Bengaluru 1 Hour Activities


1 MG MALL
onemgroad.com
Open from 10 am to 10 pm.

BUY HANDWOVEN SCARVES AND HANDCRAFTED LEATHER GOODS

  • Walk next door to 1 MG mall to experience global and local brands
  • Buy an emergency toy for kids back home at Hamley’s
  • Take home souvenirs from some of India’s finest brands like Fabindia and Kama

Walking distance from the hotel is 1 MG mall, a good mix of global and local brands.

While you can rush in for that emergency Estee Lauder lipstick, Clark’s shoes, Body Shop perfume, M&S or H&M T-shirt, far more interesting are the Indian outlets in the mall. Buy handcrafted, and well-priced leather handbags, backpacks or wallets from Hidesign, a Pondicherry-based brand (Louis Vuitton has a minority stake). Ayesha, who happens to be Hidesign founder, Dilip Kapur’s daughter, has her eponymous shop next door, selling sparkly Indian trinkets and accessories a la Claire’s in the US. Kama Ayurveda, feted by Vogue and Tatler, sells high-quality face creams, body washes and cleansers based on the 5000-year old tradition of Ayurveda. Buy the saffron-based kumkumadi scrub, fragrant and spill-proof hair oils, or rose-and-jasmine scented hair cleansers. Fabindia, beloved amongst Indians and the diaspora for its kurta-pyjamas, is a hugely successful brand, selling Indian clothes, scarves, stoles, bedsheets, cutlery, organic food and everything in between.

To get to 1 MG mall, exit the hotel, make a left, cross the road and walk a few yards.
Carry a straw from the hotel and buy some tender coconut water from the physically challenged man who has been selling this fresh and popular Indian drink at the corner of Ulsoor road for decades.

1 MG MALL
onemgroad.com
Open from 10 am to 10 pm.

GO FOR A RUN AROUND ULSOOR LAKE. CHASE IT WITH A YOGA SESSION.

  • Go for a run around one of Bangalore’s largest lakes.
  • Take your binoculars and get up close to waterfowl
  • Watch neighbourhood women bargaining and buying fresh vegetables

The Conrad is located in the Ulsoor neighbourhood of Bangalore.

Ulsoor, once called Halasuru or Village of Jackfruits is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Ulsoor Lake was built by Kempegowda II after whom Bangalore’s airport is named. Locals throng Ulsoor Lake in the mornings between 6 to 10 AM to jog, walk, stretch, or walk their dogs. Birdwatchers can bring binoculars to see brahminy and black kites, cormorants, wagtails, kingfishers, pond herons, white egrets and other waterfowl. They also rue the water quality of the lake, which goes through ups and downs in terms of cleanliness.

Down the road from Ulsoor Lake is Smart Move, a well-regarded dance and movement studio where some of the city’s best yoga and tai chi teachers come to teach in the morning. Walk-ins are welcome. Check their website for timings. smartmove.co.in/classes/

To get to Ulsoor Lake, exit the hotel, make a right and keep left at the fork. There are two entrances to the lake. The main entrance opposite Foto Flash, a shop, is where the action is.


SOMESHWARA TEMPLE
Ulsoor Road, Someshwarpura, Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008
+(91)-80-6580-3486
Hindu temples are usually open from 6 am to 11 am and in the evening from 5 to 9 pm.

SRI GURU SINGH SABHA GURUDWARA TEMPLE
Gurudwara Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore – 560008
+(91)-80-25553461
+(91)-8050000188
sgssbangalore.org
Open from 3:30 AM to 8:30 PM daily.

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
M. G. Road, Bangalore, India 560008
+(91)-80-2558-4192
facebook.com/HTCBangalore

VISIT THE DIVINE TRINITY: A CHURCH, A TEMPLE, AND A GURUDWARA

  • Visit a 1000 year old temple
  • Visit one of Bangalore most iconic military churches
  • Visit the most important gurudwara where Sikhs come to worship

In three directions from the hotel are three iconic places of worship. The Hindu temple is almost behind the hotel, the church is to the left as you exit, and the gurudwara is to the righ as you exit.

The 1000-year old Someshwara temple has an interesting story. Legend has it that Kempe Gowda, the chieftain who built Bangalore fell asleep under a tree in the area. The Lord appeared in his dream and told him to build a temple using buried treasure, which he did. Epigraphs on the temple walls show a layered history dating back through the centuries. Lovers of heritage architecture will enjoy the variety of styles within the temple.

Built in 1851 by the British East India company in English Rennaissance style, the Trinity church is the largest military church in South India. With lovely stained glass windows, carved statues, and inscriptions about British soldiers, the church seats 700. Services continue to this day, mostly in Tamil.

The Sikh Gurudwara of Ulsoor welcomes people of all faiths and is known for its free Sunday feast called langar, where devotees volunteer to cook and serve. In both the gurudwara and Hindu temples, modest attire is neccessary. Avoid shorts or sleeveless T-shirts. Women may have to cover their heads with a stole.

SOMESHWARA TEMPLE
Ulsoor Road, Someshwarpura, Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008
+(91)-80-6580-3486
Hindu temples are usually open from 6 am to 11 am and in the evening from 5 to 9 pm.

SRI GURU SINGH SABHA GURUDWARA TEMPLE
Gurudwara Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore – 560008
+(91)-80-25553461
+(91)-8050000188
sgssbangalore.org
Open from 3:30 AM to 8:30 PM daily.

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
M. G. Road, Bangalore, India 560008
+(91)-80-2558-4192
facebook.com/HTCBangalore

WANDER THROUGH A TYPICAL AND ANCIENT INDIAN BAZAAR

  • Smell some fresh jasmine garlands
  • Taste some fresh quintessentially Indian fruits like custard apple, sapota and amla
  • Bargain for camphor and incense

Adjacent to the hotel to the left as you exit is a road that leads to the Ulsoor market. It is both an ancient and living market in that locals throng the market for buying banana leaves, strings of jasmine and marigold, and coconuts. Walking through the congested streets of the market requires a tolerance for chaos, crowds and the odd cow. Tiny bylanes lead off into bazaars selling vegetables, fruits, and prayer items like camphor, fresh turmeric, vermilion powder, mango and betel leaves. Men and women sell fruits, flowers and vegetables off wandering trolley carts. Tiny shops sell all manner of kitsch.

Intach Bangalore does excellent heritage walks on a periodic basis. Details of their “Parichay” heritage walks at intachblr.org/parichay

GO TO CUBBON PARK FOR COMMUNAL EXERCISES

  • Do tai chi in the park
  • Join a group doing yoga and breathing exercises
  • Pet a dog

Named after an Englishman and built during the rule of the Mysore Maharajah, this 300-acre park is a magnet in the morning. Five minutes by car from the hotel, go at 7 am to join groups practising yoga, tai chi and breathing exercises. Have them park the car at the Cubbon Road entrance near the Metro station. Walk in and you cannot miss the group classes. Otherwise, simply walk or jog through and enjoy the large rain trees, the dog walkers, birds and the serially flowering trees like the bright yellow tabebuia, millingtonia, jacaranda, laburnum and flaming red gul mohar. Else, you can laugh with– or laugh at– the laughing clubs and guffaw your heart out.

Two groups that offer regular tai chi classes at Cubbon Park are the following: vitalforcetaichi.com
taichi-india.in

Yoga groups abound. Here is one: facebook.com/yogmatters

BUY SOME INCENSE IN AN ASHRAM, A SILK SARI, OR A FUNKY DRESS

  • Get a flavour of Pondicherry
  • Buy a funky top from a local boutique
  • Visit a sari boutique

An outlet of the Aurobindo ashram of Pondicherry, this verdant quiet space is great for buying incense, paper goods, fragrant candles and perfumes. While it is walking distance from the hotel, there is parking available on site, a luxury in Bangalore. Further down the road is Ambara, an old boutique with a well-curated collection of silk saris, tops, jewelry, candles and plants. Housed in a heritage bungalow with red floors and curving balconies, the in-house cafe is good for a spot of tea, coffee or a light lunch. Opposite the entrance of Ulsoor Lake, adjacent to Foto Flash is a small boutique called Anu & Susan, after its founders, who are most often present. They design funky western-style tops, dresses and pants that have a hint of India in them. Round the corner is Chocolate Junction, for homemade local chocolates and a Barista coffee.