Also known as Bangalore, Bengaluru is located in the Southern state of Karnataka in India. India has a population of over 1 billion, with over 8 million of these people residing in the city of Bangalore. Known as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India, Bangalore is a commercial and business hub that is rich in culture and diversity. We recommend you do some research before you come out to India so that you can make the most of your visit and understand the country in which you’ll be living and training.
Language and Culture
India’s culture and social structure shapes every part of daily life. The caste system is an entrenched social order that affects every aspect of familial and social etiquette. India has hundreds of different languages with many meshing and converging. The rich cultural history that forms and shapes the India of today is visible in every aspect of daily life. As a post colonial state, the English language can be quite widely spread with many people often taking the opportunity to use what they know to speak with international visitors.
Bangalore has a pleasant and moderate climate. The Summer season from April to June can hit highs of 33 ºC/92 ºF whilst the southwestern monsoon season from June to August can provide intense downpours and increased humidity of around 70-80%. Our best advice in this climate is to keep your intake of water high.
During our programme, the most likely animals you will come across are the monkeys, dogs and cows that seem to be exploring India with you. Though they can all look cute, it is best you give them a wide berth. The monkeys are notorious pick pockets and can rummage through bags looking for food. Whilst the cows are generally best left to do what cows do best, and the dogs can come with their own set of challenges. Monkeys and dogs can also carry diseases, so despite their adorable appearance please avoid touching them, as they aren’t domesticated and can bite and transmit rabies.
Along with Islam and Christianity, the major recognised religions in India are Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism all of which are linked by a shared belief in Karma. In Bangalore and the Karnataka state Hinduism is the predominant religion which is reflected in the numerous ornate temples dotted around the city. Religion is a very serious and respected part of Indian society, it is worth baring this in mind when travelling around, especially when visiting temples or places of religious significance. Ensuring that knees and shoulders are covered, especially if attending a religious event/gathering/temple. With such a large number of religions, public holidays play a big part in Indian life. These can be incredibly exciting to be a part of, but as you might expect can also affect transport and daily life. It’s all part and parcel of visiting a country that is so intertwined with religion and culture. Where cultural importance can top trump business and commercial activities.
India is a vast country that can take days of overnight travel to merely scratch the surface.
We will be travelling predominantly in private hire buses in order to save time (please don’t expect luxury), at times though we will use public transport as you haven’t really been to India until you’ve had a taste of a local ‘tuk tuk’ or bus.
If you plan on travelling on after your programme we strongly advise travelling in groups with other volunteers and to always make sure you research the area well and the accommodation you choose. Using a resource such as Trip Advisor is a great way to read up-to-date travel advice and get a range of reviews and other travellers’ impressions.