Moving to Bangalore?
Moving to Bangalore
At a Glance:
Bangalore has a strong expat population, international feel, and forward-thinking mentality.
If you’re not used to India’s harsh weather and hot temperatures, it’s normal to become unwell when you first move to Bangalore.
You’ll need a visa to enter India — most expats in Bangalore will be using an employment, business, or entry visa.
Moving to Bangalore is probably not the easiest step in many careers, even for experienced expats. The city presents an issue of modern-day India: the sharp contrast between high-tech industries and the luxurious lifestyle of the lucky few and the severe poverty of the larger urban population. However, expats living in Bangalore might be less exposed to this poverty than elsewhere in India.
Bangalore was once called the “Garden City” or “a Pensioner’s Paradise” due to its large, green parks, and a less frantic lifestyle than other Indian cities. While this laid-back environment is no longer what Bangalore is renowned for, most foreigners who decide to live there still benefit from a relatively high quality of life.
The Inconvenient Truth: A Three-Month Monsoon Season
A tropical savanna climate awaits new residents — with noticeable wet and dry seasons. Thanks to the city’s elevated position on the Deccan Plateau, expats in Bangalore who come from cooler countries enjoy the comparatively mild weather. With temperatures reaching an average high of 34°C during the hottest period in April and dropping down to 15°C in January, inhabitants of Bangalore hardly face the same extreme conditions as, for example, those living in New Delhi.
The monsoons bring a lot of rainfall, mainly during the months of June to September. The monsoon season’s humidity becomes a problem for many expats. Even if you are used to high temperatures, do not underestimate the time it takes to get used to the tropical climate: quite a few new arrivals get sick for a couple of days after first moving to Bangalore.
Decades of Diversity
The arrival of the railway in the second half of the 19th century caused a lot of rural dwellers to move to Bangalore. The post-independence era and the 1940s and 1970s again saw huge waves of migrants flocking to the city.
Expats started moving to Bangalore in growing numbers in the late 1980s after the first multinational IT corporations had set up their offices there. With its rich mix of cultures, religions, and languages, the city still has steady numbers of migrants wanting to make Bangalore their home. Expats coming to Bangalore today can enjoy the city’s international flair.
Safety Concerns in Bangalore
Despite repeated terror warnings issued by Western governments, Bangalore is generally considered safe, a comparatively “soft” target. After decades of mostly friendly coexistence, however, religious tensions between Muslims, Hindus, and Christians have manifested themselves all across India in recent years. In August of 2012, for instance, a series of rumors propagating religious persecution caused thousands of people of different faiths to leave Bangalore for their home regions. Evidently, tensions between Muslims and Hindus are still very much alive. More recently, in December 2014, a blast in the center of Bangalore killing one person had the city on edge.
Expats moving to Bangalore should therefore be aware of the potential threat of terrorist attacks. It is always a good idea to stay alert when visiting public places or attending events that attract large crowds. Always keep in mind, though, that you are much more likely to get injured in a traffic accident than in a terrorist attack. So, there's no reason to be too concerned!
Minimizing Health Risks: The Necessary Precautions
There are other, slightly more tangible, threats to your well-being in Bangalore. These include vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, and chikungunya (another tropical fever), as well as gastrointestinal diseases caused by a change of climate, diet, and hygiene routine. If you take reasonable precautions against mosquito bites and are careful when buying food and drinking water, some of these threats to your health can be avoided.
Check that all standard vaccinations such as tetanus, MMR, polio, pertussis, varicella (chicken pox), diphtheria, and influenza are up to date before moving to Bangalore. As well as your regular vaccinations, it’s advisable for expats traveling to Bangalore to get additional immunizations for the following diseases: hepatitis (types A and B), typhoid fever, pneumonia, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, malaria (prescription tablets), and rabies.
Although an unlikely case, if no health insurance plan is provided by your employer abroad, make sure to take out comprehensive insurance coverage before leaving for Bangalore. Even though there are some excellent private hospitals, clinics and specialists in Bangalore, the general standard of healthcare and treatment might not conform to what you are used to. Most private clinics offer highly specialized, complicated treatments, but not all of them are suited to provide emergency treatments or to care for patients with general health concerns.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.