View of central Bengaluru
Field notes for the Pulitzer Center:
Bengaluru, choked with perpetually honking traffic and cluttered with residences, plainly shows India’s economic boom as well as the stretching seams of its infrastructure. With a metro area of roughly eight million people and one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, Bengaluru’s burgeoning tech industry has — for what such comparisons are worth — earned it the distinction of “Silicon Valley of India.”
Whether its racing to land a rover on the moon or building power systems to bring electricity to rural villages, technological ambitions have significantly redefined the city. The central business district has expansive shopping malls and towering hotels, and wealthy suburbs like Whitefield have sprung up in recent years to support multinational IT companies.
On what was once farmland, a space exploration company called Team Indus is designing a next generation spacecraft — and competing for a $30 million in prize money (Hyperlink: http://lunar.xprize.org/) from Google. “I don’t even know where we are,” said Bopaya Bidanda, a University of Pittsburgh engineering professor who grew up near Bengaluru, as his cab driver searched for the laboratory on a cluttered side street.