Stephen Smith's Blog

Musings on Machine Learning…

Bangalore Travel Blog Part 1

with 13 comments


I’m currently travelling to Bangalore, India to visit a large number of off-shore team members we work with on our projects. So for something different, I thought I’d try travel-blogging. I’ll be writing this blog as I go along and then periodically post my progress. This is my second trip to India, I visited Chennai back in 2008 for ten days.

Sage is partnered with several Indian companies to provide extra capacity for our projects. For this trip I’m visiting Sonata which has teams participating in several important Sage projects. I blogged previously on accelerating projects, which was really talking about our adding capacity through additional teams at Sonata. It’s great to have extra capacity and the ability to get more done, but it’s also a big challenge keeping all the teams moving in the same direction and continuously removing roadblocks and bottlenecks. Our goal is to treat the Sonata teams as if they were regular Sage agile teams with full access to all Sage resources like source control and other internal systems. To make this process work many Sonata folk visit our Richmond office and we have several staff visiting Bangalore. This is my turn.

Indian Visa Process

To back up a bit, travelling to India is a bit more difficult than other places due to the Visa process. To do this I needed letters from Sage and from Sonata giving my reasons for travel and that I’m still being paid by a Canadian company. Then you need to fill out and extremely long on-line visa application that includes detailed questions on yourself, your spouse and your parents. Gathering all the data for this form took several days, and when you save this form, it is quite buggy retrieving what you had before, so you need to check it closely. You also need a US sized passport photo and a Canadian passport with 1 year left (since I wanted a 1 year multi-entry visa). With all this you make an appointment with the company (BLS) that processes the visas. The earliest I could book was 1 week later. Then you show up for your appointment and they double check all your papers and take the rather large fee ($200). They take all this as well as your passport and promise to process it in 7 business days. Basically at this point they give it all to the Indian consulate for processing. Fortunately this all went fine and 5 days later their website said my passport was ready for pickup. Generally of all the countries I’ve visited, this is by far the hardest visa process.


If you don’t travel much, you should go to a travel clinic to get the right shots when visiting India. I travel quite a bit and all my shots are up to date. The first time I went to India, I needed to get 5 injections. I do recommend taking something like Dukoral since I’ve never had any tummy troubles when I’ve taken this ahead of a trip. Malaria pills may or may not be required depending on where you are going.

It’s a Long Way

I travelled to Bangalore via Hong Kong. It’s a 14 hour flight to Hong Kong and then a 6 hour flight on to Bangalore. Generally the best way to endure a long flight is to sleep through it. The Hong Kong flight left at 2:30pm, so I wasn’t sleepy until near end. By the time I was on the Bangalore flight I was so tired I slept through most of the flight. For some reason all international flights in and out of Bangalore arrive and leave between midnight and 4am. When you arrive you don’t really care what time it is just want to get to the hotel and sleep, so make sure you book for a day earlier, so you don’t need to then wait till 2pm to check in.

Managing in Bangalore

Some Indian cities can be quite hard to navigate. But Bangalore is fairly easy. You do need know how to cross the streets (i.e. make eye contact and walk slowly across the traffic, which will flow around you). If you are worried about having to eat lots of extremely hot Indian food, then don’t worry there are many good restaurants from other cultures like Italian or Mexican. Plus generally I don’t find the Indian food that hot here (perhaps it’s toned down for the tourists). I find the level of English was quite good and haven’t had any problems communicating.

Getting directions and finding your way around isn’t that hard and the area around my hotel (in the downtown old part of the city) seems quite safe. There are quite a few parks around and you can see quite a bit just walking around.


The office is 10km away and parts of the journey can be quite congested, but I find the traffic here to be better than in Chennai, Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City. They are building a new elevated metro system which is causing quite a bit of road disruption along the way, but they seem to keep traffic flowing.

Work Environments

The office building is located in the Global Village Tech Park outside the city. There are quite a few tech companies located here including Sonata, MindTree, Accenture, HP and Texas Instruments. The office environment I’m at is quite nice. The building is modern and the work environment is quite pleasant. It uses an open office concept and provides a nice productive team environment.


Since this is India the company parking is quite different than what you would expect in North America. To maneuver quickly through traffic, two wheels is the way to go. If everyone using motorbikes was to switch to cars it would be total grid lock here.



This ends part 1 of my travel to India. I’m now here and settled in. Getting here is half the battle, now it’s time to get some productive work done.

Written by smist08

November 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Business

Tagged with , , , ,

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Introduction I’m currently travelling to Bangalore, India to visit a large number of off-shore team members we work with on our projects. So for something different, I thought I’d try travel-bloggi…  […]

  2. […] is part 2 of my travel blog on this trip to Bangalore, India. Part 1 is located here. In the first part I mostly covered the logistics of getting here. Now for this part I’ll […]

  3. […] 3 of my travel blog on my current business trip to Bangalore, India. The two previous parts are here and here. In this article I want to talk about the various communications challenges we have in […]

  4. […] them back in November 2014 and wrote a series of three blog articles on my experiences over there (part 1, part 2 and part 3). I then visited them again in March 2015, but didn’t blog about that visit. […]

  5. Bangalore is the beautiful city of the India. There are loads of places to see in the city. In this city, you can see Nandi hills, Mekedatu falls, Ramanagaram and other places. In life, if you get time, you should not miss the chance to visit Bangalore city and enjoying there.

    Vaibhav Malhotra

    October 2, 2015 at 5:13 am

  6. Bangalore is a busy or modern city and easy to survive with peoples.There are lot of places to see as awesome.I heard about this from my friends and I didn’t roamed with Bangalore,I’m waiting to see wonderful places in bangalores


    March 18, 2016 at 7:12 am

  7. Awesome details. You are impulsing me to take a vacation. Thanks.


    April 15, 2017 at 1:51 am

  8. Arrasuites | Airport Hotel
    Welcome to Arrasuites
    Arrasuites cities most popular budget stay for whom who want a luxury stay near airport – out of pollution and noisy traffic – Come and have a good experience with us! Arrasuites Hotel & Suites is conveniently located just 8 km’s from Bangalore Kempegowda Airport and 10 km away from Yelahanka air force station. The Arrasuites has a professionally trained and dedicated staff towards providing the best of hospitality service to our esteemed guests. The hotel offers multiple facilities such as cab service to the nearest bus stop, railway station and airport, free WiFi and 24 hours room service for a hassle-free stay. My airport shuttle didn’t turn up but after calling them they were there within 15 minutes. They were very apologetic. Arrasuites is the best hotel near Bangalore Airport.
    For more info kindly visit the link given below:


    July 12, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Welcome to the Hotel near kempegowda bangalore airport
    Housefinch Residency has been considers as one of the best Airport Budget Hotel at Devanahalli…
    Housefinch Residency is a classy budget hotel located at Bangalore International Airport.
    Housefinch Residency has been considers as one of the best airport trasist Hotel at Devanahalli.
    The property have 18 well maintained Double Rooms with modern style attached bathrooms, that categorized 9 Air-conditioned Premium rooms and 9 non air-conditioned Economy rooms with fan.
    The Housefinch Residency have a multi-cuisine in-house restaurant that keeps the guest satisfaction in food and beverages.
    personal valet parking place with 24 hours CCTV surveillance, 24 hours Front desk, 24 hours room service,Free WiFi,Airport drop and pick up, 24 hours hot and cold water facilities are great sign of the property.
    Would Simply say the Best place to stay in when flying to Bangalore.
    For further details kindly visit Us today:


    July 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

  10. Awesome blog


    September 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm

  11. Thanks for sharing useful information. I enjoyed your Blog

    Doers BikeandCarServices

    February 13, 2018 at 4:28 am

  12. This is really useful and interesting post. Thanks for sharing this awesome post.

    Priya Singh

    August 9, 2019 at 6:04 am

  13. Great Information about Bangalore. Information helps me for travelling the city.

    Sagar Sachdeva

    November 4, 2019 at 1:38 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: