India: Temples and the streets of Bangalore

On our last saturday, we decided to take another driver for the day, with the intent to see some old temples and do some shopping/strolling around the city.

We made a list of spots to visit, but our driver had some very strong ideas on what to see. Our temples, albeit old, were deemed too small. So he took us across town for a long ride to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple, an impressive new temple (opened in 1997, on a hilly and rocky patch of wasteland from Bangalore). This was a very active Hare Krishna temple on this saturday, with a lot of visitors and school groups, in a very impressive structure mixing stone and gold, old and new. As paying visitors, we got the ‘special’ tour, cutting lines and getting closer to holy statues and shrines (but no photography allowed). We were treated with flowers, free food and literature. That was a more hands-on and less archeological approach to temples we had hopped for, but that was definitively interesting.

Then, we went around ‘Gandhi Bazar’, browsing the stores, looking around, having ice cream and kulfi and admiring the agility of the tuk-tuk drivers. We took a tuk-tuk one night, that’s a fun experience considering Bangalore traffic, the number of roundabouts and speed-bumps, and the creative driving of their drivers.

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