Saturday, February 23, 2013

Eucalyptus truck

That is one loaded truck, full of eucalyptus.
Off to become hand lotions and face moisturizers, I suppose. 

Tipu's drop

Tipu Sultan's summer fort on the top of Nandi Hills is infamous.
Tipu had a reputation for being strict and ruthless.Those who earned his disfavor were not shown much mercy.  Instead they were taken to the top of the hill and thrown off.
Tipu's drop, was the execution point for many a criminal--so goes the story.
Today the same point is visited by tourists for its view.

While the tourists stand and admire the view over Bangalore, they can imagine themselves as Tipu Sultan--king of all they can see.


It's a funny looking little car, isn't it?

I think it's a cousin of Tata's Nano, the world's cheapest car.

Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills was Tipu Sultan's summer getaway.  His hunting lodge far above the plains below. 
It still is a bit of a getaway for a number of local tourists, come to see the view.

Far above the noise of the city, you can imagine what it's like to be Tipu, king of the hill.

Amruth Sarovar (a stepwell)

At Tipu Sultan's summer hunting getaway, Nandi Hills, there's a stepwell.
While building a stepwell would have been the proper thing for an 18th century ruler to do, Tipu didn't build this one.  It was constructed in 1932--that makes it the youngest stepwell I know of.
The stepwell is spring fed and supplies water to the nearby plant nursery.
It's closed off to the public from walking into it...
...but I may have disregarded that 'suggestion' to get a closer look from the inside...

Putting up the lights

I spotted the guy who puts up the lights.

Tipu was born here

Some think Tipu Sultan is a bit of a national hero.  And this is the gate to the itty-bitty place just outside of Bangalore where he was born.

Though they have street lamps and electricity now, there are other things about the old streets that would probably look familiar to Tipu.
But otherwise, Devanahalli is just a little place off the side of the highway, marked by a small sign.
Most people, to see something of Tipu's legacy, would go to one of his forts or battle grounds and see some of the impressive weaponry he possessed.
Tipu Sultan ruled the kingdom of Mysore and fought to keep the British East India Company at bay.
When he finally died in battle against the British, one of their biggest resistors was eliminated and they had access to all kinds of wealth.  At the time, the people all the way in London and Paris had heard of Tipoo Sahib, but now he's as forgotten as his birthplace.

Friday, February 22, 2013


 People often take things "for granite" when they should be taking them for granted--an annoying grammar mistake.
But here's a city where "granite" might make more sense.
 In Bangalore, there are so many granite mines, that a regular sized slab of granite is less than $10.
People use granite for sidewalks, houses, fences--all over the place.
In other locations, granite is a more precious commodity and much more costly. 
But not here.
Here they can take it for granite...

...granted, I mean.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An old water tank

Since I'm always searching for step wells, this landmark was interesting to me.
At one time it must have been a man made tank, but now the water is all dried up--within the last five years even, the residents told me. 
There is evidence of walls and possibly stairs, but it's all buried by dirt and weeds.
Now it's just a big crater in the ground behind the neighborhood.
The way water sources shift and history is overgrown and forgotten is fascinating to me.  Somewhere, someone knows this story--it's just a matter of finding that person.


I have not seen a lot of termites.  Especially not ones that build like this. 
It's over six feet tall. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shoe shine

It's amusing to me that this is a pretty fancy set up for shoe shining--a chair, a newspaper for beneath the feet, and everything set out so orderly. 
It still probably didn't cost him more than 50 rupees.  If the guys in the US airports only knew what their world-wide competitors deal with...

Broke down tireless

The auto broke down.
 "Tyre puncture."

An auto driver's life cannot be an easy one.  He's gotta have a few skills, when it comes to the roads of India.
Though I've experienced only a handful, a flat tire must be common for a guy like him.
 And there's a system in place for what to do at a time like this.  A code of the auto driver--you can wave down any other empty auto and the driver willingly helps to lift the three wheeler so that the tire can be changed with the one he's been sitting on all day.

Its' a procedure that takes about 20 minutes in all.
Three wheels down,
and we were off again.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flying over history

I love this view of the ancient standing tall and strong--same as it has for eight centuries--as modern travelers fly over it.
Some towers stand a long time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rail museum

The sign in the photo says not to climb on the train engines
...but that's exactly why we come here.
What little boy--and all the others with him--don't love climbing on old trains, trying out the gears in the engines and pretending to blow the whistle?
Or making train sounds of our own as we trail down the tracks?
Good fun.

It's terribly designed as far as museum quality and presentation of facts go.  Terrible.
The four year old with us knew the most because he watches Thomas the Tank Engine.
Trains are such an important part of India--past and present.
And because of that...
I suggest you follow that arrow and visit the Rail Museum.