Sunday, February 13, 2005


Yesterday, my friend Jane and I went to the City Market, which is -- to put it mildly -- an experience. The market consists of people selling from stalls and from a big, central building that looks like it dates back to the days of the Raj.

Stalls selling spices cannot be missed -- there are big cones of some of their spices colored purple, yellow (saffron), etc. You see one after another.

Others sell housewares, mainly steel, aluminum and iron cookware (I bought a teapot).

Still others sell vegetables: cucumbers, little cloves of garlic, onions, ginger, tomatoes and just about anything else you can imagine.

And, finally, in the basement of the building is the flower market. Marigolds, roses and other flowers I can't name are sold by WEIGHT (If you ever want to buy a pound of marigolds, this is the place.). The market is a riot of color. We took picture after picture (and showed the results to the merchants, who asked us to snap them.).

You have to be on your toes -- a couple of times I got whacked by guys carrying big bags of something (fertliser? dirt?).

As we were leaving the market, we saw ... an elephant! Walking down one of the roads by the market, with a man aboard! (There is a name for an elephant rider and I can't remember it.) The elephant was friendly, taking food from passersby with his trunk.

It's things like this that remind you that you are in India and nowhere else.

We walked around a bit, peeking into a large mosque nearby and then walking some way until we came to the wall of a fort built by the famous Tipoo Sultan (and breached by the British in one of their earlier battles for India, in 1791) and then finally to Tipoo's Palace, whose main feature is dark, beautiful columns. Nearby stands an impressive temple for Hanuman, the monkey god.

We ended the day by walking along Commercial Street and around the area. Jane says it's like New York's Canal Street, funky and full of merchants. I agree.


At 7:26 AM, Blogger Alok said...

Mahout :)

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Karthik said...

Man... I have been born and brought up here in Bangalore.. Yet.. I feel like reading your explanations. Really nice write ..

When I was reading about City Market I was almost there.. Great going.. Keep writing


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