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Photo Essay: Sunday Bangalore By Vincent Wong


The name Bangalore is an anglicised version of the town’s name in the Kannada language, Bengaḷūru. The earliest reference to the name “Bengaluru” was found in a ninth century Western Ganga Dynasty stone inscription on a “vīra gallu” (literally, “hero stone”, a rock edict extolling the virtues of a warrior). In this inscription found in Begur, “Bengaluru” is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought in 890. It states that the place was part of the Ganga Kingdom until 1004 and was known as “Bengaval-uru”, the “City of Guards” in Halegannada (Old Kannada). An article, published in The Hindu, states:


An inscription, dating back to 890 CE, shows Bangalore is over 1,000 years old. But it stands neglected at the Parvathi Nageshwara Temple in Begur near the city… written in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada) of the 9th century CE, the epigraph refers to a Bengaluru war in 890 in which Buttanachetty, a servant of Nagatta, died. Though this has been recorded by historian R. Narasimhachar in his Epigraphia of Carnatica (Vol. 10 supplementary), no efforts have been made to preserve it.


An apocryphal, though popular, anecdote recounts that the 11th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II, while on a hunting expedition, lost his way in the forest. Tired and hungry, he came across a poor old woman who served him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place “benda-kaal-uru” (literally, “town of boiled beans”), which eventually evolved into “Bengalūru”.


On 11 December 2005, the Government of Karnataka announced that it had accepted a proposal by Jnanpith Award winner U. R. Ananthamurthy to rename Bangalore to Bengaluru. On 27 September 2006, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) passed a resolution to implement the proposed name change,[18] which was accepted by the Government of Karnataka and it was decided to officially implement the name change from 1 November 2006. However, this process has been currently stalled due to delays in getting clearances from the Union Home Ministry. source: Wikipedia


I had the opportunity to visit Bangalore for work earlier this week. I seized the chance to spend one Sunday shooting the streets of Bangalore.
This was my first trip to India and I was expecting Bangalore to be colorful and intense which will be great for streets.


I was wrong.


Bangalore is 10 times more colorful and intense than my expectation!
One day in India is never going to be enough!


Prior to the trip, I did some research and found a flickr site sharing some good venues for streets.
When I asked my colleague from our Bangalore office about this list of places. These are his comments in []:


1. KR Market [Not a place to go. It is chaotic.]
2. Shivajinagar [Not a place to go. Chaotic. Part of it got gutted recently (end Feb 2012)]
3. Avenue Road [Yes]
4. Majestic [Central Railway Station and Central Bus Stand. Very crowded. No sight-seeing.]
5. Yelahanka [Not a tourist spot.]
6. Brigade Road [Upmarket street (Not Singapore equivalent J). Has branded stores in this narrow street. Good to walk in, to feel cosmopolitan. Youngsters thrive in this street.]
7. MG Road [MG Road and Brigade Road are nearby and intersect. MG Road is the main shopping street. Good Place to walk through.]
8. Malleswaram [Good locality… Again, Shopping centric & old city.]
9. Gandhi Bazaar [Too far. Crowded.]
10. Yeshwanthpur Market [Too far. Crowded.]
11. Pottery Town [I have not gone there.]
12. Petes – Chikpet, Balepet, Nagrathpet etc. [Crowded. Low cost, whole-salers market. Not a place to go.]
13. Madivala Market [Vegetable market at low cost. Not a place to go.]
14 Ulsoor Market & Someshwara Temple area [Similar as above… Someshwara temple is good.]
15. Jogupalya [ Nope.]
16. Commercial Street and Ibrahim Syed Street.[ Commercial Street is again an upmarket and closer to MG Road. Good place to hang around.]
17. Thippasandra Main Road [ Gives you a perspective of small shopping street in the midst of the residential area. Can get a sense of how it looks (though it would be chaotic anyway).]
18. Intersection of Garuda Mall [Yes]


Final conclusion: My colleague is not into street photography and those “Not a place to go” places would be perfect for streets.


I started the morning with Shivajinagar, early afternoon at South Western Railway Station and ended the day with Commercial Street.


Leica M9P
Leica 28mm Summicron ASPH

One-camera-one-lens has been my recent setup for my last few trips. I do enjoy the simplicity and lightness of this approach.
My choice for this trip is the M9P and the 28mm Summicron ASPH. This is the first time with my 28mm cron instead of my trusty 35mm. I figure that India will be crowded and chaotic and I want to capture that with a wider lens. The Indians are also well known to be willing models. Hence, the chances to get closer is high. Conclusion: I’m happy with the combo.


Photographer: Vincent Wong



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