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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

See a slice of daily life in a traditional Bangalorean district

SoBa is not skyscrapers and microbreweries. It’s a little time capsule – and that’s what people like about it…

By Vinay Parameswarappa
Founder and CEO of Gully Tours

You’ll see a side of Bangalore that many people don’t even know exists on our SoBa walk. When you look at the city, it has four cities within it that tell you its whole story. There’s the oldest part right in the centre, the colonial part that the British built, South Bangalore which is the traditional part and the modern high-tech Bangalore. So this experience takes you to SoBa – South Bangalore – which is still holding on to its old-school way of life.

All our tours are designed around the same premise: that the best way to discover a country is not through facts and figures and what I call ‘trophy hunting’ – ticking off sights on a list – but through walking slowly around an area and really experiencing it. So in SoBa, that means visiting the temple to soak up the sounds and see people paying their respects. It means going through the market and enjoying the fresh smell of the flowers and vegetables and taking in what people are buying. It means chatting to the old man in a small shop that’s been roasting coffee for the past 70-odd years.

As we wander through the neighbourhood, you will see things such as beautiful traditional houses built in the 1940s and 1950s, little grocery shops where the customers still bargain for what they want, and men and women dressed in traditional attire. But we’ll also explain things you can’t see, such as the long history of the local language, Kannada, which you’ll hear spoken all around you and is very much part of the culture. 

By the end, our guests have an authentic sense of what it means to be a Bangalorean, of the relaxed rhythm of every day and of a way of life that’s fast vanishing. SoBa is not modern Bangalore, it’s not skyscrapers and microbreweries. It’s a little time capsule – and that’s what people like about it.

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Alfred & Vinay Parameswarappa

Vinay Parameswarappa is an engineer, corporate facilitator and CEO of Gully Tours, which offers experiential tours in several South Indian destinations. He has lived and worked in India, the UK – where he acquired an MBA from the University of Oxford – and Singapore, where he first came across walking tours. He founded Gully Tours in 2009 and has since hosted heads of state, Bollywood stars and many others.