Welcome to Bengalaru…

February 13, 2009 · Print This Article

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I arrived in Bangalore, known officially as Bengalaru, last night around 8pm. Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India due to the large number of IT firms here including Wipro, Infosys, Tata, SAP, Talisma, and HP (many located in Electronics City 30 minutes to the south).

It’s Saturday afternoon here in Bangalore, the third largest city in India with a population of 6.2 million people (twice the population of Chicago). I’m watching “A Taste of Iran” on BBC World News. I’ve re-fallen in love with BBC News while here. I happened to come here on the weekend of the Aero Show 2009, the largest annual military air show in Asia. They are due to fly over at 4pm. I had enough time between my business meetings today to venture out.

I just returned from a journey to buy Saffron (a spice) for a friend. I found it at the market on Brigade Road, a popular shopping area in town. After a stop by Bangalore Palace and the Karnataka High Court, I went to the Cottage Industries Exposition, where I learned all about traditional mountain rug making before coming back to write this post.

Here are some observations and pictures of Bangalore so far.

Bangalore has a new airport built one year ago that is very nice. It gives the impression that Bangalore is much more modern than Delhi. The National Highway 7 runs the 37km from the airport to the city, although it can still be congested at 9pm at night. The city seems to have much less litter than Delhi. There are millions of motorcycles, often with 3 or more riders. I was amused to see Iron Maiden concert ads everywhere. Also common are recruiting ads for the Indian Air Force.

The most amusing thing I’ve seen has to be the police, many of which wear cowboy hats as part of their uniforms. The car horns remain busy here and the traffic is just as chaotic as Delhi and Kampala. The city commission have made many of the roads one way to attempt to help congestion. There seems to be much less pollution than Beijing or Hong Kong.

There are so many brilliant people here in India. If they can get investments in rural education and infrastructure right, this country will boom.

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