1. The flowering trees of Bengaluru that bloom season after season in a choreographed sequence, thanks to a German horticulturist Gustav Krumbiegel. The extravagant blooms include pink bauhinias, yellow tabebuias, white millingtonias, red gulmohar, purple jacaranda, yellow cassias, red spathodea, and the fragrant yellow champaka, from which Malleshwaram’s Sampige street derives its name.
2. The fact that Kannada literature has the second-highest number of Jnanpith awardees – next only to Hindi and above languages such as Bengali or Tamil. They include Girish Karnad, UR Anantha Murthy, Chandrasekhara Kambara and a few of the older greats that I refer to below.
3. Kuvempu– read his book, “The House of Kannooru” to get a flavour of the Malenadu that all native Karnataka folks dream about and hanker after.
4. DR Bendre, the beloved feisty poet who channelled the soil of Dharwad into his works often said that Kannada language manifested itself through his poems. Read his “Kaamakasthoori” or the Musk of Love to understand the beauty of this language. I cannot read Kannada but I listened to his poems in a website called, “darabendreinenglish.”
5. To understand the genius polymath Shivarama Karanth, you should read his staggeringly prodigious works of fiction, biography, plays, and children’s books. Another choice is to read “Growing up Karanth,” written by his children to get an intimate portrayal of the man and his ethos.
7. The state’s tourism slogan: “One state, many worlds,” does not really do justice to the flora and fauna, festivals and foods that make up Karnataka. With languid rivers such as the Souparnika, Kaveri, and Nethravathi; with ancient mountain ranges that include the Sahyadris and large wildlife reserves such as Nagarhole, Dandeli and Sharavathi, we humans can engage with a staggeringly array of wildlife in Karnataka, ranging from sloth bears to civet cats, not to mention the big charismatic mammals such as tigers and elephants.
13. MAP or the Museum of Art and Photography is a compact museum that boasts of a fantastic online presence with classes and an encyclopedia of art. The Venkatappa Art Gallery across the street has exhibits that go back centuries. Namu Kini and her gallery Kynkyny champion seasoned and new artists. Gallery G is a great central space that puts together interesting talks and exhibits as does gallery Sumukha.
14. The best place for live talks has become the Bangalore International Centre. If you are flying into town for a day, just pop in for a taste of what the intellectuals of Bengaluru are thinking about.
15. If fun and dance is your scene, then go dancing or drinking at one of the many craft breweries that have come up all over Bengaluru. Everyone has their favourites. Mine happens to be down the road from me– the 7Rivers Brewing Company at the Taj MG Road.
16. Farmlore is arguably South India’s best independent restaurant. Drinking and dining clubs love it. There are two wine clubs in Bengaluru– the Bangalore Wine Club (BWC) and The Wine Connoisseurs (TWC). One of India’s oldest vineyards, Grovers, makes it home outside Bengaluru, as do two of India’s best malts– Amrut and Paul John.
17. The Kannada film industry is alive and thriving with films like KGF and Kantara. The industry is somewhat misogynistic, portraying women in obviously degrading ways but in this regard, it is no different from the movies from other Southern movie states.
18. Live theatre holds its own in Bengaluru, thanks to large spaces like Ranga Shankara and Jagriti or small neighbourhood places. Malleshwaram’s Seva Sadan hosts music and dance performances as does Basavanagudi’s Gayana Samaja. The Gokhale Institute has talks in Sanskrit and here too, Bengaluru has a coterie of folks who learn and teach this ancient language.
Wonderful compilation, Shobaji!
You can add Rangoli Gardens in Jakkur