Friday, March 25, 2011

From Baked Beans to Boiled…

With a lei of jasmine, a mark of good wishes and fresh juice, the majority of the EMBA class was welcomed to Bangalore India early on Sunday morning.

Although exhausted, the hotel reunion was full of laughter and stories, as already many classmates had extended layovers and travel stories to share. Some highlights:

- Paris with lots of wine and a quest to find an “underground nightclub”
- The trek to Frankfurt for breakfast between flights
- One student's dressing adventures at Carnival in Goa

A few short hours later, the group had their first tastes of a Southern Indian breakfast and time to explore the city of Bangalore...traditionally known as Bangalaru. Among the more interesting adventures were:

- Pedicures done by schools of fish

- Negotiations with auto rickshaw taxi drivers.... Some more successful than others (This one even let a classmate take a turn at the wheel…)

- Tickets to see Ireland play the India National Team in the Cricket World Cup

Later in the afternoon, most of the class joined up with the faculty and the tour company to see some historical highlights of the city. It was at this point that we learned that legend has it that Bangalore got its name from the words “Bendha KaaLu”, which means “Boiled Beans” in the local language Kannada. Highlights of the tour included:

Bull Temple-a massive temple where Lord Shiva's mount, Bull Nandi is ensconced. Many in the class gave a small donation in return for the blessing of luck from the temple's priest. Some chose to purchase souvenirs outside that included wooden snakes and fresh coconuts.

The Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, which was constructed of teak wood more than 200 years ago, with intricate sculptured arches and walls with that are covered in paintings and murals.


The Lalbagh Botanical Garden, of royal origin and was started initially as a private garden in an area of 40 acres by Hyder Ali, one of the most famous rulers of old Mysore in 1760. The gardens house more than a thousand varieties of flowers and trees - many which are rare.

Lastly, we ended our trip with a stop at the Government run emporium where many in the class purchased saris, shawls and custom clothing made out of the city's famous silks.

The day ended with a welcome dinner that was hosted outdoors back at our hotel. Which for some, was capped with a late-night dip in the pool.

Written by: Emily Livingston

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