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August 07, 2015

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Inside Bangalore - A Quick Trip Around India's High Tech Capital Where DomainX Starts Friday

With one day to go before the 2015 DomainX conference begins Friday at 12 Noon (local time) at India's Taj West End Hotel we took the opportunity to get out today and explore the host city - Bangalore - a metropolis of more than 8 million people that is known as India's Silicon Valley. 

By getting into town a couple of days early we've been able to see some of the groundwork DomainX Founder Manmeet Pal Singh, conference Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi and their entire team have done to make this 2nd annual event something special. After their successful debut last year in Hyderabad I came to India with expectations already set high but everything I have seen so far has exceeded those expectations, so I think attendees are in for a couple of very productive days here Friday and Saturday. 

As I wrote yesterday, the site for the show, the Taj West End Hotel, is a true world class hotel that underlines DomainX's intention to play in the domain conference big leagues. As the bustling capital of Indian high tech, Bangalore is also a natural host city for the event. My wife, Diana, and I got a close up look at the town today when DomainX arranged a car and driver and again lent us team member Dhairya Cholera to help guide us through an urban maze we likely would have gotten lost in without their help. We certainly wouldn't have been able to cover as much ground as we did - and now that we've done that I wanted to share some photos from this lively city with you.

Above: DomainX team member Dhairya Cholera (left) and our expert driver at one of today's stops - Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.

At right: Our first stop - the Sri Someshwara Swamy Temple in Old Bangalore. We have always loved Indian architecture and art and this temple is an eye popping example of both.

Below: A  closer look at the temple entrance's multi-level dome reveals some remarkable artistry. We were surprised to find that this structure is essentially just the gate. The actual temple is a few yards behind it. We did walk through it but photography is not allowed inside. It was also interesting but it is this structure that provides the eye candy.

After our temple visit we headed for one of Bangalore's most famous attractions - the fabulous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.  

Above: This may not look like a scene from a world famous botanical garden but it is. This very unusual natural rock outcropping is at the entrance to the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, an enormous green space that stretches over 240 landscaped acres.

Above: The crown jewel of the Lalbagh Botancal Gardens is this massive Victorian inspired greenhouse. It overlooks a horticultural complex that was laid out in 1760 by Mysore ruler Hyder Ali.

At right: Inside the greenhouse a floral replica of the famous Bangalore Palace was being constructed almost entirely from flowers (a la Rose Bowl parade floats but much bigger). The display is one of many being put together to celebrate India's Indendence Day August 15

When we left the Lalbagh we drove across town for a quick look at the real Bangalore Palace. From there it was on to the massive Vidhona Soudha


Above: Vidhona Suddha - the seat of the Karnakata state government. Like many places in rapidly growing Bangalore a major construction project is underway at the site.

After a few more stops, we decided to have a late lunch before heading back to the Taj West End. Dhairya and another DomainX team member who had joined our group back at  Lalbagh Gardens, Hardik Modi, decided we needed to have some good Indian food so they took us to a barbeque joint!  But make no mistake - this was Indian barbeque - with both spicy versions of various meats and vegetarian barbeque (an animal I didn't know existed)!

I always thought Americans ate more food than anyone but now I think Indians could beat us hands down in that department. The all you can restaurant - Barbeque Nation - served up plate after plate of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts that Dhairya and Hardik made disappear (OK, maybe we helped them a little bit). The only downside is we now have an insurmountable calorie overload to work off this week! 

Above: Diana Jackson and DomainX's Dhairya Cholera get ready to dig in at Barbeque Nation.

When we got back to the Taj West End at the end of the afternoon, hotel receptionists had another nice surprise waiting for us - fresh jasmine flower garlands and a Bindi dot painted on our foreheads - a gesture said to bring good health. They also gave us fresh glasses of coconut water (maybe as a backup in case the Bindi dots don't work)!

We have had a couple of great days to get acclimated in Bangalore, but now it's time to get down to business. DomainX gets underway at 12 Noon (local time) Friday (August 7) and continues all day Saturday. I will, of course, have photos and highlights from both days for you in this column. 

(Posted August 6, 2015)

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