Bangalore Traffic

The traffic in Bangalore was something to behold. It’s a flowing river of motorcycles, auto rickshaws, buses, trucks, and automobiles. It’s noisy, chaotic, and dirty. Noisy because horns are used continually; chaotic because the lane lines seem at best advisory; and dirty I think primarily because of the large number of auto rickshaws on the roads. I saw some of these little three-wheelers spewing steady streams of black or white exhaust from their little tailpipes. In spite of all that, it is quite fun to watch and I never felt unsafe.

After I’d watched the traffic for a few days, I came to think of it as “polite chaos.” While the horns are used continually as a matter of course, they are not blared in irritation as we do in the US. Rather, they are tooted informationally in advance of overtaking another vehicle. And to warn pedestrians, who are definitely at the bottom of the food chain in this ecosystem.

A simple, static snapshot couldn’t capture the sense of the traffic very well. I was much happier with a series of eight-second exposures I took from our cab one evening. I’ve included a few below.


2 Responses to “Bangalore Traffic”

  1. Sankar Says:

    Very good summary of bangalore traffic and it applies more or less to every city in India.

  2. Says:

    Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of driving on Indian roads.
    This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training rather than criticism.
    At present I have produced and made available 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. To watch the videos, please visit:
    The videos cover the following topics:
    Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
    Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
    Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
    Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
    Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
    Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
    Video 7: Merging with the Main road
    Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
    Video 9: Never Cut Corners
    Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
    Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
    Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
    Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
    Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
    Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
    Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
    Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation
    Many thanks

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