Places to visit in Bangalore with kids

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From hurtling down in a roller coaster at a theme park to learning about history at a museum, there’s a wide array of fun and learning activities for children in Bangalore. With its temperate climate Bangalore is ideal for outdoor jaunts and in close proximity to a number of destinations that provide an escape from city life and the trappings of the daily routine. So carry a picnic hamper, top up your car’s tank and head to these edutainment venues in the garden city for a day out with your kids.

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1. Bannerghatta National Park

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An amalgamation of a zoo, butterfly enclosure, aquarium, snake house and a safari park (with a lion and tiger safari), Bannerghatta National Park is a preferred escape for those who want to explore the lush hinterlands around Bangalore. Sprawling over 25,000 acres, the national park is located about 22 km south of Bangalore…  more

2. Wonderla Amusement Park

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A 28 km drive away from the Bangalore city, Wonderla Amusement Park is a thrill-packed destination offering uninterrupted fun and frolic for kids and adults alike. From easy rides like the ‘magic mushroom,’ ‘mini Venice,’ ‘kiddies wheel’ and ‘jumping frog,’ to high-thrill rides such as the ‘flash tower,’ ‘hurricane’ an…more

3. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

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A centre of non-formal science education, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is a major attraction for kids in the garden city. Founded by Bengaluru City Corporation in 1989, the centre hosts a variety of shows (named sky-theatre, Mars, our solar system) that attract lots of science-enthusiasts, school students and famil…more

4. Fun World

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From roller coasters to soaking water-rides, Fun World promises a world of uninterrupted fun and enjoyment for everyone. Housing thrilling rides for families (such as ‘fun columbus,’ ‘octopus’ and ‘pendulum’) and easy rides for the kids (like ‘jumping frog,’ ‘baby dragon,’ ‘merry-go-round’ among many others), this amus…more

5. The Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum

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Take a walk through India’s first aerospace museum in Bangalore and you’ll find yourself admiring the precision, design and shape of some of the finest Indian air machines to take to the air.

6. Government Museum

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You might not care much for ancient history, but regardless, the Government Museum in Bangalore will capture your imagination and bring the past to life. Established in 1886, this is one of the oldest museums in India and features a fine collection of ancient coins, sculptures and paintings. Some of its most prized exhibits…more

7. Ulsoor Lake

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If the idea of stepping away from the city for a quiet getaway excites you, then you must include Ulsoor Lake in your itinerary while you’re in Bangalore.

8. Lalbagh Glass House

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The Glass House in Lalbagh has been modelled after the Crystal Palace in London.

9. Cubbon Park

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Bengaluru is known as the garden city, and Cubbon Park is one of the main reasons.

10. Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum

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Drawing in an average of about a million visitors a year, this interactive museum is a fascinating place to get schooled in science.

EASIER NORMS FOR NRIs ON THE CARDS

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The merger of schemes for PIOs and OCIs is good news for those abroad planning to invest here. The extended visa makes it easier to visit the city on business, thereby making it easier to manage property investments too. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while on a visit to the US, announced that schemes for persons of Indian origin (PIOs) will be merged with those for overseas citizens of India (OCIs). This is good news for NRIs (PIOs and OCIs). It will make it easier for PIOs to travel to and stay in India. The PIO card scheme, launched in 2002, is open to all who establish that their ancestors until the three previous generations were born in India.PIO cards are issued to Indians who have been staying abroad for a couple of generations. Currently, PIOs travel to India on visas with a specific time frame and they need to visit a foreigner regional registration office (FRRO) or a police station to extend the visa.
NRI investment

NRI investment

The OCI scheme, intro duced in 2005, offers the card to all who were either citizens of India or eligible to become citizens of India by January 26, 1950. The card offers life long visa and parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields. The OCI cards are given to more recent migrants who have taken a citizenship in other countries. The OCI card enables its holder to enter the country for an indefinite period.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill of 2013 had been introduced with the objective of merging PIO and OCI cards. The Bill was first tabled in 2011 and referred to a parliamentary standing committee. The House after a detailed discussion passed the Bill last year.

Merging of the two cards extends the relaxed visa norms and rules governing acquiring of property in India that OCI card holders enjoy to those who hold PIO cards. The PIO card holders can now get lifelong multiple entry visas and exemption from appearance at the local police station. Currently , PIO card holders are eligible for 15-year visa. PIO card applicants are subject to verification before the issue of the card. For OCI card applicants, verification is after the card is issued.

Once the two schemes are merged, PIO card holders will get the benefits extended to OCIs, such as visa-free travel to India, right of residence and participation in business and educational activities in the country.

Property purchase easier

This move will make it easier for NRIs to purchase property here. The demand for realty from NRIs may witness an upswing. Under the general permission available from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), NRIs can purchase residential and commercial property here.

Given the present trend, there could be an uptrend in the demand for high-end and commercial properties here from NRIs. Also, with the positive sentiment in the market, one can expect more global companies to expand in India, driving the demand for realty further.

Source: Times of India

How was Bangalore built by Kempe Gowda?

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After consulting his trusted astrologers, Kempe Gowda finalized on a date & time to begin the groundwork for building his dream city in the large forest between Yelahanka & Domlur. On a bright sunny morning in 1537 AD, 4 pairs of white bullocks with decorated ploughs, assembled in the middle of the forest were waiting for further orders. At an auspicious time, as Kempe Gowda flagged off the event, these 4 pairs driven by young men started furrowing the ground in 4 cardinal directions. The routes ploughed by these bullocks were marked as the main streets of this new city. Even 500 years later today, these streets are still buzzing with activity. The street running east-west was named Chikkapete street & the north-south street was named Doddapete street (later renamed as “Avenue Road”).

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To guard this new city, Kempe Gowda built a strong mud fort with 4 main gates for entry/exit. The entire fort was surrounded by moat (ditch filled with water)

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To streamline activities of traders, he hit upon an interesting plan of forming several layouts, each catering to a certain trade or profession. The naming convention was simple and was of the form <Trade/Profession><Pete>.

(Pete means city and it is pronounced as “pay-teh“)
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Doddapete was for large businesses (Dodda means large in Kannada) and Chikkapete was for smaller businesses (Chikka means small). For rice traders, there was Akkipete. Ragipete for ragi traders. Balepete for bangle traders, Ganigarapete for oil traders, Nagarthapete for Gold traders, Gollarpete for cowherds & cattle traders, Kurubarapete for sheep traders, Thigalarapete for farmers of Tigala community Upparapete for salt traders, Aralepete (now Cottonpete) for cotton traders, Kumbarapete for pot traders and many more such petes. (These petes still exist even today.)

One of the oldest maps of the city dates back to 1791, mapped by the British army led by Lord Cornwallis. (The oval shaped structure adjoinig the city boundary was actually a military fort which was built sometime during the 17th century.)
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Source: guruprasad.net

In order to supply water for domestic & irrigational purposes, Kempe Gowda built several water tanks & reservoirs around the fortified city. Dharmam Budi & Kempambudhi tanks were built for domestic purposes while Sampangi tank was for irrigation. Apart from these, there were several lakes in and around Bangalore as the following map of 18th century depicts.
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Image Source

Back then, Temples were not just places of worship but were institutions for learning as well. Kempe Gowda built many Temples including Bull Temple (in Basavanagudi), Anjaneya Temple (at Avenue road entrance) and Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple.
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The Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is considered to be an astronomical wonder. Scientists have recently discovered the significance of pillars and monolithic discs of the Temple which are actually in perfect alignment with Sun & Moon and published their findings in a research paper: click here

This suggests that Kempe Gowda was not just a chieftain & town-planner interested in making Bangalore a business hub, but had an interest in science (astronomy) as well and wanted to inculcate scientific temper in his city.

For more insights into Bangalore, visit: Guruprasad.net

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Piece da resistance

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The best way to explore a city is by walking!! A fact everyone knows but difficult to practice in India – especially the bigger cities which are growing day by day. Good news for folks living in/ visiting  Bangalore  – do check out Rangoli Art Centre at MG Road.

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Art galleries to showcase talented artists, interesting structures and points, an AC Auditorium (120 capacity), play area for children, a shopping area for exhibiting handmade crafts – you can experience all this and more by just walking a stretch of road at MG Road, Bangalore. There is also an upper walkway if you are interested to just take a walk amongst lush green trees.

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Interesting events/ shows are performed here from time to time. It is difficult to imagine that this cultural walk is in one of the busiest road at Bangalore – yet, its central location makes it very convenient to visit it.  In addition- a restaurant, a café and pay and use toilets also add to the convenience. It is open from 10 am – 7 pm

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To know more about it, do check out their website: rangoli.bmrc.co.in

To get more interesting places to visit in Bangalore, do check out our blog (blog.edificebuilders.com) and Facebook page (FB/edificebuilders)

15 tips to get your home monsoon proof!

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The pitter patter of raindrops, the lovely aroma of wet earth, the immediate instinct of having tea/ coffee with pakodas[1] and you know the monsoon has arrived. After a scorching summer, monsoons bring in much needed respite. However, as you watch the clouds gathering and wish for a heavy downpour, you wish you don’t have to face the hassles that come along with the monsoon rains. Water seeping through the walls, termite infestations, fungus covering your walls and not to mention the respiratory problems that are caused as a result. These monsoon season problems have to be fixed immediately, else it leads to damages and extensive repairs to your home.

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Some tips to handle them are:

  1. Do not allow water stagnation around your home as this can lead to many diseases and can create chaos.
  2. To avoid dampness, ensure that all the areas in your home are well ventilated by fresh air.
  3. Get a regular pest check-up done in order to increase the termite, ant and any other pest growth. Make use of insecticides and organic chemicals to get rid of all pests.
  4. Clear all water flowing areas and keep all equipment dry and covered.
  5. If you have indoor plants, keep them out in the rain so that they get watered naturally.
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  6. Children (and in some case- adults too) should be taught not to enter the room with soiled shoes. It is recommended to roll away the expensive carpet for the monsoon.
  7. Put Camphor in your cupboards, it takes away the moisture and protects your clothes. Neem leaves are also effective against silver fish, which are a common problem in the rainy season.
  8. Ensure that there is no rain water seepage through cracks in the exterior walls.
  9. Always keep your rooftop free from the accumulation of waste as this can lead to an increased breeding of mosquitoes and also will make it possible for rainwater storage. This water can further seep into the roof.
  10. Do not store non-recyclable materials on the terrace as this can increase water accumulation and stop the water flow.
  11. A thorough check should be given by a trained electrician in the grounding system.
  12. In case of frequent power cuts, arrangements should be made for alternate sources. Keep candles, match boxes, batteries, a radio, flashlights, a first aid kit and an extra supply of your medications in an emergency pack.
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  13. Residents living in low-lying areas should expect flooding due to monsoon rains and take precautions to prevent flooding. With the onset of the monsoon you may find it difficult to get out of your home and drive down for shopping. Hence, keep a stock of food supplies, drinking water and other commodities handy.
  14. Another important thing that has to be taken care of is the electrical connections around the house. Damages such as exposed wires have to be taken care of immediately, else it will lead to shock or fires.
  15. Furnishings tend to get musty during the monsoon. They have to be regularly vacuumed or set out in the sun whenever possible.

While you are taking care of all this, also remember to have some fun. As Vivian Greene[2] says- Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Top 3 reasons to plan a day outing to Nandi hills

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Top 3 reasons to plan a day outing to Nandi hills

1. Nandi Hills:

nandi hillsThere are many stories about the origin of the name Nandi Hills. During the Chola period, Nandi Hills was called Ananda Giri meaning “The Hill of Happiness.” Another story is that Yoga Nandeeshwara performed penance here, and so it was named after him. Nandi is also commonly called Nandidurga (Fort) because of the fort built here by the ruler Tippu Sultan. It is also perhaps called Nandi Hills because the hill resembles a sleeping bull. It is a good picnic spot for people from all age groups.

2. Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple:

Untitled-2Located at the foot of the Nandi hills, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple in Nandi village is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka dating back to the ninth century. Constructed by the Banas, the temple hewn out of rock consists of two complexes. While the first complex houses three deities, the second complex consists of a huge and majestic kalyani pond. Beautiful stone carvings are a popular tourist site and are a source of inspiration for students.

3. Grovers Vineyard

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If you haven’t been to a vineyard yet, checking out Grover Vineyards is highly recommended! You can take up a wine tasting tour which includes checking out their vineyards and the processes of winemaking which ends with a lovely wine tasting session at their Barrel room.

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If you are a wine lover already, the information would be nice to know. If you are not into wines yet, we assure you that the experience might lead to some tilting on your drinking preferences!

For more interesting tips about Bangalore, you can like our FB page (FB/edificebuilders) or follow our blog (blog.edificebuilders.com)

 

Top 7 points to remember while selling a house

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Selling a house is a complicated process, no matter how good the real estate market is. Whether you’re a first-time home seller or not, you’ll probably have a bunch of questions. Do I need a real estate agent? What’s “closing”? How much paperwork am I going to have to fill out? How can I get the best price for my house? How can I sell my house and buy a new one at the same time? Right now it is a buyers’ market. So keep in mind that buyers have plenty of options. We have made it easy for you to sell your house by enlisting a few important points to keep in mind:

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  1. Don’t ask for moon: Remember that your house is just one among the many houses on sale. You know what you paid for the house. If the rate in the market has gone below that you cannot expect a price more than that. It is important to understand that your house is worth what the market is willing to pay you. It is a good idea to talk to people. Get a few real estate agents to give you a fair idea on the worth of your house. You may have a mortgage, but that does not affect the market price.
  2. Market your flat well: Take as many photos as possible. Post an advertisement on every possible website. Get your friends and family to put up information of your plans to sell the house in their office notice boards. Put it up in your society notice board. You never know where your buyer is hiding.
  3. Hire a real estate consultant: If you do not know, ask for reference from your friends. You could also consider hiring the established real estate consultants. Unlike the popular belief they charge 1 per cent and proportionate service taxes for their services.
  4. Fix the broken things: Imagine you walk into a house that you are considering moving in and you find a leaking tap, broken cupboard, dangling kitchen shelves and a wall hammered with nails. Not an impressive visual right? Fix all those things, which need to be fixed.
  5. Be practical: Don’t get attached to a house emotionally. Like the saying goes, a house is made of bricks and home is made of hearts. So understand the difference. Don’t let your emotions affect your decisions.
  6. Don’t let a low offer affect you: If you do get an offer which is very low compared to your expectations, don’t let it pull you down. Many a times the buyers, if they are serious, do come back with a higher offer.
  7. Don’t let something small affect your sale: Don’t fuss over small details. If the seller wants you to fix a particular thing for your house do it.  Don’t let such small detail affect the deal.

Source: Creditvidya.com and NDTV profit

Top 5 reasons to plan a day outing to Hesaraghatta, when in Bangalore

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1. The beautiful drive towards Hesaraghatta.

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The pictures are enough or need we say more?

 2. Nrityagram

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“I dream of building a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists except dance” – said Protima Gauri and the place exists as a live testimony of her passion towards dance. Located at Hesaraghatta Bangalore, it is worth a visit-especially for anybody who appreciates the culture of dance.

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3. Flatland

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While you are there, you can also visit the flatland nearby. Scenic view, total silence and unending view of the grass and sky! It is especially enjoyed in the evenings for some beautiful star gazing.

4. Our Native Village

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The passion of Nrityagram and the beauty of the drive/ flatland will serve as food for the soul – if hungry for food, you can visit “Our Native Village” nearby where you can have meals made fresh from their farm produce.

5. Earth Kitchen

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If you are in the mood for authentic Mediterranean cuisine in a farm, you can try out Earth Kitchen near Nrityagram. We haven’t tried it ourselves but have heard some good reviews about the place. For more information, you can click on http://www.earthkitchen.in/

For some more interesting tips on what to do when in Bangalore, do visit http://blog.edificebuilders.com/category/bangalore-2/

 

Happy Holidays!!

Do it yourself

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Do-It-Yourself with your kids this Summer!

Summer holidays are an exciting time for kids – vacation at school and a whole lot of free time on their hands. Their mothers may not share that excitement as it means thinking of newer ideas to keep their kids entertained. This summer, you can do something fun and interesting with your children- work together on a “Do It Yourself” project. Not only will it keep your children occupied and give your home a brand new twist, but the sense of achievement and bonding all of you will feel will be immense.

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Building/ painting a car track will not only keep them occupied while creating it, it will make it an interesting play area for some time to come!

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These simple- practical ideas can also be helpful in storing stuff for the kids and they will use it with much more enthusiasm than something bought from a market!

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You can also create wall art, customised mugs, photo art/photo walls and hundred other things. Use your unique skill sets, resources and children’s interests to think of more DIY ideas. Practice those and see the vacation sail through in happiness :)

Get some more ideas here: DO IT YOURSELF WITH YOUR KIDS

Villa Experience

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Tranquil living at a Villa Community

I’ve stayed in all sorts of houses – flat without any security and other amenities, huge house in a colony without any security and other amenities, flats with a security without any amenities, guarded apartment community with amenities and lastly – a gated villa community with amenities. I have never thought of purchasing any house yet but once I’ve lived in a gated villa community- I want to settle there for good and buy it. Some of the reasons why I feel that way:

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  • Once you enter the villa community, it’s a different world altogether. It’s my private escape – where I can re-charge after having a stressful day at work.
  • There is the much needed space – which is difficult to get in an apartment community.
  • My car windows go up as soon as I leave my villa community and come down as soon as I enter it. I’m unaffected inside as there is fresh air, noise only if you consider the chirping of birds as a source of noise and I’m welcomed by the sight of trees and beautiful looking houses. If it is evening time, it refreshes my heart to see some kids using their skating boards (which I’ve not seen since my child hood days) and bicycles as a means of play and which also gets them the much needed exercise.
  • There are friends who decide to go on a holiday – just to book themselves in a resort and chill with no plans of venturing out to explore the place. I also was guilty of that – before I moved in a villa community. Here I have the pleasure of having that holiday experience everyday- be it in sharing a cup of tea with my husband everyday sitting in the lawn or enjoying a book by the poolside or a game of squash with some friends who have dropped in. Where I can sit and meditate in peace and the only sound I hear is of birds chirping – which just adds to the beauty of my meditation.
  • Where I don’t have to fight with my neighbors for parking space as there is more than sufficient space to park the cars – even visitor’s car for that matter.
  • Where – in the times of Instagram and Facebook a.k.a. Social Media, I don’t have to go on vacations to find photo opportunities. I find that everyday within the walls of my villa community.
  • Where – in every villa there is space for a servant/his family to stay with an attached bathroom which helps you in having a live-in house help without affecting your privacy.
  • The joy of staying in a guarded community with amenities like a club-house/ swimming pool/ tennis / squash/badminton courts/ maintenance are present in an apartment too- but if you are staying in a villa community, there are lesser families to share that space with – thus giving you more pleasure to enjoy the same.

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The only disadvantage I see is that they come at a slight premium over gated apartments but if you look at the advantages – I wholeheartedly feel that it is a small price to pay for a superior and stress free lifestyle.

If you want to invest in a villa community at a reasonable cost, do check out – Villa Valley

Statutory warning: Once you stay in a villa community, it spoils you by its idyllic charm and it will be difficult for you to stay elsewhere. Don’t come back later that we did not warn you ;)

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