The first Indian city I ever visited was Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru), the capital city of Karnataka state. Its KR Market is the epitome of chaos, and although an Indian acquaintance told me that even some locals avoid the area, it’s worth a trip there to soak in the atmosphere and be amazed by the many happenings going on all at once. I went to KR – popularly known as the City Market – with two other friends at about 9am; we got there by auto-rickshaw. Being Chinese, we were used to standing out in crowds in India, and during our trip we had a few requests from locals wanting us to pose in their photographs! Our auto-rickshaw dropped us by the road and there were rows of stalls selling all sorts of vegetables, fruits and spices. Rather than visiting the main building, which is apparently a beautiful flower market, we walked through the streets outside, over ground covered in tossed-out junk and scraps of paper. We spotted cows resting on the ground, and even a cow defecation area, where the animals stood around doing their “business” – in close proximity to the stalls. The highlight of the visit happened while we were stuck in the crowds. A motorcycle came along, thankfully travelling at a low speed, and decided to just ride into me, hitting me from behind. The rider got a severe scolding from a local in the end – we were really shocked! Despite this, I encourage you to visit KR Market to experience its one- of-a-kind chaos. (Don’t get me started on the train rides – they’re another adventure altogether …)

FACT FILE Getting there: As many as four different airlines fly daily between Singapore and Bangalore (4 hours 25 minutes). Trivia time: A host of famous Indian cricket players come from Bangalore, including batsman Rahul Dravid and leg-spinner Anil Kumble, current coach of the national side. | PI, Markus Gebauer



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