Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Exploring Bangalore

Today we learned about Bangalore with a presentation at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. We then set out to explore the city for ourselves through a scavenger hunt!
We started off the day going to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), an educational institution dedicated to India's urban development.

The presentation focused specifically on Bangalore. We learned that the metro area of the city is 1300 square kilometers, has a population of about 8.5 million people, and is considered the technology hub of India. Between 1991 and 2001, the city experienced a growth of 47% in its population!

Because of Bangalore's rapid growth, the city is having trouble providing clean water to its people and is in desperate need of a mass transportation system.

As private technology companies have moved into Bangalore, they've taken it upon themselves to provide transportation, water infrastructure, and other living amenities for their employees, forming microcosm cities within Bangalore.

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After the IIHS presentation, we were divided into groups of three or four students to explore Bangalore through a scavenger hunt.

Each group travelled to five locations around the city using different forms of transportation along the way. Without Google maps, we had to ask the people of Bangalore for directions every leg of our journey.

The first clue our group was given was to "find a lake popular for boating." Our auto-rickshaw driver helped us figure out which lake we were looking for.

Once we found the lake, we ran into the coast guard doing a training session. As we were taking pictures, the coast guard offered to have us take a photo with all of them!

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During the scavenger hunt, we saw attractions such as the Thoms Bakery and Supermarket, the high court of Karnataka (which is the Indian state we are in), and a British post office.

The scavenger hunt was a great way to explore Bangalore and interact with the locals. I cannot wait to continue to learn about this vibrant city and all of its wonderful people!

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