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Posts Tagged ‘Bangalore’

Bangalore has a traffic flow of under 19km per hr which is the slowest across metros in India… and to add to this problem are numerous speed breakers blindly put up at each and every junction. According to the latest report, Bangalore has over 1,000 illegal or unplanned speed breakers. Who do you blame for this? The BBMP (city corporation) or the police department?

New type of speed breaker in Bangalore, pic courtesy DNA

You will find a speed bump rite after you cross a junction (residency rd) and sometimes before it also, you will find one just before you get on to a flyover (yeshwantpur) and you will find one on almost any road where an accident has taken place. Guess, the authorities have found a quick fix solution by installing a bump for any and every reason.

Most of the cars both sedans and hatchbacks which have slightly lower ground clearence cannot avoid but scratch their floors while negotiating these bumps and almost 90% of these speed breakers do not have any kind of marking or sign. So, on a dark night you may be taken by complete surprise to find one right in front of you and you have no option but to hope that your vehicle doesn’t get completely damaged. These unplanned bump also result in additional breaking, additional acceleration which results in increased consumption of fuel and emissions.

It took the death of police inspector (who died due to a speed breaker) to finally get the authorities to remove some unscientific road humps but that was almost 2 years back. But its back to where we started off.

New rubber speed breakers which do not damage your car. Pic courtesy TradeIndia

The only solution i see is if we get the government to set-up a special unit to study and then install and maintain these speed breakers.. till then, don’t let your sight out of our roads no matter if you are on a highway or on a city road.

Here is a recent story in Deccan Herald which talk of unauthorized speed breakers in the city.

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Many of you based in Bangalore might be aware of this unique initiative started by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation a few months back in February of 2010. In its third month, this initative has gained considerable momentum in promoting local commuters, motorcyclists and car users to leave their vehicles behind for one day and travel by the city bus to work.

Earmarked for the 4th of every month, this special day is heavily promoted by BMTC and the media to convince daily commuters to travel by bus on this particular day. Extra buses are operated on this day to accommodate the additional passengers who wish to travel. Local celebrities and few company MD’s have also boarded a bus on this day and are happy with the service.

BMTC launches BIG 10: Apart from this, BMTC has been trying out new initiatives to enthuse commuters to use the bus and has introduced the BIG 10 or the G series of special service. 10 major arterial roads (Big-10) have been identified as high density traffic corridors with dedicated point-to-point Bus Services, both A/C and non-A/C buses. These buses ply from all corners of the city right to the city centre. For ex: G2 goes from Electronic City right upto Brigade Rd and similarly another route connects Bannerghatta National Park to Brigade Rd.

You will find detailed route map of all the 10 routes here and here

So the next time you wish to travel around Bangalore, you might want to take the bus since its cheaper, safer and less hassle free unlike our auto rikshaw.

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For years we have seen them in all colors and shapes moving around the city ferrying people from point A to point B emitting loads of smoke. Today these autos or rikshaws are an essential part of most Indian cities and provide that much needed gap in our transportation network. The only advantage these autos provide is service to your doorstep and at a price which is half that of a cab / taxi.

Yellow Color Bangalore Autos

Yellow Color Bangalore Autos

Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and even parts of Mumbai are primarily dependent on these autos who charge anywhere from Rs 7 to Rs 10 per kms. But they seldom stick to this pricing and try to fleese their customers at every given opportunity. If you look like an outsider and new to the city, then u’r definitely taken for a ride. So sometimes other options like Government Bus Service or shared cabs could work out as better alternatives.

We have tried to put down a few pointers that could help you get thru this ordeal while travelin on a budget in India.

Before you get to a particular city, collect enough information about the local transport facilities and approximate rates. For Ex: Bangalore city has a reliable Non A/c and Airconditioned Bus service which are quite effecient and connect all corners of the city. Quite a few techies in the city have abandoned their bikes and cars to ride on these aircon volvo buses to their workplace. You can also choose City Taxi service which need about 20mins of advanced notice. The best among them is Meru Cabs which is reliable and charge Rs 15 per km. But if you must take an auto, be well prepared with the destination and key landmarks. Bangalore autos are required to run by the meter but these guys sometimes avoid using them, tend to take a longer routes and act dumb. So make sure they turn on the meter when u get on.

Mumbai on the otherhand has more options – Their local trains are the most reliable mode of transport but could be quite taxing esp during peak hours due to the enormous crowds who choose to travel on them. So stay away during peak hours and beware of pick pocketers. Alternatively, you can choose their local taxis in most parts of the city and Autos in the suberbs. They are not fussy and will rarely try to cheat you.

Cities like Chennai and Hyderabad are the worst when it comes to Autorikshaw’s. Always make sure that you bargain on the fare before you get on. This way, they will not try to take a longer route and get you to your destination on time.

Learning certain key local words will also help you when u’r out on the streets. Stuff like ‘How Much’, ‘I want to go to __’, ‘Good Morning’, ‘Good Evening’, ‘Thank you’ are most commonly used words while on the road. Alernatively, you can always ask the locals for directions and help. India is still one of the most hospitable countries so don’t feel shy to ask.

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Bikes which made it to the top of Bilikal Betta

Bikes which made it to the top of Bilikal Betta

Been wanting to share this awesome experience with you all for a while and finally got around to writing this blog.

As part of our Sunday rides around Bangalore, we decided to check out Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, this not so popular yet breathtaking destination which is located about 70 kms from the city beyond Kanakapura Town. Ask the locals for directions from Kanakapura Town circle.

The main reason this location isn’t spoilt is due to its lack of connectivity and motorable roads. Its however very popular among the trekking community. Bikers can get to the top only if they have a good machine and enough experience riding on harsh terrain, else do not even attempt. I’m not sure if a 4×4 jeep can make it to the top either since the road is completely eaten away with huge boulders sticking out.

So about 15 bikers headed towards Kanakapura town early sunday morning and breaked for quick snack at the only decent restaurant in town and were back on the road again. We took the road which goes left behind town and into the fields and soon we could see small hills and mountains. After about 10 – 12kms we reached the last village from where the dirt road begins to climb up and gradually gets steeper.

After another 2 kms, we noticed that the road had disintegrated into boulders and sharp stones. Many of the bikers decided to halt here and not try their luck while a few daring riders rode on. After cross a very bad stretch of .5kms the road again improves and finally only 2 bikes made it to the peak.

The 360 view from the top was just breadthtaking and peaceful. We spotted a small pond with dirty water and a temple with a small courtyard which was locked up. We also met a few trekkers who had just made it to the top after a grueling 1 hr climb. Soon we had to return back to the gang who were waiting for us half way down.

Trekkers at the view point

Trekkers at the view point

After another coffee break in Kanakapura town, we reached Bangalore by 11.30am and had covered a total distance of over 140kms.

Trekkers can take this route – Get to Harohalli on Kanakpura Road (about 30 kms from Banashankari) & take the road adjacent to the bus stand towards Maralawadi/ Doddamaralawadi (11 kms). Continue past Devarahalli to Onaaladoddi (another 5 kms) where you can dump your modes of transport and start trekking.

Posted a few links from my picasa album here

http://picasaweb.google.com/brian.ammanna/IFMRRideToBiliKalluBettaOn5thJuly0902#

If you have been to any destination which is not popular but worth the visit, do share it with us.

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Yesterday the state witnessed its second largest attack on unsuspecting partygoers at a restaurant and lounge bar called The Beach on 100ft rd Indiranagar, Bangalore infront of video cameras. The first attack was on a club in Mangalore where hooligans attacked the partygoers and manhandled the women and beat them infront of TV cameras calling themselves RamSena.

More details here <

http://www.hindu.com/2009/08/30/stories/2009083061040300.htm&gt;

<http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=2009083020090830024922109857501ec&gt;

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Mangalore_pub_attack&gt;

The reason for this blog is to discuss issues common in both these attacks and ways to keep ourselves safe in the future..

I’m not sure how many of you have noticed but its cause for great concern that the media were present in both these locations well before the local cops. In yesterday’s case, the cops from Indiranagar station which is less than 2 kms away turned up 45mins after the incident broke out but the media crew had arrived well before.

This opens up two important questions

1) In both the cases, our media were informed in advance of this attack  and decided to get the first scoop for their channel

2) The media didn’t find it important enough to alert the police about such an attack since they wanted to get as much meat from this story

Guess we are all living in an artificial world and have to take care of ourselves and not depend on anyone. Here are a few pointers for all of us including travelers visiting the state:

a) Women should always make it a point to carry pepper spray for their own safety. These sprays are easily available at all cosmetic (Health n Glow) and large departmental stores and cost anywhere from Rs 200 – Rs 450.

b) Always travel in groups of min 2 members and carry information of the local police hotline numbers. For India, we have standard hotline numbers – Police – 100, Ambulance – 108  & Fire – 102

c) Do not stay out too late on the streets especially in revealing clothes. This may create unnecessary attention.

d) Do not venture into unfamiliar localities especially at nite and even if you do, make sure you have reliable sources dropping you back home or to your hotel.

These pointers may help us stay away from unnecessary trouble atleast until our police department pulls up their socks. But for these two incidences, the state is still one of the safest destinations for travelers.

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Having to travel on work, on a Sunday can be irksome to best of travel enthusiast especially so when the task one set out to accomplish remains undone.  This was my story having had to travel to Davangere at the end of a grilling long week at work. But this trip turned out to be different from what I imagined.

Driving back from Davangere we made a much needed & refreshing stopover at the 18th century  Seebi Narasimha Swamy Temple, this quite temple adjacent to the National Highway 4 can be easily missed but for a large board reading ‘Seebi’ on the median. This place is about 20km from Tumkur when driving towards Sira.

Seebi_1

This temple looks very plain and deceptively simple from the outside but hold your breath, for the beautiful stucco figures on the parapet will defy everything that you might imagine to see inside. Walls and ceilings are bountifully covered by paintings. While a majority of the paintings are in a sad state of affairs some still carry the tinge of delicacy and softness. Paintings, which can be called historical, have themes of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Dashavatara and are very similar to paintings in Daria Daulat Bagh, Srirangapatna. Some breathtaking stucco figures line the four walls of the outer parapet of the temple. These have survived the ravages of time and stand testimony to the eye for detail and excellence of the sculptors.

Seebi_2This temple is managed by a family of priests over the generations; they are now making an effort restore the sculptures & paintings of the temple to its original shape.  They have roped in sculptors from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) who have begun work of restoring the sculptures, but are yet to find quality professionals to restore the beautiful paintings.

Considering the lovely weather these days this would be a lovely day trip for those looking for a weekend drive from Bangalore.

Seebi_3

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