a number of books on a wide variety of topics.
Address: Shop No.23, Khan Market, New Delhi-03

Books

EAT

Ivy & Bean
Great “Aussie”-style cafe in the Fashion district of New Delhi. Not sure there is much of Australia in their menu which included Italian and local dishes, but it’s surely a good place for some tasty food and good coffee.
Address: 119, Sishan House, Shahpur Jat, Siri Fort, New Delhi, Delhi 110049

Zen Restaurant

It might happen after some weeks of travels that you will get tired of Indian food, so this is a great Chinese option right in the center of the city.
Address: B-25, Connaught Place, Near Rajiv Chowk Metro Station Exit-2, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Cafe Lota
This is the perfect place for a local cuisine bite and a good coffee inside of the National Crafts Museum. It’s very popular with locals as well as expats and tourists.
Address: National Crafts Museum, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

DREAM

Once again, after Udaipur, I was kindly invited to stay at The Leela Palace in New Delhi and how could I possibly say no to the opportunity of being the princess of a fairytale once again?
I don’t know if it’s the fourteen thousand roses in display (read more below), the majestic interiors, the love for details, the art that takes your breath away or maybe the mouth-watering food that is served in all its four and award-winning restaurants, but The Leela has surely taken a predominant spot in my preferred luxury hotels in the world and I would recommend all of you to stay there while in Delhi.
This venue is one of the Leela flagship hotels and is one of the finest architectural marvels built from ground up in the last thirty years in downtown Delhi. Built in the shape of a butterfly, architecture inspired by Lutyens, art and embellishment by Mrs. Madhu Nair, The Leela in New Delhi takes luxury to a completely different level.

https://www.instagram.com/p/9A772CMQ4w/

Capt. Nair, the founder of The Leela properties  a man with one of the most amazing entrepreneurial story  I’ve ever heard,  was a hotelier, a dreamer and a gardner. From his love for nature he planted over 1,000,000 trees and plants in their eight properties combined and thanks to Mrs Madhu Nair, every day, The Leela New Delhi has a minimum of 14,000 roses displayed in the hotel. They fly them in from Bangalore two times a week and in summers three times. Each silver urn holds 500 each and in addition, they have 2,000 international flowers that range from Australian or South African Banksia’s to Tulips, Hydrangeas from Holland.
What I love most about their love for flowers on top of the beautiful arrangements, is the fact that Leela recycles them in several ways: in winter they harvest all pedals and thereafter fill our fire urns inside the ponds outside Qube; in summers they support a local NGO, that turn them into Rangoli and vegetarian dye.

Address: Chanakyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi 110023