It’s easy not to be a tourist in Bangalore. It’s easy, alluring even, to stay home and avoid the traffic, to be indoors rather than touring this bustling, dichotomous city. But, this past Sunday, a 5:45am wake-up call stripped me of all excuses and set me off on the ‘longest morning’. I’m not a morning person. I’m the person who needs a full eight hours to maintain anything resembling composure and a positive attitude. But, sometimes I do or witness things that supersede my need for sleep, giving me energy that rivals Cafe Coffee Day’s strongest cup; this time, it was a visit to the Krishna Rajendra (KR) Market.
One of Bangalore’s oldest and largest commercial centers, the KR Market is undoubtedly the place to be on Sundays. With a regular 4:00am start time (or so I hear), my 6:30am arrival was considered late. Slightly calmer than the opening hour or two, the market was still surging with people by the time I got there. Flowers are the main attraction.
Lotuses, roses, daisies, marigolds, and many, many more varieties line the structure’s narrow walkways. Petals cover the wet floor and vendors,
mostly men, weigh and sell blossoms in bulk.
In this flower-lover’s haven, impressively intricate garlands are designed for florists, people’s homes, weddings of all shapes and sizes, and the city’s temples.
Smells shift with every step; perfumes of chilies, incense, lavender, and coriander flood the senses.
Fruitwholesalers line the outside stalls, peddling pineapples and papayas, pomegranates and paan — which explains where my friendly neighborhood retailers get their stock.
It was overwhelming and beautiful to witness the pulse of the city at dawn. As soon as I left, I immediately wanted to go back for more. Only a near-perfect masala dosa, at Bangalore’s famed Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, could quell my market high. Emulating, via carbohydrates, what it felt like to be engulfed by the Krishna Rajendra Market, I capped off the ‘longest morning’… around 9am.