Exploring Indiranagar, Bangalore

The tree-lined avanues of Indiranagar 100 ft Road (Photo: Kiran Ravikumar/Flickr)
The tree-lined avanues of Indiranagar 100 ft Road (Photo: Kiran Ravikumar/Flickr)
Photo of Prabuddha S Jagadeb
9 February 2017

Planned in the late 1960s and 1970s, Indiranagar has evolved into a luxurious residential and commercial zone in Bangalore. The broad alleys and tree-lined avenues give it the feel of an arboreal paradise, while the showrooms, cafés, pubs and restaurants make it a gastronome’s delight. Planned open spaces and parks bring nature right into this busy zone.

Indiaranagar’s high property and rent prices mostly suit the upper class and expats. That said, lots of tourists, students and IT professionals head to its numerous watering holes in the evenings and the nights are alive with various live events happening at some joint or another. There is a great choice of authentic, regional and fusion flavors, including Mexican, Mediterranean, Arabic, and Chinese, and brew from micro-breweries that have made Indiranagar their home, like Toit, Xtreme Sports Bar and Bflat Bar.

The chic Fatty Bao restaurant, Indiranagar | © Flickr/Heather Cowper

The presence of reputed clubs and parks within easy walking distance, as well as a metro station, make Indiranagar an integral part of the city. Buses run frequently to the airport and other parts of the city every few minutes. ‘But there used to be a time when it used to be very remote. Auto-rickshaws would not agree to take you there, buses won’t be very frequent and so on,’ says Dr Vasudev Murthy, an author and Bangalore resident.

Double Road Indiranagar | © Flickr/Sandip Bhattacharya

The mornings are fresh, full of dried leaves from trees which stand stoically oblivious to the vibrant nightlife that might have transpired directly below them the night before. But a lost Louboutin here and a fallen necktie there might give you a clue about the people who partied until very late, and headed home not very conscious. Any time in the morning and afternoon, it is not rare to find fitness fiends or expats jogging along the footpaths of Indiranagar. A great choice of shops, boutiques and a vibrant cultural scene make it an attraction for the young and young-at-heart.

The party scene is primarily limited to pockets along the 100ft or CMH roads, and most of Indiranagar is still a respectable, upmarket residential locality. Residents don’t object to tourists and visitors frequenting these pockets late into the night, but drunken behavior and brawls are a strict no-no. Of course, the Bangalore police maintain a strict patrol to keep away trouble makers and breathalyzers are enforced to prevent drunk driving. This is because the early landowners of this locality were primarily non-Kannadigas – retired Govt servants or PSU workers including those from HAL, NRIs, and north-Indian businessmen. ‘Indiranagar has retained that cosmopolitan feel to this date,’ says Christina Daniels, an author and a longtime Bangalore resident.

Indiranagar may not have a mall, but big-format stores of individual brands, including reputed international ones, more than make up for it. Whether you want to shop for electronics, clothes or accessories, Indiranagar offers several large format and multi-branded stores to spoil you for choice. ‘Sales and discounts run year round, trying to entice window-shoppers, and salons and spas offer the rejuvenating experience of a lifetime. Commercial spaces are priced astronomically high and some of the best national and international brands vie for space next to each other. Indiranagar may not have a mall, but it offers you the feeling of living inside one,’ says Aishwarya, an ad professional who stayed here for two years after migrating from Chennai.

A bird's eye view of Appareddy Palya, Indiranagar | © Flickr/Nicolas Mirguet

Although pretty bungalows and haciendas are now giving way to shiny new apartments, ‘the restrictions on multi-story buildings in the airport zone and a well-maintained green canopy of shady trees is what gives Indiranagar its character. The trees are very old, most date back 40 or 50 years at least,’ adds Dr Murthy.

Despite its recent transformation as a pricey commercial area, Indiranagar still has a laid-back and natural vibe that is not found anywhere else in Bangalore and people prefer to stay on despite higher rents. The presence of good schools, parks and entertainment options make it a special neighborhood for children in their growing years, while the options for eating out, entertainment and socializing make it an attractions for grown-ups too. ‘Even when I didn’t have a conveyance of my own, I used to meet my friends right here because there is always a restaurant catering to whatever your taste may be. Convenience, coupled with cosmopolitanism, makes this the locality in Bangalore,’ signs off Aishwarya.

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