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Updated: November 28, 2012 19:36 IST

For many, its a home away from home

DEEPIKA SARMA AND MADHABI CHAKRAWARTY
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Settled in: Despite the initial shock of dealing with life in India, for many overseas students, leaving Banaswadi becomes a difficult prospect at the end of their courses. Photo: Karan Ananth
Settled in: Despite the initial shock of dealing with life in India, for many overseas students, leaving Banaswadi becomes a difficult prospect at the end of their courses. Photo: Karan Ananth

Overseas students are drawn here by the range of eateries and availability of accommodation

A number of hurdles may be positioned on your journey to Banaswadi, primarily the Sevanagar flyover, the bane of residents in the area, and the hordes of unruly traffic attempting to squeeze themselves onto the two-lane structure. Figuring out just where Banaswadi begins and ends is no easy task either; the Banaswadi Railway Station lies near Lingarajapuram, while the Banaswadi fire station is located soon after the Sevanagar flyover. But the area, spread wide, has an amusingly loose sense of identity, with layouts, neighbourhoods and villages overlapping; considering its vibrant and varied population, this isn’t a bad thing at all.

Two villages lie at Banaswadi’s core, slowly being edged out by the glass facades and multi-storeyed shops that are beginning to make their presence felt. From a far-flung area consisting mainly of vineyards and orchards to a place that is now largely a network of roads and concrete structures, Banaswadi has seen drastic change.

Nithin Kumar H.P., who has lived in the area for over 20 years, says it was possible to spot rabbits, snakes and mongooses in the vicinity when he was younger. “It used to be a residential area until three or four years ago, and now its turning commercial, but it’s cleaner and less congested than Kammanahalli,” he says. A.V. Srinivas, a resident of Kalyan Nagar, says Banaswadi has grown to be a cosmopolitan area. “Why go elsewhere when it has everything we need?”

Student hub

The number of educational institutions in the area has had an interesting effect on Banaswadi’s population; a large number of international students have made it their home.

With plenty of rented flats and paying guest accommodation available within walking distance of their colleges and the numerous cafes and eateries that are a hit among students, Banaswadi has become a convenient place to live in.

Some students like it enough to live here even if it means long daily commutes. Gita Upmale, a Latvian student at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Yelahanka New Town, likes the area for being quiet and peaceful. “There are also a number of shops here which is good for me, as I do not need to go far,” says Gita, who has lived here for nearly four years.

Accustomed to the place

Despite the initial shock of dealing with life in India — the noise, the traffic, the roads — many are soon able to overcome it, and by the end of their courses, leaving becomes a difficult prospect. And while the quest to find their native cuisine is one they all go through soon after their arrival here, eating Indian food gradually becomes an enjoyable experience. “I did not like the cuisine much in the beginning, as it was very different from the food in Nepal. But now I like dosas and biriyani,” says Sonu Priya Jha, a Nepali BBM student from CMR Institute of Management Studies in HRBR Layout. “This place has become like a home to me,” she says.

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