The Bangalore Clock-Map Analogy

Do you see it too? hunh? Looook!
Now it’s three in the morning and I’m trying to change your mind.

I've been in Bangalore since Feb ’14 and during that time have had a chance to work & live in areas that can really be classified as within Bangalore.

Since the early days, some that were spent stuck waiting and trying to figure out routes for good old BMTC buses, Google Maps has mostly been a reliable friend. Referring to Maps frequently is bound to make one decently familiar with the map of the city, at least for the areas visited.

If you take a look at the map above and then observe the clock below, it’d be pretty evident how the peripheral placement of the Outer Ring Road and the NICE Ring Road is analogous to the circumference of the clock.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

  • Almost at the center lies MG Road. Yay, Blossoms and Pecos and Koshy’s!
  • Hebbal at 12 O’ clock. Natural habitat of IBM employees.
  • Airport you ask? Waaaay beyond 12 O’ clock. Don’t forget your Devanahalli visa yo. If you were to go full-meta, you might end up creating an airport just to get to the main airport and I wouldn't blame you.
  • Phoenix Market City somewhere near 2 O’clock. You can pick up your supply of Tin before that if you are following Old Madras Road.
  • Towards 3 O’ clock? Just keep following Old Airport Road from MG Road and you’ll come across Domlur, Diamond District, Leela Palace. Going even further? Bruh, I feel you. It’s okay. You are bound to reach Marathalli.
  • Whitefield? Waaaay beyond 3 O’ clock. Nope, not Bangalore.
  • The ORR arc from 3 O’ clock to somewhere around 4:30 is where you’ll find Cessna, RMZ Ecospace, a dozen other techparks along with a buttload of traffic.
  • Woah, we just it made to start-up town! Say hello to Hosur-Sarjapur Road Layout (Yes, that’s what HSR stands for). Probably one of the only areas in Bangalore as well-planned as Jayanagar.
  • 5 O’clock-ish. Silk Board. I’ve nothing to say.
  • Take the 5 O’clock flyover towards Electronic City and you’re on your way to Tamil Nadu. The flyover is raaad, especially at night. Open spaces and an almost empty road will make for a pleasant drive. If you are on your way to Raasta, just don’t forget the exit when the flyover’s about to end. Be slow and look for it, do not rely on Google Maps here, unless you want to double back on the flyover and drive another 11 KMs back to Silk Board. (The tip is personally brought to you by Yours Truly)
  • JP Nagar somewhere before the 6 O’ clock mark travelling towards South Bangalore on Bannerghatta Road. Keep going and you’re bound to come across 276 Oracle offices, IIM-Bangalore, Meenakshi Temple and then you need to start watching out for them wild animals.
  • Banashankari takes the arc extending from 7 O’clock to 8 O’clock. All those buses you see on the Outer Ring Road? Yeah, this is where they come from.
  • 9 O’ clock? Terra Incognita, man. You should ask Christopher, last I heard he was pretty rad at exploring the West.
  • 11 O’ clock. WTC, Iskcon and your supply of Sandal Soap.

Whenever I’m asked for directions to a relatively distant place, I bring up my wrist, point at my watch and start with the analogy. For the first 15–20 seconds, the direction-enquirer dudes give me a stare which is the stare equivalent of What the fuck are you talking about man? Just tell us the directions already!

But then it clicks. Well, the majority of times. Yes, surprisingly!

Even while talking to friends about places around the city, this helps quite a lot. And almost everyone seems to grasp this pretty quickly. As I said, it’s hard to miss the similarity between the peripheral lining of the Outer Ring Road and the clock. So everyone’s already aware of this but it’s just that they haven’t thought about it.

The same can be applied pretty easily for places closer to the city-center and within the confines of the ORR. Like for the Inner Ring Road (100ft Road) that starts from Madiwala at around inner 5 O’ Clock and goes on towards inner 2 O’ clock to meet Old Madras Road all the way through the Indira Nagar 100 ft road strip.

Another example being the two-functional Metro Lines:

  • Center to inner 2 O’ Clock (MG Road to Bayappanahalli)
  • Inner 10:30 to way beyond 11 O’ Clock (Mantri Mall to Peenya and towards Nagasandra).

I’m pretty sure this analogy could be applied to a lot of other cities as well. I tried it with Jaipur, Rajasthan and it can be made to work. If you have read till here, you should open up the map of your home-town too!

This was supposed to be written a loooong time ago. But procrastination and all that jazz is a different story warranting its own article. This is it for now.

Aameele Sigteeni, baby.

PS:

Do not rely on the Bus timings or routes shown by Google Maps. They are outdated and waaaay too-utopian on the timings front. You really don’t want to be stuck waiting for bus routes that do not even exist!

PPS:

A bus route exclusively from Banashankari to Silk Board is one of the most redundant things you will ever come across.

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