Yesterday was Basavanagudi dharshan for R and me. Started off from Koramangala at around 2PM. First stop was Gandhi Bazaar. Found my way until Lalbagh gate without any problem, but then after, multiple people gave multiple directions, contradicting each other, so we roamed around in spaghetti circles for some time. At last, parked next to a Khadhi Bhandar shop, which said Gandhi Bazaar in its nameboard. Found it to be Bugle Rock Road. A friendly fruit shop owner said, all this area is Gandhi Bazaar and the main road is walking distance.
The main Gandhi Bazaar road is basically the Bangalore’s own TNagar Pondy Bazaar. A large tree lined avenue, both sides peppered with small platform shops and medium sized shops. Fruit markets and vegetable markets set the whole place ablaze with the colours of fresh produce.
Amidst all this circus stands, Vidhyarthi Bhavana, a >75 year old eatery – which has supposedly been ranked as second-best dosa in Bangalore (next only to CTR, Malleswaram). Ofcourse, this was one of the high points of our dharshan.
Review of Vidhyarthi Bhavana:
I see why, it is next only to CTR. CTR rocks any day ! The dosa there is way better, and the sambhar heavenly. VB does not have Sambar. Let me let that statement sink into you. No Sambar. Only chutney – and I did not like the chutney that much either. R could not digest the fact that dosa could be served without sambar. R liked the dosa more than me. For me, my tongue had tasted CTR, and would not accept this. It was only Ok-Ok. The place is clean – and the waiters (all dressed in dhoti – tied lambda/2) did perform the circus of balancing a dozen dosa plates on one hand. But for me, I would prefer CTR any day.
We then bought veggies, and moved on to our next destination – Bull Temple. We visited the bull temple – the Nandi is very big – and um, very cute too. Little feet, cute nose etc – in all a pleasure to gaze at. After paying homage to Siva’s personal secretary, we wanted to see the other temples in the complex, but they were to open only at 530PM.
So we crossed the road, and visited Nava Mantralaya – a Raghavendra temple – where a music school was celebrating its yearly anniversary. 50 kids (all below 12 yrs) were on stage and were singing bhajans – heavenly.
At 530PM, we crossed the road, back to see Mr. Dodda Ganapathy – a huge Ganesha Temple – beautiful vennai kaapu (butter decoration) – very nice and had a good dharshan. Also visited the Bala-anjaneya temple and Kannapar temple in the same complex.
At this point, R and I knew, there were more temples in this area, but did not know where. So called V (my brother in law) – who lives in closer locales (Bansankari). He visits these temples more often. On his suggestion, went on to see Karanji Anjaneya – a very old Anjaneya temple walking distance from the bull temple. At this time, R commented, if all the temples in this area, were super sized temples 🙂 – all deities were minimum 4 times larger than us!
After Karanji Anjaneya, we hiked over in the opposite direction, to Govardhanagiri temple. This is a concept temple – yes, you heard it right – a concept temple. Beautiful. The whole temple looks like it has been carved into a granite hill. You enter through the side, and inside there is an enclosure, where you see, Lord Krishna holding the hill with his little finger – a beautiful sight to behold. Very nice and peaceful inside. Good arrangements to sit in front of the deity and meditate. This was our favourite temple.
We then took our car, and went the opposite direction, and visited the Ramakrishna Math. It was just like the other RK Maths I have visited (Chennai, Kolkata) – peaceful, serene, green. The aarthi was going on. We spent some time there,
Ok, now comes the most interesting part of the evening. We had finished all our dharshans, and the food, and now it was time to get back home. We saw a board which said Lal Bagh west gate. I kind-of figured out that, if we headed to Lalbagh, and circled it (like we did on our way to Basavanagudi), we would at some point hit the road from Nimhans/Diary circle. Um, we took the wrong turn. We ended up seeing Minerva Circle, JC Road, Town Hall, Hudson Circle – and thankfully I knew the way back to Koramangala from there (lessons learnt from our many trips to the Majestic Railway station). We headed back through Residency Road, Magrath Road, Lower Agaram, Vivek Nagar and at last, home sweet home 🙂