Bangalore has a population of more than 10.8 million, up from nearly 8.5 million at the time of the last official census back in 2011. This makes the capital of Karnataka, a state in South India, the third most populous city in the country. Life in Bangalore is full of challenges for foreign residents, but it can also be an interesting and enriching experience for expatriates.
As in many other Indian metropolises, there are always two sides to life in Bangalore: there is the modern city with huge, Western-style shopping malls, and wide roads, and then there are the narrow back alleys with their markets, animals, and — unfortunately — visible poverty. Expats tend to find life in their new home very manageable, though, once they have settled in.
Despite the fact that Bangalore is one of the cleaner cities in India, its rapid growth in recent years has left the huge urban population struggling with the resulting infrastructural problems. One of the major issues affecting daily life in Bangalore is road congestion, which is to be expected in the city with the second largest number of cars in the country, after Delhi (2012).
Expats living in Bangalore will soon discover a much more pleasant aspect of daily life — cricket. As many national cricket heroes hail from Bangalore or spend much time there, the local enthusiasm for the national sport reaches unusual heights, even by Indian standards. Cricket players are A-list celebrities, and you will see their faces in numerous TV and poster ads.
Religious and national festivals also play an important role in Bangalore. The range of festivals reflects the rich mix of inhabitants from different religious and cultural backgrounds living in Bangalore. Apart from traditional Hindu festivals and folk Hinduism celebrated by the populace, major Muslim and Christian festivals are observed too. Some secular Western celebrations, such as Valentine’s Day, have also found their way into the holiday calendar of everyday life in Bangalore.
In general, all foreigners living in Bangalore whose duration of stay exceeds 180 days must register at their nearest Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival. Some nationals (e.g. residents from Pakistan) even have to register within the first 24 hours. Other foreign residents who are planning a short-term stay only need to register if it is indicated in their visa.
There is conflicting information regarding the registration of expat children. Some Indian government sources refer to a law that exempts minors under 16 from registration; other official sources say that all foreign residents above the age of 12 should register in person while some expats report that they were asked to even register their toddlers.
The local FRRO in Bangalore has the following address:
5th Floor, A Block, TTMC
BMTC Bus Stand Building
The FRRO issues a certificate to registered foreigners, which serves as a form of ID during their stay. Thus, a change of (or a prolonged absence from) your registered address must always be reported to the FRRO while you are living in Bangalore. In certain situations, expatriates may be asked by a high-ranking police constable or Foreigners’ Registration Officer to produce this Certificate of Registration.
You can find more information on the registration process for foreign residents living in Bangalore in the part of our guide to follow.
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