Various Species On The Bangalore Roads

Bangalore Roads, Indian Roads
Bangalore Roads as we want them.

In last two years, I have graduated from being a non-driver to a driver. Who can predict what is happening on the Bangalore roads that I am driving and the leading and lagging roads? My normal route every day is from Outer Ring Road via Silk Board junction to Electronics City. Have tried couple of alternate routes to save time / energy / frustration / petrol / money. But finally, the beaten path seems to be most optimal and de-risked.

Bangalore Roads

My long hours spent on Bangalore roads and especially the Hosur road helped me discover some new species on the roads:

Heavily loaded Trucks

They move at a snail’s pace, but they keep to their lane and hence are predictable. I started driving on Hosur road following these trucks. My driving instructor told me that if you follow them, no one will trouble you. As they do not move at more than 30 km/hr. But now that I am fairly confident, I change lanes the moment one of these heavyweights come in my line of driving.

Very busy manager attending his conference call

Yes, people do schedule their conference calls for the time they drive, talk about productivity and efficiency improvements. He moves at the same speed as the heavily loaded truck but is slightly more unpredictable. His speed goes up and down based on whether he is talking or he is listening. You can almost make out his emotions from the way his car moves. If he is shouting or making his point on the call, his car almost stops. And if he is taken aback by any statement made by anyone, his car jerks. If you can see the driver, you can almost read what is going on in his mind. And it can read anything, but the sense of traffic around them.

Two-wheeler riders

First of all hats off to all of them for being courageous enough to drive in the given traffic conditions. They are the agilest movers on the road, with their snakes like moves and an ability to hit anyone who comes in their way. They expect you to leave a way for them. And always seem to be in hurry. In extreme traffic conditions, they can jump on the pavement, footpaths, road dividers or position themselves in such a way that you can not move. Till they go ahead of the small gap that you maintained between yourself and the vehicle ahead. It always looks like as if I am more scared of hitting them than they are of being hit by anyone. They are social responsibility for the rest of the vehicles on the road.

Couples on Motorbikes

Yes, they are a species in themselves, and the most dangerous ones. They are lost in their own world, just like romantic scenes in Hindi movies. They simply forget the rest of the moving world around them. The guy’s head is in the direction opposite to the bike’s direction. He tries some acrobats or macho looking actions probably to impress the girl. The girl is usually not visible if you are driving behind them. But they provide some good entertainment in the boring traffic jams. The fees for the entertainment, you have to be compassionate to them and not expect them to follow any rules traffic or otherwise.

Auto Drivers

Auto drivers are a fairly renowned species and their behavior is more or less the same throughout the length and breadth of the country. The same holds true for all the cab drivers in the cities that are home to call centers and BPO companies.

The Homo sapiens, in general, have also evolved after spending some endless hours on the roads. Some tasks which they used to do in their homes, or when they had free time and mind have now shifted to the road. Some of them that include (in order of evolution):

  • Reading Newspaper/books
  • Eating your breakfast
  • Daily Pooja
  • Most social calls and some official calls
  • Clearing your mailbox if you are equipped enough and do not have to drive
  • Carpooling with friends when you realize it’s been long that you have had a relaxed chat, after all, it’s almost like going for a long drive.
  • Watching movies, yes I did watch a complete Hindi movie once on my laptop on the road when rains stuck Bangalore last year.

Any guesses on the next level of evolution…

Recommend you read following travel blog on places to visit in Bangalore.

  1. Old Bangalore Trail – Exploring the city heritage.
  2. Walk through Basavanagudi.
  3. Bylanes around Commercial Street, Bangalore.
  4. Nandi Hills, village & around.


  1. Good observations.
    But you still seemed to have missed quite some of them.
    What about the behaviour of the BMTC buses .One should surely
    memorize where the bus stops are , and be prepared for them to dive
    to the extreme left without any signals.
    They try to squeeze anybody overtaking them , between the bus and the median.
    And they dont have to accountable at all , literally.
    The BMTC bus drivers’ association takes care of all the litigations , so no worry
    for the drivers. isnt it incredible.
    Also if you overtaking from the wrong side of a bus , expect some people to jump
    out of the bus even while the bus is moving at a good speed.
    How about the Sumo drivers , who with their huge steel guards threaten to mow down anybody
    who is in their line of drive except of course the bigger vehicles.
    And the amateur Car Drivers , they brake so abruptly ,even when it is not called for , that the vehicle behind him gets a shock of his life

  2. hey anuradha, congrats on this fine research on traffic in bangalore :)ur blog is going more interesting day by day 🙂

  3. came here blog hopping….interesting…as a two wheeler rider i must defend myself saying, we are in a hurry to get ahead of all the kerosin run autos, the smoke is too much to handle

    • Soumya, it seems nothing has changed in Bangalore in last 10 years. This was written way back in 2006 and still seems relevant. I wonder if citizens should take the matters in their hands and do something about it.

  4. Oh you missed the biggest of them all – the Volvos who think they own the road and would not think twice before moving lanes. They are like those red monsters that grow bigger and bigger in your rear view mirror.

    Another one are those crazy taxi drivers who take offence if you are in a lane that moves faster than his. Reving up their engine, it is their mission to overtake you, and if you are a lady driver, definitely go ahead.

    On the Two wheeler traffic, they think that the space between your car and one ahead is a red carpet for them to swerve into.!!!!

    I definitely have stopped driving, prefer a bus or a cycle or a car pool!!!

    • Ami, I guess when I wrote this post, Volvos were not such a big culprit. I hope citizens in Bangalore think innovatively and come out with a solution and are not forced to go the Delhi way with some strong inconvenient neasures.


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