Georgia All Over
Touring the sensory experiences of a state that refuses to be neatly categorized.
The quiet, leafy neighborhood around the intersection of Lavelle and Vittal Mallya roads, in the center of the city, is one of Bangalore’s most exclusive enclaves. Sprawling homes dot the streets and the elite members-only Bangalore Club serves as a primary anchor. Vittal Mallya is named for a former wealthy Bangalorean, so it’s only fitting that today the neighborhood is a destination for those looking to spend money—housing, as it does, some of the city’s chicest shopping spots.
Tasveer is the country’s first private gallery dedicated to showcasing contemporary Indian photographers like Raghu Rai and Vinay Mahidhar and international ones such as Martine Franck and Tim Hall. It’s owned by the stylish Abhishek Poddar, who owns other stores in the area with his wife, Radhika. SUA House, 26/1 Kasturba Rd. Cross; tasveerarts.com.
Just a few blocks down from Tasveer, the Poddars’ lifestyle emporium Cinnamon gives the area a dose of contemporary Indian panache, selling modern clothing by designers Sonam Dubal and Meenu Tholia along with a small selection of vintage decorative objects from villages in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 11 Walton Rd.
Ananya, on a quiet corner of Lavelle Road, has a bohemian aesthetic that pervades its selection: Jewel-tone silk skirts and drawstring bags from the house label fill the racks, and a portion of all proceeds benefits Action Aid India, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of young girls. Don’t miss the large case of contemporary silver and semiprecious-stone jewelry from the Jaipur-based cult favorite Amrapali. 24/1 Lavelle Rd.
Shimmer owners Seema and Jamila Malhotra have designed lavish, jewel-encrusted costumes for the films Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love, and at this charming atelier they direct their exacting attention to lavish Indian bridal dresses. Look for an assortment of accessories, jewelry, and even delicate shoes perfect for a Western-style black-tie affair. 33/1 Vittal Mallya Rd.
Pause specializes in fine wood-inlaid furniture from Mysore as well as modern garden ornaments like sandstone planters and collapsible canvas deck chairs. 22/12 Vittal Mallya Rd.
On the second floor of the multistory shopping complex Embassy Classic (14 Vittal Mallya Rd.), boutiques Abraham and Thakore (abrahamandthakore.com) and Rajesh Pratap Singh (pratap.ws) display highly tailored men’s and women’s clothes in natural fabrics, incorporating Indian elements into mostly Western styles. Look for Abraham and Thakore’s couture-inspired home line as well. Also on this floor is an outlet of Tulsi, the label of Delhi-based designer Neeru Kumar, who creates unique tunics, knee-length jackets, and shawls that marry an innovative palette and modern aesthetic with age-old weaving and embroidery methods. On the first floor, the textile company Atmosphere (himatsingka.com), whose yarn and silk mills are among the largest in the world, sells upholstery fabrics by the meter, plus a small selection of draperies and premade cushions.
The city’s most buzzed-about retail opening is UB City: The Collection (24 Vittal Mallya Rd.), a shopping mall designed in the style of a Venetian plaza. Big-ticket Western brands like Louis Vuitton, Rolex, and Armani have taken up post alongside a branch of the Mumbai-based Kimaya (kimayastudio.com), which stocks a mix of more than 100 luxe international and Indian couturiers. There’s also an outlet of the Delhi-based home design store Good Earth (goodearthindia.com), whose throw pillows, pottery, and fine linens strike a balance between East and West.