Bangalore, renamed Bengaluru in 2006, is South Asia’s tech hub. The “Silicon Valley of India” draws high-powered youth and big-ticket investors. And they, in turn, support a hopping dining, drinking and shopping scene.
Known as the ‘Garden City’ before the tech industry took over, this metropolis of 6,000,000 residents is dotted with tons of green ‘lung-friendly’ parks that provide a necessary escape from the crazy traffic and the endless whirl of business.
And, unlike most of South India, the weather is temperate year round- not too hot or too cold (Bengaluru is what Goldilocks would call “just right”).
The heaps of money, poppin’ social scene and beautiful public spaces make Bangalore ‘the most livable city in India.’Photo credit: AJ Photographic Art.
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Bengaluru, is jokingly translated as ‘The Town of Boiled Beans’. Students will particularly love the night life in this aptly named “Pub City.” The pub scene is concentrated around the commercial business district in the heart of Bangalore. However, recent crackdowns mean that nightclubs now have an 11:30pm curfew- but that just means you’ll go to bed early enough to go out again tomorrow! Known as a hub for rock’n’roll, the city has a thriving underground music scene.
Being the capital of the region of Karnataka, the official language in Bangalore is Kannada. However, most people are also able to speak Hindi, Urdu or English. Don’t worry if you don’t have a silver tongue in Hindi, most retail transactions in the city are conducted in English, as are most signs written in English alongside Kannada.
Stop cutting coupons! You won’t need them in Bangalore. An average meal in a restaurant will only cost 100.00 Rupees ($1.67 USD)- 800 Rs ($14) if you get fancy. A beer costs around 50-100 Rs ($1-3).
And a trip to the movies is only 250 Rs ($4)! Go ahead, get the large popcorn!
Culture Shock and Support
Although Bangalore is considered laid-back by Indian standards, be prepared for some pretty serious hubbub. Traffic rules are limited, air quality is generally poor and noise is pretty constant. It’s par for the course in a city where the industry and people are constantly moving forward.
Students should wear conservative clothing, but be prepared for stares no matter what you’re wearing. Try not to take it personally- curiosity is human! It’s possible some folk will even ask to snap a photo with you. Just embrace this pseudo celebrity status.
In many public places (cinema/train station) there's often a separate line for women so that they don't feel harassed or simply uncomfortable squeezing in with men.
Bangalore moves fast- the tech boom, the nightlife, and the endless honking of car horns can be overwhelming. However, you can find an oasis of peace in one of the many verdant parks that cover the busy city. So sit back, sip your tea and relax. Bangalore is the perfect study abroad destination to see the world go by!