16 November 2009

Spiritual disneyland and more..

Went to Bangalore over the weekend and here's a series of random photos from the city..

Starting with a strange amusement park like temple... the main attraction at the Shiv Mandir near Kempfort is undoubtedly the giant statue of Lord Shiva.
But besides the shear size of the statue there is nothing spiritual about this temple!
It's almost like a religious theme park - it even has a cheesy theme walk based on Lord Shiva life complete with animatronics - and like in most theme park you have to buy a ticket at each stage!
First a ticket to get in to the complex - extra for the camera; another ticket for your shoes; another to see the animatronics; then there are the actual temple rituals (which also involves money) and of course endless possibilities for making donations..
This is not the first time I've come across such blatant commercialization of spirituality! I had recently written about similar commercialization of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai.
Another place that comes to mind is the huge Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar - there the temple has real theme park like rides (mini roller coasters and all) in its sprawling gardens.
So as cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad get richer religious organizations are forced to find innovative ways to get the attention (and money) of the nouveau riche!

Moving on .. a series of images from in and around the 'lung' of Bangalore - Cubbon Park:
a small little temple near the Park with a huge Parrot hovering above it's entrance;
a statue of Queen Elizabeth at one of the parks entrances...;
some beautiful rain trees inside;
the violently coloured State Archeological Museum;
and a few images of the Vijay Mallaya's UB City
It's strange that the architectural language of power across the world is soo similar.
And as for the mall in UB City - it's as expected stupidly unaffordable!
If you really wanted your new Louis Vuitton Bag I understand that it makes no sense to buy it here - it's cheaper to actually fly to Dubai or Singapore (or probably even Paris) and buy it there and you may still save some money!
Here's a new office building just across the road that I found a lot more interesting than UB City..

Moving further..
a modern classic from MG road..

There a whole bunch of these amazing driving tips on Brigade road. I wish all city municipalities shared Bangalore's sense of humor! : )

The beautiful LIC building designed by Charles Correa.. I just love the sheer concrete walls
This is probably his most successful office tower - the building is fascinating both at an architectural and urban level. The massing of the towers sits amazingly well within the Urban grid, with the two set of towers popping up at the main cross roads commanding unobstructed views from quiet a distance!

Another interesting traffic related sign post!

The next three images are of an atrocious building on St. Marks street..
it is one in a series of new buildings cropping up across the country
designed by architects who went to the Architectural Association (AA) in London to do their course in DRL and then worked with Zaha Hadid (or someone like her) and has come back to India to unleash this monstrosities here..
to my mind - just a lot of visual noise and extremely pointless!

Outside a new mall ..

Ulsoor lake - one of the many many lakes of Bangalore..

And to end this posting from this great city - photos of the swanky new airport
This is probably the best airport in the country
(though I haven't yet seen the new Hyderabad airport - which I hear is even better)
Very simple, efficient and well designed..

Lastly an image of the airport taken while my flight took off back to Bombay..

See you soon Bangalore!

No comments:

A Google map tracing my travels across the globe

View Larger Map
  • In Red cities where I have lived (more than one month);
  • In Blue cities with entries on this blog;and
  • In Yellow cities with no entries yet.