Jam-packed roads where vehicles, carts and cattle vie for valuable space; footpaths - turned black with layers of grime and accumulated animal excreta – which play host to a veritable river of pedestrians navigating round hawkers, pedlars, beggars and the occasional confused motorist; at the very centre lie two massive pits filled with garbage floating on sewage water, spawning a nauseating stench, while the flyover hanging overhead only contributes further to the claustrophobia and disorganisation that is K R Market. Hardly what you would call a feast for the eye.
Named after Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar of Mysore and boasting of a fort built by Tipu Sultan, several small temples, a large white mosque and a vital bus terminus in its midst, K R Market is your one-stop-spot for everything including - cheap ‘designer’ wear, equally cheap ‘Swiss’ watches, footwear, kababs and all imaginable sorts of electrical/electronic /mechanical spare parts and hardware – limited only by the depth of your purse and your knack for bargain. It also serves as the nexus for fruits, vegetables and flowers – freshly supplied every morning by farmers of the surrounding villages and bought for distribution by your local vendor.
With its temples, the annual karaga, the horse and sometimes even man drawn carts overloaded with goods for transport, K R Market brings to my mind an old rusty engine running an otherwise glossy car - dirty, inefficient, clogged and run-down for decades, yet somehow manages to Bengalooru functioning.