The piano player at the axis of the Galleria’s three floors reverentially runs his fingers over the ebony and ivory keys. Under the midnight blue dome in the hallway, with flickering star-like lights, the tune he plays is almost celestial. A waterfall cascades past two floors to end in a soothing pool of rose petals.
And thus the tone is set, as you weave your way into the labyrinthine halls of Bangalore’s definitive shopping experience. Each corner springs a happy surprise, each endless hallway redefines the parameters of retail therapy.
Stroll past the gold leaf lined hallway that overlooks the hotel’s sprawling garden, and silver sculptures of gods contoured by a master craftsman and pear-shaped topaz earrings catch your eye. Justifiably hooked, you snap them up, and journey on to the myriad stores spilling over with trinkets, silk carpets, jamavar and pashmina shawls and jewellery boxes designed in the Kashmiri tradition, or head to the designer stores scattered across Galleria.
If your taste is for garments with urbane handloom chic, Anokhi produces hand block printed men and women’s wear at an organic farm on the outskirts of Jaipur; its collections are at once both wholesomely earthy and modestly priced.
If your wallet is bulging with mega bucks, make haste here. Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, India’s pioneering design duo, retail their collections with rich textiles and traditional Indian craftsmanship at Kalika; Manoviraj Khosla adds a modern, funky twist to the Indian design aesthetic while Sanchita Ajjampur, who creates clothing and accessories for Roberto Cavalli, Alexander McQueen and Etro, displays her work at her signature store. Lokkesh Ahuja’s minimalist design philosophy is woven into the classic tailored suits in premium Indian and imported fabrics that have become synonymous with his brand of designer wear.
Fancy jewellery worthy of Queen Victoria and Cherie Blair? Frazer and Haws have been Bond Street mainstays since 1869, creating stellar pieces using sterling silver and Hennel diamonds for Britain’s brightest stars. Galleria houses some of the world’s premier brands in keeping with its theme of sophisticated luxury. Trussardi is among them, with its stock of Italian accessories; Helvetica, which houses 22 Swiss watch brands under its roof, has just the timepiece to go with that new suit.