Who would want to be a tuktuk (auto rickshaw) tour guide in Bangalore? It’s an earner for sure but how limited are the options. We discovered the limitations of Bangalore after a very un-relaxing 12 hour sleeper bus ride from Munnar to Bangalore when had the invidious task of finding suitable accommodation at 4:30 in the dark, hot,sticky morning. I would not normally have succumbed to sucker pressure tactics but in this instance we had little option in but to allow one of the many touts awaiting the bus arrival to show us a variety of budget hotels…what else can you do at this time in the morning?!
Accommodation in Bangalore
Most of the hotels were simply not satisfactory and we were forced to settle for one which fell far short of what might be expected at the offered rate. One thing which was very useful was a torch[do action=”amazon-iframe-product-details” amazonaff=”http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=livefree-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=” asin=”B000KC418A” align=”alignleft”]small pocket torch (Flashlight)[/do]which at least allowed us to check the map and travel book in the dark of the early morning.
There is a lesson here…pre book your [do action=”booking-com” name=”Hotel Name” url=”http://www.booking.com/hotel/in/the-paul-bangalore-bangalore.en-gb.html?sid=55aec38977ed7d3cbcdcb9795fcc92ac;dcid=1;srfid=7c6b5b3cee1a8e6351530f0e46c84d1792eb9d85X1″]accommodation[/do] and save a bucket load of hassle. It means however that you are at the mercy of the internet description and you also lose the potential to haggle the room rate but you can always reject the room on any number of grounds if it is not as described. Sadly without adequate internet connection in Munnar we again had little option but to wing it.
City Sightseeing Tour
To make the most of a basic stop-over in Bangalore on our way to Delhi and Agra, we decided to recruit the services of the rickshaw driver who had driven us around in search of our hotel, to take us on a half day tour of the Bangalore tourist sites. I have done this in so many cities and it is normally a great way to gauge the feel of the place…in India it is also very cheap with few delays due to traffic…it miraculously just keeps moving. Sadly,since we found little of great interest in the city it is possible we could have reduced this half day to about an hour!!
Hence the title….it must be so frustrating being a tuk tuk (rickshaw) driver trying to eke out a tourist living with little significant of tourist interest in the city. Of course, within the city you can see everywhere around you the many more unfortunates with no job or real purpose in life so perhaps the rickshaw drivers might actually feel privileged to have their job.
That said, we did visit the Bull temple, Emperor Tipu’s palace and Bangalore Palace which were significant in their own way but would not have enticed us make a major detour to Bangalore simply for this experience. There are botanic Gardens to explore if you so wish but this did not float our boat in a 38 degree heat. The walls surrounding the gardens have been painted in numerous murals making the rickshaw ride quite interesting….just.
Bull Temple – Photo Gallery
Emperor Tipu’s Palace – Photo Gallery
Bangalore Palace – Photo Gallery
Traffic Signals in India – Why?
One thing of note though, Bangalore was the first time we evidenced traffic lights actually being used and functioning as …well…traffic lights….and it almost threw us to find ourselves stopping somewhere other than our destination.
A bonus for Bangalore is that it is a central city with a great modern air terminal.
All in all…as a stopover…Bangalore does not have much to offer….if you think otherwise or feel I have simply missed so much then please post comments at the bottom of this article and I will make a point of incorporating your views… 🙂