When: All days of the week
Starts: 9:00 a.m. at your hotel
Ends: Between 1:00 and 2:00 pm at your hotel
Timings may vary depending on your hotel location
What this tour is about:
At the beginning of the 1800’s, the British established a Military Cantonment in Bangalore. It was the largest garrison in South India, and apart from military barracks, it grew to contain clubs, churches, bungalows, shops and cinemas.
The daily needs of the Cantonment were met by a specialised bazaar area called “Blackpally”, which along with Ulsoor, developed into a native settlement. The people who settled here were Hindus from Madras, Muslims and Anglo-Indians. While the rest of Bangalore spoke Kannada (and were ruled by the Maharaja of Mysore), the Cantonment area was under British administration and had Tamil, Urdu and English as its lingua franca.
On this tour, we will explore the Cantonment area on foot as well as by car. Although the old bungalows have mostly disappeared, the military and religious presence remains. The bazaar areas are busier than ever, and remain as multi-cultural as they were in British times.
Places we visit:
We will start with a visit to Hatworks Boulevard, a 145-year old heritage bungalow which previously used to be the Imperial Hat Works. It has now been sensitively converted to house a set of boutiques, an art gallery and a coffee shop. It provides a good opportunity to see the Burma teak doors and windows, terrazzo-tile flooring and some typical bungalow features of Bangalore.
From here, we will drive to St Marks Cathedral, an Anglican Church established in 1808 for the British garrison. The church is popular even today for its peaceful environs, beautiful architecture, a grand pipe organ and a music academy. From St. Marks, we will drive through the famous M G Road shopping area, to visit the Holy Trinity Protestant Church, said to be the largest military garrison church in South India. The Church has interesting memorials and tablets dedicated to the city’s British residents.
Next, we will drive through Old Airport Road to see the areas belonging to the Indian Armed Forces. We will drive via the Ulsoor Lake area to visit the bustling Shivaji Nagar bazaar. Here we will go on a walking exploration of the neighbourhood, seeing street stalls and food vendors. The Mariamman Temple, St Mary’s Basilica and Russell Market are very interesting. Russell Market is divided into multiple sections selling flowers, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat and offers excellent photography opportunities. We will end the walk of the Shivajinagar area with a visit to the old furniture and bamboo bazaar. After this, we will drop you back at your hotel.