Banashankari III Stage was a huge tract of barren land just 12 years ago stretching as far “as the eye could see.” Connectivity nil. I vividly remember the long trek to my cousin’s house from the bus stop at what is now popular as “Deve Gowda petrol bunk.” The only other landmark was the Kamakhya “tent.” (tent=a hall showing cinema, usually found in villages)
Enter Outer Ring Road. Banashankari III Stage has transformed explosively: shopping complexes and malls of every shape and size dot that entire stretch. The enterprising owner of the Kamakhya “tent” must obviously have smelt the onset of fortune thanks to the ring road. He broke down the “tent” and turned the land on which it stood, into a huge shopping complex. Kamakhya is now a mini-theatre housed inside the complex.
BUT…. like most localities in Bangalore, Banashankari III Stage also suffers from congestion, slow traffic movement, pollution… Now there’s a new entrant to make matters even worse. Big Bazaar, which continues to rake in tons of money at its Koramangala outlet has opened another branch here.
We’d been there on Sunday: to get inside the mall entailed a wait of 20-30 minutes. The crowd.
This outlet is far bigger than the one at Koramangala. The Big Bazaar guys have their mouth where the money is: the building here is not even fully constructed: metal spikes jutting out, loose wires floating around, bits of concrete hanging on the roof, along the ramp, and elsewhere. The crowd on Sunday was several thousands strong, anything (the cynic that I am) could happen. Moving on to pleasanter things, the mall is impeccably organized.
Couldn’t get a lot of photos as I was getting constantly jostled, elbowed and generally pushed around.
We managed to get out after about three hours and highly minimal shopping. Thought of eating some “Chinese” out here.
Impressively titled Beijing Bites, the taste was slightly better than the roadside “Chinese” stalls you can find all over the city. Expert comments from a certain chef I know are welcome.
A friendly warning to all reading this: don’t visit Big Bazaar on a Saturday or Sunday. If you must, please allocate an entire day for the ordeal.