Bangalore

Housing in Bangalore

At the present time there are more than 50 Shell families living in Bangalore in a number of locations and housing types. Crown Relocations are our relocation agents and they will arrange for you to see a number of properties with your needs in mind, in terms of your family size, where you would like to live, proximity of schools and other lifestyle choices.

With your rental allowance you may opt for: 

  • An independent house. These are often very large houses or villas with large gardens with a perimeter wall or fence. Negotiations with the landlord for upkeep, utilities and maintenance are your responsibility. You will also need to arrange for security to protect your property. There are several expats that live in independent housing and so there is plenty of advice and help to share with newcomers. Many of these properties are beautiful large houses and give an opportunity of living in a real Indian community.
  • Gated communities. These are housing areas of medium to large villas with gardens and landscaped streets protected by front gate security. Palm Meadows is the largest such community comprising 500 villas of mixed nationalities. It is located in Whitefield about 20 mins from the Shell office. There is a central Club House with pools, gymnasium, tennis, squash, badminton, coffee shop, spa and beauty salon, play areas, restaurants and a bar. There are also several small supermarkets for day to day provisions. (www.convergentindia.com/palm/palmmeadows.asp) Epsilon housing community is close to the airport and will have over 50 villas on completion. It too has a clubhouse with a pool, gymnasium and other sporting facilities in beautiful grounds. Commuting time to Shell is +20 mins depending on traffic. Another gated community is Prestige Ozone which is still partly under construction. Several Shell families have found a nice house there.
  • Apartments. Some Shell staff have opted  to live closer to the city center and have chosen luxury apartments that can be two, three or four bedrooms. These often command fabulous views of the city and have gym and pool facilities. Being closer to the center allows for enjoying city life without the hassle of long commutes, and being nearer to shops, restaurants and nightlife.

When choosing your home, do take into consideration:

  1. Your personal needs, size of house, garden, children, pets etc
  2. Given the traffic jams, the length of time taken to go to the office and to school.
  3. Pollution is a major problem in India and so consider if the house is close to a major road, construction site, open drains.
  4. How many household staff you require to maintain the house and if you require them to live in, in which case you will need to ensure that you have some privacy.
  5. Is there adequate security.

Water

It is not safe to drink the tap water in India and so for drinking there are several brands of safe bottled water. When you are in cafes and restaurants make sure that the seal is broken in front of you. Avoid ice in your drinks unless you are absolutely sure that the ice has been made from bottled or filtered water. Salads and vegetables need to be washed very carefully. There are large water dispensers available which dispense hot and cold water and many houses provide a water filter system in the kitchen. Tap water is perfectly fine for washing and laundry.

Household staff

Many expats hire household help which are easily available at reasonable rates. Maids will do household chores, babysitting, ironing etc. Sometimes there maybe a separate maid who will do the toilets and bathrooms only. Gardeners are a necessity as gardens are often large and need regular watering, sweeping and leaf clearing. Drivers are also a necessity as driving in Bangalore is extremely frustrating and often dangerous with the large amount of traffic and non-compliance of traffic regulations. A good driver will know his way around the city, be careful and considerate, be able to collect the children if necessary, collect shopping and pay bills for you. On arrival a driver and a car will be provided and after delivery of your own car, you have to find your own driver, which will not be a big problem. If you have an independant house, you will also need two guards to cover day and night to protect your property.

Internet, Cable and Satellite

Internet Services via broadband is readily available from several providers and offer, most of the time, an efficient service.

A number of companies provide cable and satellite TV, offering more than 100 channels. Most of these are of course Indian origin but there is a large selection of American, British and Australian programs. CNN, BBC World, National Geographic, History Channel, HBO, Hallmark, Discovery to name a few and a big choice of sports channels.

Electricity

Electricity is 240V/50 Hz. Indian plugs are round, three-pronged connectors which are only available in India. The plugs are un-fused. Housing has two electrical circuits, one for 13 Amps and the other for 5 Amps. It is advisable to install voltage stabilisers on valuable electrical equipment such as TV, computers, fridge etc. due to the large number of power cuts which causes the electricity to surge. For computers it is advisable to install UPS systems (batteries). Often there may be several power cuts a day and in gated communities a generator will kick in after a few minutes, independent houses often have their own generator systems. Make sure candles and matches are within reach.

 

Entertainment for children

There is a variety of activities for children. Nice cinema's in the big shopping malls, opportunity for bowling, every saturday afternoon there is kids tag rugby and horse riding at the Embassy Riding school on the outskirts of Bangalore (www.embassyridingschool.com). There are some open spaces in the city like Lalbagh Botanical Gardens and Bal Bhaven located in Cubbon Park  which provides rides on a toy train, boating, film shows, nature camps and a library. An hour south of the city is Banerghatta National Park which contains a zoo. Spread over 25,000 acres there are panthers, bears, reptiles, lions and a children's corner. Tiger safaris and trekking make this a really popular destination. Within the city is the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. There are talks and movies on science topics such as astronomy and astrophysics.

Amoeba jungle, PVC cinemas and Megabowl provide indoor entertainment and games arcades. Wonder-La Water and Amusement Park to the east of the city provides huge water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and rain disco. Rides ranging from toddler Merry-go-rounds to stomach churning, spinning big rides for teenagers. A large ferris wheel that sits on top of a viewing deck provides incredible views of the surrounding countryside. Go karting facilities, riding schools that offer lessons, competitions and weekend breaks away pony-trekking. Also adventure camps offer white water rafting, abseiling, jungle survival, trekking and visiting animal sanctuaries are available out of the city (going by car 5 hour drive).

Entertainment for Adults

Multi-plex cinemas with films in English are all over the city. There is a vibrant English Theatre culture with plays and recitals held throughout the year. Occasionally concerts by pop groups and singers such as Bryan Adams, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Elton John, Enrique Iglesias. There are a large number of art galleries which display a  number of local artists. Music Schools and Dance Schools provide lessons for adults and children in Indian dance classes, traditional and Bollywood. Modern dance, Salsa, Ballroom and Ballet. All kinds of bars and restaurants catering to every taste. Bookstores, Museums and Music Stores. Horse Racing - the Bangalore Turf Club hosts 65 days of top level racing and stages the 5 Indian classics. Cricket is the national obsession and therefore there are cricket clubs all over the city. Golfers can enjoy the course at the Bangalore Golf Club which has the second oldest course in India, the ambient temperature means that you can play all year round. Also there is Eagleton Golf Village, an hour drive out of the city, and Karhnataka Golf Association (KGA), located by the airport.

Most of the larger hotels, such as the Oberoi, Taj West End and Leela Palace have a Sunday Brunch and they often provide entertainment for the children such as face painting, cookie making, bouncy castles, etc to keep the little ones entertained.

Karnataka, with its great topographical diversity offers a range of adventure sports from trekking to microlite flying, hang gliding, and para jumping, bungee jumping, sky diving. Mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, rafting, fishing. And on the coast there is water-skiing, wind surfing and scuba diving. The Bangalore Hash House Harriers (BH3) are very active and meet every second Sunday about 15 kms from the city center. For fitness there are a huge variety of yoga classes, aerobics, Pilates, Tai Chi, martial arts, gymnasiums, the list is endless. Monuments, temples, villages, vinyards are plentiful and there are hundreds of weekend breaks away from Bangalore in which to explore this incredibly rich heritage.

 

Work

 At the present time spouses are issued with an accompanying visa with their husbands that may be stamped 'Not allowed to work'. To gain an employment visa you need to have a job lined up before you enter India as it is your future employer that sponsors your visa for entry. Any enquiries about working in India should be directed to your nearest Indian Embassy who will be able to help and give advice. Depending on what your occupation is, Bangalore is a very vibrant city and attracts graduates and professionals from all over India and so the competition is very fierce. A useful website for information about work in India can also be: www.PermitsFoundation.com

There are however many voluntary opportunities for spouses to get involved in. The Overseas Women's Club is always looking for people to help with charities and organisations.

 The Overseas Women's Club has a comprehensive list of charitable organisations in which volunteers are needed, listed below are some of them:


 Ashrya Foundation:

This foundation runs an orphanage, and also has programmes for literacy and medical immunisations for children.

Home of Hope:

This foundation focuses on health and education related projects in the slums and villages in and around Bangalore.

 

Please contact Overseas Women Club or Outpost Bangalore for more information on volunteer opportunities.

 

 

Outpost Bangalore

Focal point: Caroline Rulkens Overdevest
Office hours: By appointment
Languages: English, Dutch, Thai, Kannada, Hindi
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