The southern tip of the Indian Peninsula is as stunning as the northern region of India. I witnessed this beauty again and again in 4 years and 2 months I spent in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India and a cosmopolitan city in South India. Once known for its lush farmlands, Bangalore is now home to some of the best international and domestic technology companies.
Like thousands of young, independent and ambitious individuals, I moved to Bangalore after graduating from college to start a career. The travel bug that I caught in college started showing serious symptoms. I decided to invest most of my free time, disposable income and energy in exploring the city and diversely stretched South India. I was fortunate to have a good company of like-minded people that made my life in this part of the country more adventurous. We also invested our time and money exploring Bangalore’s nightlife. The city was always ready to serve restless people like us who simply believed in “work hard, party hard.” There are many popular streets that host young crowds on weekends, helping them forget the stress they accumulate working long hours. The city does not disappoint food lovers either. In-demand international fast food chains, street food stalls, small eating corners and upscale restaurants are always ready to satisfy taste buds of locals as well as visitors from all around the world.
What’s special about Bangalore? First thing comes to my mind is its soothing weather, although its climate has degraded over the years. It is sad that the city has joined the list of the most air polluted cities in the world: some of top being New Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai, Dhaka, Lima etc. The city was never designed to handle such a huge annual influx of population it attracts because of the employment opportunities and friendliness nature. Crumbling infrastructure has been a hurdle over the years in attracting more businesses. However, the city I fell in love with once and always recommend to include in your India travel itinerary has been able to keep the spirit high amid so many challenges. The efforts toward continuous innovation makes it a model city not only in India but in the entire world. New high capacity airport, modern subway system, solar power and water conservation initiatives have been some of the recent accomplishments.
There is so much to travel and explore in South India, even 4 years were not enough. The south Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have got their fair share of beaches, rivers, mountains, valleys and vast green fields. Whether you are a nature lover, adventurer or spiritual being, you will have a unique experience traveling across these states.
I covered thousands of miles and spent days exploring popular places like Ooty, Pudicherry, Munnar, Madurai, Cochin, Mysore, Kanyakumari, Alleppey, Nandi Hills, Coorg etc. It is relatively easy to travel in this part of the country as transport and accommodation is not a big challenge. There are thousands of tour companies that offer packaged tours to popular places at affordable prices. A few hours from crowded cities are lush green tea fields, calm backwaters and low cloud beds that left me in total bliss every time I visited there. Driving through Bandipur National park, climbing hills on toy train in chilly winters and walking in the dense woods of Periyar in Thekkady all are vivid memories that made my South India experience so rich. It was a cool thing make unplanned day trips via cars or motorcycles to historic and cultural places like Mysore and Hampi.
My visits to the big cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad and Cochin gave me more or less same metropolitan feel even though they have their unique cultural aspects and traditional values. Nonetheless, nightlife is good there too. That is what mattered to me most then.
4 years and 2 months in South India were never enough to explore everything this part of the country offers. But I am glad that I had the opportunity to live in that different India.