Re-imagining the Garden City

Take a stroll down the streets of Bangalore and you are sure to stumble upon eye-catching murals on dilapidated buildings, under flyovers and on the walls of metro stations and colleges. A growing tribe of street artists have enveloped the city with graffiti and murals that enliven the city’s civic space

Bangalore’s gentle climate, greenery, public parks and broad streets have earned it the nickname of ‘The Garden City of India.’ The Lalbagh Botanical Garden and Cubbon Park are aesthetically covered with beautiful lawns, flowerbeds, lotus ponds and fountains. But over the years, the green-belts have given way to make room for a concrete jungle.

Fortunately, artists are taking the initiative to regain some of the city’s lost colours. They have used the city as a canvas for their amazing works of art. The signature of artists who took to the streets of Bangalore, like Baadal Nanjundaswamy, Sunnal Lingade and street art foundation, St+Art India, have left an indelible mark on Bangalore.

St+Art India Foundation

Rooted in social activism and urban designs, the St+Art Festival swears by the motto of ‘Art for Everyone.’ Bangalore welcomed the St+Art India Foundation in October 2016. The brushes of 15 Indian and international artists completely transformed the oh-so-regular pathways and streets of the city.

As you enter the heart of the city, you will find the three-storey high mural at the MG Road Metro Station towering over you. It features five playful children who fill the area with innocence and positivity. Close by, you can see the images of snails on the Infantry Road. As you continue to explore the city, your attention will definitely be captured by the unapologetic burst of colours, which form the Naavu Idhevi – ‘We Exist’ – mural near the Dhanvantri Road.

At the opposite end is the skyward looking mural of the founder of Bangalore, Kempegowda. This grand mural will inspire Bangaloreans to pause and consider how they are going to preserve the beautiful city built by their founding father.

Photography: Akshat Nauriyal


Right in the middle of the chaotic KR Market, filled with hundreds and thousands of flowers, lies the inspiration for Shilo Shiv Suleman’s magnificent mural, giving a creative twist to the famous flower market of Bangalore.

A city, which is home to the famous Indian Cartoon Gallery, would have been incomplete without the ‘Appupen’s totem’ within the compound of Majestic Metro Station. This riot of colours represents the guardian spirit of the city and creates a timeline of Bangalore’s history and folk tales.

Shot to fame

Two other artists who call the city their home are Shunnal Ligade and Badal Nanjundaswamy. Neither believe in confining themselves to the walls of traditional art galleries. Ligade has decorated walls of many restaurants and lounges with dreamy murals. His artworks adorns the walls of The Hideout restaurant in BMT Layout, Green Theory Cafe in Convent Road and Barebones Cafe in Indira Nagar amongst others.

Famous for his trademark pothole art, Nanjundaswamy’s work can be seen in craters, manholes, uneven road dividers and littered streets across Bangalore. His works include a life-size crocodile installation in a pothole on the roads in Sultanpalya and the transformation of a waterlogged road in the Cubbon Park Junction area into a pond.

These brilliant artists who have taken art off the page and on to the streets of Bangalore, continue to make a statement, showcase their talent, and most importantly, fill the lives of the citizens with a little colour.

Words: Aishwarya Vishwanathan

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