Painting the town: this artist celebrates Bengaluru in 100 illustrations

The identity of a city, its unique characteristics, stories and eccentricities, are expressed every day, through food, architecture, and culture, in the city streets and in the people who walk them. Occasionally, these stories are brought to life for the world to see.

Doing exactly this is Bengaluru-based freelance illustrator Shikha Nambiar, who recently captured the essence of the garden city through 100 vibrant sketches. Her series, named #100DaysOfBangaloreByChica, beautifully illustrate the tale of the city that she now calls home.

Every illustration in this quirky series boasts a different aspect of Bengaluru that contributes to its charm, whether it is the blooming Gulmohar trees, nostalgic-appeal of the Blossoms bookstore or even the delicious Masala Dosa at Sukh Sagar.

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Day 85/100 – Atta Galatta is a unique bookstore and performance space in Koramangala. ‘Atta’ is the Kannada word for play and the Hindi word for dough and ‘Galatta’ refers to a racket; the name Atta Galatta refers to fun and games, amidst the city. Founded by Subodh Sankar and Lalitha Lakshmi, who were tired of their IT and advertising professions respectively, it aims at reviving regional language reading. The interiors are warm and welcoming with red brick walls and twisting columns of brick. They have books in various Indian languages like Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali as well as English. The first floor of the store is reserved for frequent events like plays, workshops and film screenings. They also serve a limited menu of drinks and snacks that are perfect to accompany a book. #100daysofbangalorebychica #the100dayproject #bangalore #illustration

A post shared by Shikha | SunnySkiesStarryEyes (@chicabeingme) on

After running out of favourite spots in the city, Nambiar began asking her friends for suggestions, and found new treasures to dive into. One such recommendation was the Sidappa Hotel. “I first ate there, and then decided to draw the place. Another great find was 99 dosas, suggested by a junior from college. I realised that generations of college students had been frequenting many of the same spots”. she shares in an interview.

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Day 53/100 – Situated in a peaceful little compound of a temple, surrounded by stone slabs carved with deities, Sidappa Hotel is nothing like you will imagine. It is a home that turns into a eatery every morning, seats not more than 20 people at a time and the menu has just 4 items – idli, rice, kali dosa and half masala dosa, served in exactly that order. Why half-dosa? Because they have a small tava that ensures uniformity/quality and don't wish to change it. They surely do not scrounge on the ghee and you can taste it in every bite. The food is served with just chutney and sagu. My favourite was undoubtedly the Kali dosa, but the crisp half masala dosa did come close. Be prepared to wait in the queue for atleast 20-40 minutes before you are served and this is even on weekdays! It's all worth the effort I'd say 🙂

A post shared by Shikha | SunnySkiesStarryEyes (@chicabeingme) on

Although Shikha has lived in the city for less than a decade, she manages to vividly capture the spirit of many different areas of the city, having explored parts of Bangalore she had not spent much time in before such as Malleswaram and Basavanagudi for the project.

Her unconventional handbook to Bengaluru makes one instantly fall in love with the city (that is of course, if they aren’t already a proud resident).

You can see all of Nambiar’s illustrations on Sunny Skies Starry Eyes.

Featured image source: #100DaysOfBangaloreByChica

Written by Priya Unni


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