It took several days of heckling various concierges before they let us in on the secret. No, we weren't looking for Louis Vuitton, Rolex or similar stores in the air-conditioned surroundings of UB City. We were looking for something more authentic and real. We wanted to bump shoulders and listen to stories from the people of the city.
Of all the city guides we received, a neighbourhood called Indiranagar stuck out for its wide array of quirky boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Located in East Bangalore, Indiranagar was primarily a residential area comprised of large bungalows and independent properties. The neighborhood saw a transformation in the 90's as the IT boom brought with it an influx of money and commercial establishments. However, instead of high-rise, shiny new malls, you’ll find converted homes housing these businesses next to homes.
We spent two days strolling through parts of this neighborhood, and here are three of our best finds:
Jewelry, fabrics, colorful pottery, and enthusiastic staff--what else could you ask for? We spent almost two hours sifting through fabrics and speaking with the staff. House of Taamara supports a network of artists spread around the country and provides them a platform to sell their products.
The self proclaimed home of kitschy, this lifestyle store is filled with colorful knick knacks to liven up your life. We picked up some wicked coasters of old school Bollywood films that we gave to my in-laws, which they loved. Think bursts of color and items you remember from your childhood.
Located adjacent to The Orange Bicycle, CupShup is a cozy coffee cafe serving healthy food and drinks for weary shoppers. This buzzing locale is a hive of activity allowing customers to stay as long as they want.
We were left in awe of how the new seamlessly meshed with the old in Indiranagar. And, there was a freedom about the place to be whoever you wanted to be. As we left Cupshup to a young woman pitching a business idea to two young men, we said our final goodbyes.
The world is a beautiful place with so many locations to see. Our "hidden gems" blog posts bring off-the-beaten path locations to your attention with hopes that you'll travel there soon.
Jonah Batambuze is an artist, connector, and globetrotter. A first-generation Ugandan, born in the U.S., Batambuze currently resides outside London, England with his wife and two young children. You can find Batambuze blogging, creating content, developing partnerships and managing social media all in the name of KampInd.