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Exploring Bengaluru's Oldest Market

Chondamma B.V

In the last four years of my stay in this city, Bengaluru has never failed to surprise me with what it has to offer. Each destination is different from the other and there is always something here for everyone. And luckily for me, I have been able to see most parts of this city in such a short span of time.

One landmark that I heard a lot about is the Krishna Rajendra Market, also known as City market. This market gets its name from King Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar and was a battlefield before it was converted into a market.For almost two years, I had only seen glimpses of this vast market place from the main road or flyover. But, curiosity got the best of me and I finally decided that it was time to explore the place.Fortunately, getting to this market which lies in the heart of the city is really easy because of the  luxury of what is called the 'Namma metro' and the high frequency of BMTC buses to this place. However, walking through the market without losing one’s way is where the real challenge lies. The  best time to travel with minimal traffic is early in the morning, on a weekend but the crowd in the market is unavoidable because vendors begin their day as early as 4 AM. 

Early on a Sunday morning, I was up and on my way to the city market. From the metro, all you can  see is a very small part of this landmark and it doesn’t look very significant. But I was taken aback as soon as I entered the market. The crowd and constant honking of vehicles was overwhelming. Fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices are all crammed up in corners waiting to be sold. Ironically, the place still feels like a battlefield (between vendors to sell their goods), just different people, a different purpose and no bloodshed. The flowers handpicked by the vendors are what really draw your attention in the early hours with their bright colours and fragrances. The vegetables and fruits here look fresher than the ones available at the malls. I have to say, places like these, despite the chaos, have a beauty of its own. 

As I walked through the market I could capture so many views, a few of which I have shared in this  blog. What really got me thinking was how happy the vendors looked despite the hustle and bustle at the market. It seemed like they were unaffected by it, and so were the animals. Most of the vendors even posed for the pictures, looking really happy.  But, there is also another side to this story. The unfortunate scenario in this market is the absence of a waste disposal system due to which there is a lot of stench and waste lying all around the place. Most of the shops are crammed due to lack of planning. But despite all this, K.R market is definitely worth a visit. 

All in all, it was a beautiful experience which ended with my favourite plain dosa and filter coffee at  Vidyarthi Bhavan which is just an auto ride away from the market. This hotel has been serving delicious food since 1943, and still continues to be one of the best eateries in Bengaluru. It is one of the few places which has retained its tradition, and forms an important part of the culinary history of the city. Exploring unseen parts of the city with amazing food to eat, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.


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