Sunday, April 10, 2005

Visit to the Bull Temple and City Market

My son, Jay, and a colleague, David, visited the Bull Temple and the City Market today. This is the third time I've been to both and I have yet to tire of them.

The Bull Temple is part of a complex of temples in southern Bangalore. It houses a huge statue of Nandini the bull. The statue is about 30 feet high. The temple consists of a gateway building and the temple itself.

At the entrance to the complex is a grand temple to Ganesha, the elephant god. You can go in and worship along with the others who flock to this temple, the Bull Temples, a temple to Shiva and other, smaller temples.

A nice garden sits near the temples. You can walk through it or sit on the benches that line the pathways, as many city residents do (David said it looked like a nice place to read a paper for an hour or so).

The garden has one interesting feature: the tall trees are festooned with large, sleeping bats. Every now and then, one will flap its wings, still hanging upside-down from its tree. Some people (including me) find it cool. Some -- including a friend who refused to go into the garden because of the bats -- find it creepy.

After the temple, we took an autorickshaw to the City Market. This is a big building surrounded by smaller shops or people sitting on the ground, selling fruits, vegetables and spices. If you are from the West, you will see vegetables and fruits you have never seen in your life.

In the basement of the market is a wonderful flower market where they sell marigolds and other blooms by weight. If you ever wanted to buy a pound of roses, this is your place. Many of the flower sellers make garlands from their wares, threading them onto string nearly ceaselessly. It's wonderful.

The City Market is an assault on the senses -- lots of people, lots of unfamiliar wares. It was hot today. But it's well worth the visit and a lot of fun. And you feel like you're in India.

After our trip, we went to the New Shanthi Sagar restaurant on Airport Road for lunch. I recommend it highly. It's vegetarian and very friendly.


At 1:59 PM, Blogger ajay said...

The bull is called 'Nandi' not 'Nandini' which is a female name :)


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