Bangalore, India, part 2

After the Cave temple, we went to the Ganesh temple, known for a Ganesh statue made of 90 kilos of butter and for the Bull temple next door. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but other people were taking selfies next to the ‘no cameras ‘ sign, plus I had to document the scene, so:

Ok that’s what I get for taking a selfie at a holy site. Here’s a slightly better photo of the butter elephant god with his shirtless caretakers:

The statue reminds me in a big way of the Ohio State Fair Butter Cow, the pride of Ohioans everywhere and which I know about because I lived in Ohio for many years. Only of course, this is India, and this is Ganesh and the American Dairy Association is nowhere in sight! There were people lined up at the railing getting blessed. It was also a bit of a tourist scene with vendors lining the sidewalks outside. Here is the outside of the temple:I followed a fellow bus tourist to a set of steps next door, which we ascended to find the Bull Temple. And there it was, a 14-foot tall sculpture of Nandi, the bull vehicle of Krishna. 

Here is the outside of the Bull temple:

Our next stop was a diner for lunch near Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, which goes back to 1700’s royal gardens and is now run by the government horticulture department. After lunch, we walked through the park and saw some of its sights: a bonsai garden, large lake, many trees, flowers, and this rock area said to be 300 million years old. I liked the small temple and the view of the city from there.

large tree, topiary trees, bonsai tree:

Many flowers!

It is 240 acres and I could have spent more time here. But it was hot, and the air-conditioned bus awaited at the other end of the park. We walked through and got on the bus. We next went to see two government buildings that face each other. We couldn’t enter the buildings but we admired them from the road. The red one is Attara Kacheri and houses the high court of Karnataka. By the way, we were in Bangalore in Karnataka state now, not Tamil Nadu, the state of Chennai. The white building is Vidhana Soudha and houses the Karnataka legislature. It had a carving that tells us ‘government work is God’s work’ and a golden central dome supported by four lions back to back. Wow!

I’d love to see inside, but it is restricted. The day was getting on and we were headed to the government museum. As we rode on the bus, I spoke with the other passengers and we saw Bangalore life out the window:

We made a brief stop at a silk store, which sold garments of famous Karnataka silk. Several fellow passengers mumbled complaints about high prices and I don’t think any of us bought anything. We were ready for the museum. The building was as lovely as the photos I had seen- red with red columns and white accents. There were prehistoric articles in simple displays inside and many sculptures inside and outside.

Next door is the Venkatappa Art Gallery, named for a noted court painter from the early 1900’s. The friezes and paintings by the eponymous artist were beautiful, and as a court artist born in 1886 to a family of court painters, he surely led an interesting life. 

On the upper floors were displays of wood carvings by a man named C. P. Rajaram and paintings by an artist named Hebber. 

I wasn’t allowed to take photos of Hebber’s works, but here is a screen grab from some search images for his name.

He lived until the mid-1990’s after a life of international study and accomplishments. His work was colorful and bold and focused on his home country. 

Leaving the museum, I was struck by the contrast of the historic museum building and the modern construction nearby.

That was the end of the bus tour. I found my way home from the museum area, since the bus driver told me it was closer to my hotel than the bus station where we had started and where the bus was headed. I was tired and happy to meet MB for dinner. That was day one in Bangalore!


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