Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Malleswaram, Bangalore!!!

Pic: Why Bangalore is called as the Garden city? Mvm 17th cross

After having booked my tickets three months well in advance, I was waiting with bated anticipation for the visit to Bangalore, well after three years. It was a mixture of unexplainable emotions and nostalgia, as I touched base at the brand new fantastic Bangalore International airport (much much better than the Frankfurt airport). I got out of the plane, and almost involuntarily, I bent down, touched the ground, and placed my hands on to my eyes, and I was definitely feeling blessed. One of the airport attendants felt proud, and I felt all the more. Bangalore has made me what I am today, and I was definitely feeling on top of the world. Yadu and I had a good time in the flight, as we made passing references to everybody in Kannada, and at the same time, had to be careful of what's happening around us, as half the flight was filled with Kannada speaking population. It was touching to see my parents wait at the airport, and the agony of three years dissipated in a fraction of a second.

Pic: Cleaning up the streets!!!

Pic: The usual traffic in Malleswaram 15th cross

Anyway, I do not have the time to write much, as I do not want to spend much time in front of the computer. I took a walk in Malleswaram, and I could capture the various moments in camera. To be honest, Malleswaram has not changed at all. It still maintains the conservative touch that it is so famous for. I had written a blog post on Malleswaram some years back, and now, I am going to post the pictures relevant to the post.

Pic: Veena Stores, the legendary Idli Angadi!

A writeup on the place where I have spent more than 20 years ( I will be spending more time when I get back) is not easy to start off. Malleswaram is the oldest residential area in Bangalore North, and together with Basavanagudi in Bangalore South, forms what can be hailed as the most conservative part of this cosmopolitan city. Malleswaram is more than just an area, it is a part of the family for a few thousands inhabiting the area. There is an aura about Malleswaram that prevents me from reaching out to the other parts of the city for a living. The perfect combination of conservative outlook tinged with not too modern and sophisticated way of living makes it a perfect place for a typical middle class family to settle here.

Pic: Malleswaram Railway Station

Pic: Raghavendra Idli angadi, near the railway station

Pic: Elneeru, one of the best ways to quench your thirst!

Malleswaram is characterized by two main roads connecting it to the rest of the city - Margosa Road and Sampige Road. Margosa Road derives its name from the entire stretch of Neem(Margosa) trees lined up on either side of the road. This part of the city follows the Main and Cross structure for representing an address. All roads parallel to these main roads are refered to as Mains and the ones perpendicular to them are the crosses. If you are new to the place, it is very easy to lose your way in the array of mains and crosses. Most of them who visit the city for the first time say Every road looks the same! But once you get adjusted to the area, it is easy to find your way through every nook and corner.

There are many things about Malleswaram that makes me nostalgic and gives me the drive to return back to Bangalore as soon as possible. There are a few things in life not of much significance, but can have a big impact in life. So, where do I start to take you for a brief tour of the place I love so much! I live in the 8th Main Road(one of the busy roads) off 9th Cross very close to the Malleswaram Railway Station. This railway station is a great place and the setting is such that it looks as if it has been lifted directly from Malgudi Days of RK Narayan. By the way, RK Narayan was so impressed with Mallleswaram and Basavanagudi that Malgudi was derived from these two names. The railway station has two entrances just like any other railway station, with two tracks separating the junctions on either side. The area is flanked by a number of trees with benches lined on the platforms in neat fashion. This serves as a meeting point for the many elders in the area, a perfect place for an early morning or a late evening walk, a place for some people to come and read books, a romantic hangout for young couples on the steps that form a sort of sidewalk from an overhanging bridge to the reservation counter, and for some young kids to have a peek at the not so many trains that whizz past the station during the day. For some people like me, it serves as a perfect hangout to meet with friends. How can I forget those days when all of us in the group used to meet here for hours together and discuss about everything in the world ranging from girls, future, placements, life, philosophy, religion, politics, family, wealth, controversies, college, education, bigwigs and what not! This used to be over a jhola(corn) with a lot of Khara(hot chilly paste) or a plate of bhel puri. It is amazing even today to think about the amount of time I have spent here with my friends. Just by the side of the Railway Station is the Anjaneya temple, which provides solace to the residents in the area. I used to make it a point to visit this temple almost everyday with my mother. A visit to the temple was a definite must before taking any decision. It used to provide me the comfort, warmth and confidence like never felt before. Anjaneya was(and is) a part of daily life and I can still hear my mother's voice ringing in my ears, Anjaneyara innikki parthuttu vandhaya (Did you meet Anjaneya today?) Such is the faith in the Lord not just of my mother, but all the residents in the area. On the other side of the railway station is a small shop which sells very good idlies and vadas. Four or five rupees for a plate of idly-vada. Heaven!

Pic: Cricket in 18th cross ground

On the 5th main Road is the school where I studied, BP Indian Public School, from the first grade upto the tenth grade. Just beside the school is the famous Kanchi Mutt and the serene composed face of Kanchi Kamakshi is truly comforting. Though the main Mutt in Kanchipuram is in the news for all the wrong reasons, this is one of those places which can really fill your void. There were a lot of young kids learning Vedas from the main priest and it was truly a wonderfuly sight to see them with the washtee (dhoti) and pattai (sacred ash on the forehead).

The busiest street in Malleswaram is the 8th Cross. This is the main shopping street for the residents. It has everything here - clothes, vegetables, fruits, utensils, chats and what not! This street is always crowded and is the lifeline of Malleswaram. During the festive season, the street used to be packed not with vehicles but of people. There never used to be an inch of space to move, but that was never a cause to lose motivation to shop on this street. This was the best time for the vendors to make business and they never left a stone unturned to attract customers. The price of the essential commodities always used to go up during this part of the time, because whatever maybe the cost, people used to end up buying it. Whenever I used to pass through this street, I used to come across a known face. The charm and joy one finds in shopping at such places can never be compared to the sophistication and gloss associated with the big malls. This is truly a different kind of experience.

Pic: Shankar Mutt on 5th main road

Talk of fast food joints and Malleswaram is the place. Let me list my favourite places:
  • As I told you before, the idly shop next to the railway station is too good.
  • CTR (Central Tiffin Room) or Shree Sagar (if you are going by the new name) is the best place where I have had Masala Dosai. This place is also good for the vadas, pooris, chow chow bath, idlies, but Dosai it is that is unbeatable here.
  • Sahyadri, another place too good for Dosais, and one of my favourites. This is on the Margosa Road at the 8th Cross Bus Stop. Such a place is called as Darshini (fast food joint) and these are the kind of places one should stop by to have superb South Indian delicacies.
  • Janata Hotel on the 8th Cross and this too is very famous for the dosais.
  • Veena Stores on 16th cross right opposite the Telephone exchange and this place is terrific for idlies and chutney.
  • Crunchy Munchy ulundu(uddin) vadai, masala vadai, bondas, Mensinkai(Chilly) bajjis in a shop diagonally opposite the Sai Baba temple on 15th cross, Sampige Road. This is a very small shop but that shouldn't deter anyone from going there. There is also a juice center beside the Sai Baba temple that serves refreshing fresh fruit juice.
  • My favourite North Indian food joint is the Sai Shakthi Hotel on the 8th cross which is just a walk away from Margosa Road
  • There is a place in 18th Cross in the corner on 8th Main road which serves very good parotas with Channa Masala for ten rupees. I can't recollect the name but it is really good.
  • The chat wala who used to park his gaadi just in front of MES College. This guy serves the best Tomato puri, chips masala, cucumber masala and bhel puri in the area.
  • Amrith Ice Cream Parlour in the street adjacent to my school serves authentic home made ice cream.
  • How can I forget New Krishna Bhavan (NKB as it is fondly called) located opposite the Sampige Theater. This place serves very good south Indian dishes with a lot of new varieties, apart from the conventional items. To supplement this with the North Indian dishes is the attached restaurant Gopika and I like the place mainly for its ambience along with good food!
Pic: The famous CTR

Pic: Why CTR has the best "Benne Masale Dose"!!!!!!!!!

Pic: He is responsible for churning out the "Benne Masale Dose"


There are a lot of temples in Malleswaram: Ganesha Temple near 8th cross, Raghavendra Swamy Temple near 8th Cross, Sai Baba temple on 15th Cross, Narasimha Swamy Temple on Temple Street, Kannika Parameswari temple on 8th Cross, Kadu Malleshwara temple (It is because of this temple that Malleswaram gets its name) andVenugopala Swamy temple on 11th Cross. These temples reflect the relgious sentiments of the population here.
Pic: Badminton at Canara Union

Malleswaram also is home to IISc (Indian Institute of Science), the best Research school in India and one of the best in the world. It was established way back in 1909 by J.N. Tata and has built up a terrific reputation over a long period. One of the reputed Pre-University Colleges in the state MES College of arts, science and commerce is situated in Malleswaram.

Pic: The college going population, Mvm 18th cross bus stop

All in all, Malleswaram is truly complete in every sense. I am always filled with passion to talk about this place. It took me about three to four days(couldn't do this continuously) to compose this writeup and I realise how much I love this place. Malleswaram brings a lot of emotions flooding within me and I am sure all those peope who have spent their time here will agree with me on this. It was really difficult for me to write up this piece, as I used to go back to time and recollect all those things that I loved doing here. Though off late it has resulted in a spate of apartments and heavy traffic in many parts, it is the most cherished place for me to spend my future.

I am sure there are many things I might have missed out, and it would be wonderful if you could post your comments on the parts where I have failed to cover. Next time I go to Bangalore, I am updating this writeup with pictures.

[UPDATE: Please click on the image below to view the Malleswaram Album (taken in 2008).  Alternatively, you can also go to the album through this link.]
India_Trip_Malleswaram

61 comments:

  1. wow. and you said you didn't want to spend too much time in front of the computer?? :P

    nicely done, glad you finally got to go. shubhika just can't seem to stop talking about your trip!

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  2. See I can easily tell how happy you are ...and I am so happy for you!!! BTW i can talk about your Malleshwaram as well as you do..thanks to your posts!

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  3. Very, very nice. The love you feel for your home town(city)is palpable.

    The publicity men for tourism would do well to use your article.

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  4. I miss Malleswaram. (Have stayed in Bangalore North area for a few years, and had only visited from IISc, AFTC, and Mekhri Circle) The area has a simple homely feel. Wish you happy times in your beloved locality.

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  5. I am not sure about the purpose of this write up. I suggest that your feelings are normal for any student studying abroad, particularly in USA, who is coming back to visit his/her home town after a time. It is not much of a life as a student in USA these days as tens of thousands like you are there from India. It is becoming an Indian students ghetto and a sense of 'me too to USA' gripping to every student in India. Instead of cramming with montage of eateries and streets and sundries, I suggest that a focus is needed such as going to MES College whose one time principal was MPL Shastry and find out what ticks MES College or going to IISC, and if your background is science or technology, you will find that getting into graduate courses there is tougher than at Stanford. Prodcution of Dosa or vada pictures or elaneeru is not much of story.

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  6. Really nostalgic indulgence Praveen. Good to see someone who loves his childhood spots as much as you do.

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  7. wow, awesome, Mr. Praveen! I had posted a comment here a long time ago, but somehow the comp didnt seem to accept my id! Tat apart, every single sentence of yours expresses how much u love malleshwaram! And thanks for not leavin basavanagudi out in the "best part of bangalore" list!! Thats where i lived! So, did u visit your school? Teachers? Isnt the new airport awesome? i loved it too....hope you have a great time with friends and family!

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  8. You seem to have covered full malleswaram in a days time. Enjoy ur trip.

    --Prasad

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  9. Welcome back to malleswaram ! great to see the updated pics... and btw Sahyadri has closed down :-(
    You visited our school?? how much has it changed?

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  10. Suchitra,
    You are talking as though you have never been to Malleswaram, and you are asking me about our school :-)

    Not sure who has been in US :-)

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  11. Praveen..maga..gud write up...glad that u uploaded pics. It helped a lot in amplifying the effect!! :)
    cheers

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  12. Firstly, Happy Deepavali.

    Bombaat write-up and pics, Praveen!

    My earliest memories of Malleswaram include walking to 8th Cross with my parents and sisters to have a Masale Dose at Janatha Hotel or a sugarcane juice near Malleswaram Circle. One of my cousins introduced me to Dhanalakshmi Gulkand Stores when I was in Class 3. I have drooled over it ever since. Having studied for most part in Kendriya Vidyalaya Malleswaram, I loved seeing people wait at the 18th Cross bus stand. Sitting in the class next to a window (whenever our class was towards the bus stand), I used to sketch the different postures of people waiting. Another fond memory is accompanying my eldest sister to Sri Raghavendraswamy Mutt near 8th cross and buying vegetables from the old market (just the smell of fresh vegetables makes me nostalgic even now.)

    Fortunately, I still reside in Malleswaram.

    Thanks for the post and the pics.

    PS: First pic (and also the 3rd). is 17th cross, not 16th.

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  13. Bellur,
    Thanks!!! For some reason, I have that street as Mvm 16th cross, rather than 17th cross!!!

    Happy Deepavali to you too!!!

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  14. Galadriel,
    Actually, the Malleswaram post is an old post of mine. Except for the first paragraph, I retained the content and added the pics! Convey my thanks to my PR :-)

    Shubhika,
    Haha, I am spreading the love of Mvm around :-)

    Raji maami,
    Life is great at home. I just returned home after a week's trip!!!

    Swarna,
    Nice!!! Yeah the area is truly great!

    Anon,
    You must have realized by now that this is not an informative blog :-) There are thousands of books about rankings and greatness of these institutions!!! I wish I could be more productive!! :-)

    Kalyani,
    Thank you!!!

    Lakshmi,
    I did visit my school. Some of my favourite teachers have left school. So I might go meet them at their home. Yeah, the new airport is awesome. Of course, Basavanagudi is a great place :-)

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  15. The parotha place on 18th Cross is called "The Fast Food" :)

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  16. Thanks for the info, man! I forgot to note the name of the place when I visited Blore!

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  17. hi.. i quite liked ur post... i am a complete bangalorean in every way. and living in malleswaram is my lifeline. i cant think of moving out of that place. great. captures your want of belonging towards the place

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  18. Danke for writing up such a nice blog :)

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  19. I was born, brought up and married into Malleswaram!! What a place!! By god's grace I still reside there and plan to for the rest of my life. Luckily my life partner shares my passion for malleswaram Thanx for this wonderful blog on malleswaram, god bless u

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  20. hi mr.praveen. it's a very good post which shows your attachment towards your locality. it's even more significant now because people hardly harbour such sentiments towards a locality in which they live.

    cheers
    varun

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  21. Divya,
    Truly understand your feelings for the great place :-) Thanks for the comment!

    Sagopal,
    Thanks!

    Nandini,
    Thanks! Definitely, you have the God's grace to be staying in Malleswaram. It is truly heavenly to be associated with Mvm :-)

    Varun,
    Thanks!

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  22. Hi... Harsha here... Nice blog... B.P.Indian is where I studied as well and im missing those beautiful days... If u have more pics of our school, plz update them... Thanks for ur comments and blog...

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  23. Hi Harsha,

    Thanks man! Which year pass out are you from BP Indian? I will definitely check up for pics, so, where are you right now?

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  24. Hey What about the Gulkand shop near the circle! It serves some of the best gulkand with Mandya Butter...

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  25. Anon,
    Yup, the Gulkhand shop is awesome in Malleswaram circle :-) Anybody who knows Mvm cannot miss not knowing it!

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  26. hi everyone,,
    I am actually looking for M S SARASWATI SUDERSHAN .She was living near 8th cross MVM
    and was studying in M E S college wayback in 1986-1987.if anybody has any information about her .please reply here.

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  27. Hi I used to live on Margosa Road - Kinatukara Buildings - Thanks for the wonderful write up and taking me down THE MEMORY LANE.

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  28. Anon,
    I hope you are able to get in touch with your friend!

    Avvari Mohan,
    Thanks for stopping by, and for all the nice words. So, where are you living now?

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  29. Amazing post!! Just took me back to the area where i have lived all my life :)

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  30. Hi Praveen - I am in Malaysia right now - and have not gone back in 10 years.

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  31. malleswaram nice place to live.
    that bajji, bonda shp opp to saibaba temple shifted to the same lane next to shanthisagar.
    iam proud to be malleswarian.

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  32. Awesome post man...lived there for 20 years...then had to move to sanjaynagar...Now I am in chennai and whenever I come home I make it a point to visit the idli angadi next to railway station...Even though sanjaynagar is just 6 kms away, there is so much cultural difference between malleswaram and Sanjaynagar...

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  33. I love malleswaram and I miss malleswaram a lot. We have shifted to whitefield..but still come to malleswaram every fortnight. 8th cross is my favourite place.

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  34. i love Malleshwaram.... ther r stil many things tat u dont know... see that also...

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  35. really good malleshwaram rocks!!!!!!!!

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  36. Completed my college in MLACW malleshwaram 18th cross...really enjoyed lot..........alwys we will walk n go to home....me n my close frnd those moments will never come again in life cooliest place in Bangalore...alwys malleshwaram Rocks..........love yo malleshwaram alwys which place made me n frnd very close

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  37. Hi Praveen,

    Superb job! I love Malleswaram. I have a great love and affection for Malleswarm. On looking at these pictures, I recalled the olden days that we enjoyed. I would like to visit Malleswaram before it is too late for me! I studied in Government Boys High School, 18th cross, Malleswaram during 1964-1967. I have been looking for my classmates (1) N Govinda Raju and (2) B Gururaja (3) Dali Gowda. We used to walk daily morning all the way from Rajajinagar to this high school. Perhaps, through this I might be able to meet them. I wonder whether it is wearing same charm or has become chaotic?

    Very very thanks to you for recalling my old memories!

    Mohan

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  38. Hello Mr. Mohan,

    Thanks for such a nice comment. I am so glad that I could take you back in the memory lane. I hope you can find your friends :-)

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  39. If u have pics of my high school, 18th cross, malleswaram (stone bldg with clock tower) pl update. many many thanks for ur blog.

    mohan
    a fan of mvm!

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  40. Hello Mr. Mohan,

    Sorry, I have only the pics(link) that I have posted at the end of the blog post. I am so sorry that I haven't taken the school building pic.

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    Replies
    1. hellow Mr. Praveen,

      please do not forget to put some more interesting pictures of malleswaram during your future visit to malleswaram, particularly the 18th cross govt. high school (i think now it is junior college - stone bldg) where i studied. i tried several sites to get this picture but to no avail. i have gone through with much interest your blog. it is marvelous!

      rgds

      mohan
      fan of malleswaram

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    2. hellow Mr. Praveen,

      please do not forget to put some more interesting pictures of malleswaram during your future visit to malleswaram, particularly the 18th cross govt. high school (i think now it is junior college - stone bldg) where i studied. i tried several sites to get this picture but to no avail. i have gone through with much interest your blog. it is marvelous!

      rgds

      mohan
      fan of malleswaram

      Delete
  41. Very nice Blog Post
    Thanks
    CaptTR Retd (Chennai)

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  42. Very nice Blog posts on Malleswaram &Tamil Iyer wedding too-
    delighted to read on Mallesawram esp places and familiar sights

    Rgds
    CaptTR (Retd)
    Chennai

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  43. I could relate to everything on this post ! Nice one.
    ONe eating joint u've probably left out is Surya on 11th cross

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  44. Hi Krishna,
    I am not aware of this Surya restaurant. Is this a new one?

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  45. Hi how are you all? Malleshwara has changed. But once i land in India. I get tunnel vision. I usually don't see any bad things like dirty roads rubbish etc. Every time I read these article, I remember my time in Malleshwara. Nothing can beat that.

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  46. It was interesting and nostalgic to read about your posting of Malleshwaram. I did my schooling at Hymamshu Jyothi Kala Peetha and MES College in the 70s and 80s and I know what you mean. Nothing can take the place of Malleshwaram- the atmosphere, the people and the ambiance are unparalleled. I recently visited that area and found 8th cross to be the same except for more vehicles trying to make their way through the shoppers. The serene Margosa and Sampige roads have been commercialized. Manthri Mall etc. have taken the place of mom and pop shops. While Bangalore itself has exploded in population, the city still has its charm. I hope that the garden city is restored to its past glory once the metro project is completed because right now Bangalore is dug up everywhere.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you. It is such a heartfelt comment from a fellow Bangalorean. I was there in Mvm in Jan 2013 and in spite of all the traffic in Mvm, I just loved the place. As you said, everything has become commercialized.

      I was stunned by Orion Mall. It is equivalent to any US setting. But, I still feel shopping on the side shops in Mvm 8th cross brings a totally different feeling.

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  47. After entering Mantri mall, big bazar and underpass in malleshwara circle it lost its glory

    Ravi

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    1. Yes, I agree. The city is all dug up. I hope the Metro can alleviate the traffic and bring back some of the good old days.

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  48. Marvellous! With so much of modernity, we can get the feeling of old bangalore by means of such posts.. Realy sad to see namma Bengaluru change like this.. Keep writing :-)

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  49. After 10 years I came to malleshwaram but today I am not having the smell of sampige in sampige road

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  50. Wow !!! I enjoyed your post, the comments of people ! You said about the Iddlis of Veena stores ... I stayed in Himanshu, right next to Telephone exchange , ate in Veena stores , Janatha Hotel, New Krishna Bhavan ... I can't forget Malleswaram, I stay in Singapore but come to Bangalore, Malleswaram, stay in a hotel and just spend time in that place ,,, I was 26 years at that time, now double that 52, see those roads and places ,every year , while coming with lot of joy , leaving with tears after 5 or ten days ... I will continue to do this ... I can't forget the days ...

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    Replies
    1. Nice seeing your comment. Malleswaram can be very nostalgic. There is something about the place that is unbeatable.

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