Bengaluru has been known as the city of lakes, the city of gardens, and now it is known as ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Over past few years, many people migrated to this city in search of better opportunities or simply to become part of multicultural society. This city offers something for everyone.
Today, I am going to talk about my neighborhood, which has been my home for quite some time. This place is a perfect blend of regional, national, and international culture. You can easily spot students from Africa, eating local food or students from other parts of India celebrating local festivals. The atmosphere is very much cosmopolitan and locals do not make you feel like an outsider.
My neighborhood is called ‘Siddehalli’, though it is also commonly known as ‘Bonemill’. It is located approximately north-west of Bengaluru. It is around 18 km from both city station and bus stand. For South of West Bangalorean, this place can be altogether a new city. Distances are not so much, but traffic density makes it like going to another city. I see people commuting more than 2 hours every day to their workplaces.
BMTC provides good connectivity to other parts of the city from 5 am till 10 pm. My locality also happens to be closer to Namma Metro green line providing faster commute till 11 pm. Just like every other city in India, a majority of people own vehicle and presence of auto, cabs make it look like a transportation hub.
Despite calm on the road most of the time, be aware of packed roads during peak hours.
This place is far from many of the technology hubs, yet connectivity with Metro and affordable housing process makes this place an attractive residential area. It is the place which was non-existent in people’s mind a few years ago. Multi-story buildings were non-existent but they are now becoming part of reality.
My neighborhood is generally a very peaceful most of the times. People, generally start their day early and also go to bed early. Celebrations of festivals may be an exceptional case. The community is very diverse, with people belongs to every part of India residing here. I happen to see factory workers, doctors, armed forces personals as well as a very large student community; making this place a thriving place all the time.
Almost a village 10 years ago, affordable housing and arrival of many educational institutions transformed this village into a city suburb. Unlike other places of Bengaluru, it is difficult to describe social status of people at this place, as it is still evolving. There are international schools, hospitals, engineering institutions, as well as slums. There are technocrats residing next to a farming area. Therefore, it is a mixture of everything. Even students from Africa, China are studying here, making it truly a world-class city.
Like every other city of India, this place too is high on religious activities. You can easily spot temples, mosques just by walking around.
With so much mixed crowd, a location-wise variety in language is clearly visible. The place I live in is home to a large student community, therefore everyone around is comfortable conversing in Hindi/English. I wanted to learn and speak in Kannada (local language of Bengaluru) but every local youngster wants to speak with me in English. For them, the English language is the path towards economic uplifting. Sad to see the ignorance of our local languages. but this is a reality.
But, this will totally reverse on going to a slightly older area. Everyone speak Kannada and you need to know this language to get things done. Apparently, their economic life does not force them to have knowledge of English.
Places to eat
Although there are few big restaurants, hardly anyone misses not having them. This place offers excellent local food. With local food offered at 1/10th of the price than other parts of Bengaluru, no one complains of living so far from the city center.
Places to visit
Bengaluru has been the city of lakes and there are few near my house. I have visited few of the lakes during my weekend walks. Most of them are in a very dire state. Overpopulation, rapid urbanization, and lack of concerns from people and authorities are making them disappear.
1. Anchelpalaya Lake
This lake was in good condition during my last visit. It is not far from my home.
2. Kudurugere Lake
This lake is almost dead, due to lack of water and construction of houses in its catchment area.
3. Doddabidirakallu Lake
This is also a dead lack due to rapid encroachment and construction in the catchment area.
4. Chikkanabanawara Lake
Although this is also not in good shape still this is in the most preserved shape so far.
5. Arkavthi River
Majority of Bangalorean have no idea about the presence of 2 rivers flowing through the heart of Bengaluru. It’s because they are no longer in a form of a river. Rapid urbanization and dumping of waste into them has converted them into a running stream of water much less than a river. The river “arkavathi” passes near to my neighborhood and I happened to witness the sad state of this river.
Other than lakes and rivers, there are many parks for morning and evening walks. Shopping malls and cinema halls are within 20-25 minutes commuting distance.
Chimney Hills Air Force Station
You cannot visit this place due to security issues but you can definitely have a look from some distance. The air force station is visible from almost all directions and it is also an important landmark of this area.
That’s all about my neighborhood and the charm, it has to offer. Please, do visit, if you get time. I will be happy to show you around.