Go-Karting in Bangalore

Whenever I visit a new place, I check for karting facilities nearby. A vice that I have been nurturing for long. Many great Formula 1 drivers have started their career on karts, also they are comparatively lesser expensive way of connecting poor people like me to Motorsports.

Like many say they can forget their worries listening to music, I say I forget my worries behind the steering wheel of a kart (wish I could afford more,lol). You take your focus away from the job in hand only to end up in a pile of tires or a cloud of dust. In the last karting place I’d been to, I saw a lady who was trying her hands on go-karting, crash into the dusty tires. Re-affirmation to the importance of focus.

Now to the actual subject…

Google handed me a huge list and it was up to me to select the places. Based on my search here are the 10 places (with useful links)I bookmarked.

Since karting tracks are away from the city and Bangalore being notoriously bad for it’s traffic, I couldn’t visit all of the above mentioned places. Most of them aren’t worth your time and money from the YouTube videos I watched.

Priorities vary depending on people and hence I will put down a quick review of places I have visited. My priorities are simple:

  • Driving experience
  • Condition of go-karts
  • Technicality and condition of the track
  • Customer service
  • Value for money

There are people who kart with their families/friends/cousins/relatives as a weekend getaway or a family outing. My opinion won’t be of much help to them, they probably want to have a good time which is not the primary intention of this post.

Gurukuls Go-Karting: (Rs. 250 for 6 laps)

The place had 4+ stars review in Google. To me this place was a big disappointment. The track was small, karts were below average and nothing great about the staff (two young lads). I went there on a weekday. Also I believe they cheated on the number of laps and I was only allowed 5 laps instead of 6. I couldn’t care less. I’m never going back there.

I would rate this place a 2/5. Make sure you count your laps or have someone counting it for you.

Meco kartopia: (Rs. 750 for 6 mins for Rotax karts and other options…)

My favorite of the lot. They have variety of options in terms of price (differ according to the power of the kart and time); the one I chose was the most powerful Rotax kart, the most expensive option as well. They claim to have 21 horsepower but I doubt that. The track was nice and long, though not very technical. The corners are low to medium to high speed after a long straight which makes it exciting. I visited the place on a weekday and they had one section of this track closed which makes this track very simple. The karts were powerful, would be an understatement. Give it to a person doing this for the first time and see him end up in dirt trail outside the track. I had difficulty fitting in those karts but I take full responsibility of that. My body weight has been on the higher side for the past 1 year due to laziness.

I would rate this place a 3.5/5. Check with the reception and they will give you the lap timings. This place also organizes various autocross events, karting events and I hope someday I can drive in such events.

Karting track, Meco Kartopia
Rotax Kart, Meco kartopia

Red riders sports: (Rs. 650 for 12 laps and other options…)

I have a love-hate relationship with this place. I love the fact that the track had number of corners, but at the same time hate the fact that karts were pathetic. The karts felt absolutely under-powered. Unlike Meco kartopia, there are lack of straight sections where you can go super fast and even if there were, you would been a year older by the time you cleared it.

I would rate this place 2.5/5 for their facility and good staff.

Red riders sports, go kart track

Play Arena: (Rs.240 for 6 laps)

Seriously?

The track is the smallest with lap times less than 20 secs. So you are paying Rs. 240 for 120 secs of fun and the real question… is it really fun? I stood outside the track and wondered, then promptly left the place.

I rate this place 1/5

Go kart track, play arena.
  1. Patels Inn, RT Nagar: (Rs. 140 for 6 laps)

Patels Inn is a resort, so nothing much to expect. The only thing that is positive about the place is price. The track is small and I think I finished 6 laps under 75 secs. Karts are in pathetic condition. Make sure you get the elbow protector (they gave me one without asking) because the rear is not insulated.

I rate this place 1.5/5. The fact that it is cheap made me give it a higher rating other wise it was 1/5 or less.

Patels Inn, Go kart trackThe above mentioned places, I visited personally and these are my thoughts regarding the place. In future, if I happen to visit any of the places that I have missed out or any new place, I shall update them here.

Go-karting in India is mainly a pass time; mostly a weekend fun getaway or a friends meeting spot. Karting deserves much more. Watching the European karting championship is as thrilling as watching a proper race. I hope karting gets bigger and better in India in the coming years.


 

 

Nam Ooru Bengaluru (Our place Bangalore) – A newly found love

When Teny pointed out this challenge to me, I had to participate in it and obviously I wouldn’t write about Cochin for quite a few reasons, first being the pathetic transport and traffic systems. Bangalore is no good either, but I was being chauffeured around. So I couldn’t care less.

Though the first time I had a chance to visit Bangalore was a few days ago, there was no way that I couldn’t fall in love with the place. It reminded me everything about my childhood, the city and the people and the crowd.

One of my dearest acquaintance, Ragu was the reason I decided to call on Bangalore. Now talking about Ragu, a malayali (Keralite) who drinks Rum like a fish and who can be seen in a lungi (dhoti) walking on 4 legs after getting drunk. I would leave Ragu for now and move on with Bangalore.

I say this is my first time in the city but not really. I had been here, during my college days. I was roaming around Marathahalli trying to find myself a football boots. I absolutely had no clue of the place but the people were understanding and helpful then. I had carried those memories along with me as I landed in Bengaluru International Airport.

Yes, this place has been a dream of every Keralite. We look upon Bangalore as a big A1 metropolitan city like Mumbai or New Delhi, though it was added to the list of A1 cities only in Sep 2007. Chennai is another superstar city in South India but I have never been there. I have heard from people that the climate is too hot, water is too salty and the birds don’t fly too high, things like that.  I don’t believe all that, but just that I haven’t been there is a major barrier about me having a take on the city.

To talk about Bangalore in terms of drive, this city is driven by youngsters. By driven I do not mean driving a vehicle, but the spine of the city. I have never experienced such a young crowd in any city. I don’t think the average age of this city will be anything more than 32 years. Thanks to the big IT market that creates major chunk of employment in the city. I loved seeing the young around. I loved seeing couple’s holding hands, smiling, talking to each other as they walk by. It just makes me feel happy. There is love around and boy, isn’t that a heart warming sight?

Another thing I love about Bangalore is that there are a lot of Sports bike in this place. This is one place where the manufacturers come first with their products. Thanks to the young crowd driven by passion.

To talk about Bangalore in terms of design, this city is designed to accommodate people of all cultures. I was raised in Mumbai and once in my classroom our teacher asked each of us to stand up and say out their native place loud. Pretty much covered all the places from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Kashmir being a beautiful girl class mate of mine. Again coming back to the point, like any other city Bangalore is designed to accommodate anyone and everyone. I am well versed with Tamil and Malayalam, but I have no clue about Kannada, Tulu and Telugu. Bangalore, though is basically a place which speaks Kannada (and Tulu), I have never had problems in communicating with people in Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil. I rarely speak in English in India, I leave that job usually to Ragu if I’m in Bangalore. The point being that I never had any problems in communicating with people. This city, though in the Southern part of India, you will find people understanding and speaking in Hindi. Hence I say it is designed to accommodate.

If we talk about city planning and city design, I must say it is as pathetic as any other city in India. Traffic is horrible. It takes 2 hrs to cover 8 kms and the IT hub of Bangalore, Whitefield has the worlds most worst traffic and worst roads ever. Hopefully someday it will get better.

To talk about what connects Bangalore, I must say Iron Maiden. I have seen them perform a lot in Bangalore. Apart from Iron Maiden, there are a lot of other things as well. There are palaces, monuments and things of art for the senior people and then there are places like pubs, discos and bars for younger people.

Then what is there for me?

Petrosexual people like me can always rejoice by meeting like minded automotive enthusiasts who own big bikes and even bigger cars. We can always go for a drive in their loud and fancy vehicle. Also there are quite a few garages, which install turbo chargers in a Honda Civic. I think that’s amazing. I fell in love with Civic long back and I still think it is pretty decent car for India and installing turbo chargers is an icing on the cake. That pretty much connects me to Bangalore (hoping that the engine won’t blow up any soon).

Bangalore is connected by proper network of roads to all the adjoining states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. It is connected locally and globally via air route. There is one major and around ten minor ports that connect Bangalore to different parts of India and World via Sea. Karnataka has gained popularity because of the Konkan railways in terms of rail routes. Pretty impressive ehh… I would have loved to write so about Trivandrum (capital of Kerala) but by the time you reach the place, your soul would already on it’s way to heaven. Thanks to Quilon (Kollam) in between.

All said, I still can’t make peace and get over Mumbai. How can I not love Mumbai, which is my first home? Bangalore is only a recent one and I find the city attractive. So Bangalore, for now….you are the one. You are the great one for now, until Mumbai returns.


 

Do you guys have a favorite city? Why do you think that city is better than the one I have mentioned above?

I am thankful to Indiblogger and  http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/ for giving me an opportunity to share my views about Bangalore with this world. 

I have used the older names instead of the recent version like Bangalore instead of Bengaluru. It’s just because I love those names more than the current ones. Not offending anyone, but a personal preference.