Bangalore, sometimes referred to as “India’s Silicon Valley,” “pensioners’ paradise,” “garden city,” or “beer capital,” is becoming recognised as one of the country’s most dynamic cultural hubs, drawing artists of all stripes.
Trevor Noah, a comedian from South Africa, loves to make fun of Bangalore. He landed in the Indian city in September 2023, missed his gigs due to exceptionally terrible traffic, and arrived late to an inadequately equipped auditorium.
Bangalore has served as material for his comedic works ever then. However, it says volumes that he first made the decision to play in the city rather than in Delhi or Mumbai, which also explains why his vows to return are so sincere.
Culturally, the city was long regarded as little more than a starting point for visiting the ancient sites of Mysore and Hampi. But this is beginning to change as a result of the private institutions driving a creative and inclusive surge in the fields of theatre, music, art, and cuisine.
The World Cities Culture Forum has provided validation: Bangalore is the only Indian city that was invited to become a member of the club of “global cities sharing a belief in the importance of culture,” and it accepted the invitation in 2023.
The launch of the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in February 2023 was arguably the biggest development.
The museum is housed in a glossy cuboid building in the middle of the city, spanning five stories and 44,000 square feet (4,090 square metres). It is home to nearly 60,000 sculptures, paintings, photos, textiles, design products, and craft items.
The Indian Music Experience, which debuted in 2019, is located in a sizable structure with elegant lines, logical flow, and a nice colour scheme towards the south of the city. The nation’s only interactive music museum explores the history of local classical music, including Carnatic and Hindustani styles, through multiple exhibits. It also features references to other genres, including jazz, metal, folk, and Indian pop.
The interactive elements of the attraction are more well-liked than the stunning double-height exhibition of more than 100 Indian instruments.
The Courtyard, a covered community place in the well-liked Lalbagh Park, is mostly renowned for its creative cuisine. For example, the 20 seats at the ramen eatery Naru Noodle Bar in one corner are always reserved within seconds of being made available online.
The large open area hosts thematic events and food pop-ups, with itinerant chefs in charge. The glass-walled rooftop conservatory, which also organises Movie Under the Stars evenings, including a film classic and a three-course dinner prepared by a guest chef, is the venue for sustainable food demonstrations.
Its most bohemian region is probably located in a part of the city that is both industrial and residential. The Bangalore Creative Circus, which occupies a 20,000-square-foot former warehouse, features furniture constructed of recycled materials and an atmosphere made completely of waste.
It is a gathering place for chefs, scientists, artists, and gardeners, as well as dreamers. It is a hybrid farmers’ market, an upcyclers’ meeting place, a documentary film theatre, and a gallery.
The complex, which has been in operation for little over two years and is separated into several areas, including a restaurant, Urban Farms, Makerspace, Art Gallery, and Central Events, may be the only one of its kind in India.