i was too busy for any fanfare, but at the end of august i celebrated 10 years since i first came to bangalore. i originally came to the city to volunteer with peace child india, and i spent 6 awesome months teaching english in three government schools and traipsing around the city with the devaraj cousins and friends.
from that point, bangalore became home for me. it’s the city i kept returning to, and it’s where i have found myself settled for the time being. i wrote an ode to bangalore when i left for grad school in 2011, and it still rings true. today i would like to share a few reasons why i love this adopted city of mine so very much.
i have made some wonderful friends during my days living in bangalore. between the devaraj family, all the interns i worked with during my peace child days, and random friends i made along the way, i have built a wonderful community in the city. these friends have supported me and encouraged me through a lot of big decisions over the years, and it is because of them that i have found my comfort zone here.
bangalore is a great mix of traditional india with the modern world. although there are not as many tourist attractions as you will find in rajasthan or delhi, there is no end to the number of restaurants, pubs, tours, and other fun adventures in which you can partake. in addition, there is always a celebration happening at the temple around the corner or a cow hanging out at the nearest intersection.
because bangalore has become such a melting pot in recent years, the food scene in the city has really taken off. from street food and roadside darshinis to high-end restaurants with six-course meals, from south indian to italian to burgers, there is no limit to the range and variety of food you get in bangalore. i am trying valiantly to eat my way around the city, and there are new places opening up every day that i swear i will eventually try.
i have lived in a few different cities in india, but i keep coming back to bangalore because of its affordability. i am able to afford a spacious 2-bedroom apartment close to the city center, making it easy to get to wherever i need to go. public transportation has gone up in recent years but is still reasonable. i can go out for a nice dinner without using up a quarter of my month’s salary. i am able to live well while also saving my money for other travels, which makes me very happy indeed.
i love living in a city with easy-to-use public transportation. i keep saying that bangalore has the best bus system in india, and i will continue repeating the same. you are never too far from a bus stop, and once you get the hang of which buses go where, it’s a great way to get around the city. the traffic can be a nightmare at times, but i would much rather read my book on the bus and let someone else deal with the traffic than try to ride or drive in it on my own. i am still waiting for the metro to be completed, but until then i will be sticking with my beloved bmtc.
when i get an itch to travel – which is often – it is so easy to get to places from bangalore. there are daily buses and trains to all corners of the south, and there are flights if you’re heading off to destinations farther away. i can take a bus and be in the hills of coorg in 6 hours, or i can take an overnight bus or train to goa and wake up on the beach. there are direct flights to many cities around india and in asia and europe as well, so it’s easy to get just about anywhere from here. and although the airport is super far away, it’s a pretty great airport — my entire family likes it, and that does not happen very often.
and finally, i would be remiss if i didn’t mention the climate. although overall temperatures have gone up in recent years as the planet continues to heat up and the city’s population continues to rise, bangalore still has the best climate of any metropolitan city in india. it’s cooler than hyderabad or delhi, it’s not humid like bombay or chennai, and when it rains in bangalore, there is no other place i would rather be. monsoon has been disappointing this year, but i am still holding out hope that the weather gods are going to surprise us soon.
sometimes it’s difficult to believe it’s already been 10 years since i first arrived in bangalore, and other times it feels live i’ve known the city my entire life. it’s got a great atmosphere, and even if i don’t settle here for the rest of my life, i know it will always be a home for me.