Bangalore in my head

|Author: Evan P.|

When I first thought about what Bangalore, the 3rd largest city in India and the 26th largest city in the world would be like I imagined something similar to every major city that I have visited in my life, a suburban sprawl centered around an urban epicenter consisting of major skyscrapers and endless steel and concrete. When thinking about the cities I’ve visited, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, New York, and San Francisco to name a few, they all have fallen into this description, but each with their own uniqueness. From what I’ve seen in the past week and a half, Bangalore on the contrary does not. Upon arrival in Bangalore many differences to cities I have known have stood out. The most notable being the pungent smell of diesel pollution, the plethora of cows and stray dogs, the constant sound of beeping, and the perceivably unlimited number of circling hawks. But among these daily observances one thing that I keep looking for is the city center, a row of unimaginably tall buildings that would give you a breathtaking view and a new perspective of the city below. Every time we get in the van or ride in a tuk tuk I try to look in the horizon to catch a glimpse of this presumably nonexistent urban center, and much to my dismay I haven’t found it. Either we haven’t visited this part of the city, or Bangalore defies my preconception of a major urban city. From my first week in Bangalore I would describe the city as a sprawling suburb, each part seeming as busy as the one next to it, each one with large 4 story apartment buildings and the occasional lone10+ story building in the distance. The entire city is lined with beautiful large trees, a trait that separates it from many other major cities in the world. The city is also home to an unfathomable amount of street vendors, farm animals, tuk tuks, and personal landfills. In just over a week Bangalore has already surprised me in countless ways and has given me a new perspective on urban planning, what a city can look like, and how it can function.

View of Bangalore from Vaikuntha Hill, South Bangalore

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