Get Bowled Over With The Bowling Alleys In Bangalore

By RimTim Staff Writer

March 1, 2017
Bowling Alley

Bowling is a new craze that has taken over Bangalore. Bowling alleys in Bangalore are generally packed with people, especially on weekends. Bowling is a very different sport from the ones that most Indians are used to playing. It’s nothing like cricket, football or tennis, but is special in its own way. Anyone can take part in bowling. It is a casual sport meant for entertainment purposes only.

The bowling alleys in Bangalore are always filled, especially on weekends. Bowling is a lot of fun for couples on a date, young people looking for a cool place to hang out with friends, and for families that are looking for an activity that’s fun and safe for kids.

There are many bowling alleys in Bangalore and they remain crowded on most holidays and weekends – weekdays, not so much. Bowling is a popular sport in the United States, but it has only recently taken off in India is a big way. Bowling is different from other sports as anyone could participate in it – men, women and children. It is a lot of fun for everyone.

Bowling Alleys In Bangalore

  • Fun Hub: Bowling alleys in Bangalore are cool places for friends to hang out, or for a young person to take their date to. They are considered for children and present a very family friendly ambience. For many families in Bangalore, visiting a bowling alley is just the thing to do after a hectic day spent shopping on a Sunday morning in the mall. Since most of the sports centres in Bangalore are located in the various popular malls, people don’t have to go too far to go bowling.
  • History:The first bowling sports centre in Bangalore was started in 1999 on the Old Airport Road. Since then many bowling alleys have been opened in Bangalore, such as one in the Mota Royal Arcade, another at Gopalan Mall at Bannerghatta Road and dozens of other locations.
  • Popularity:Bowling is a capital intensive sport. Not anyone can set up a bowling alley for this reason. Very few companies have the resources to start such sports centres in Bangalore. In the United States, where bowling became popular in the 1950s, there is an intense competition among the various companies to capture people’s attention. We have seen a similar kind of competition developing in Bangalore.
  • Association:The Karnataka State Tenpin Bowling Association (KSTB) represents all bowling enthusiasts in Bangalore. There are close to two hundred professionals in the city, who compete in various national and international bowling competitions. Among them are Prathima Hegde and her husband Kannan R.

Statistics of bowling alleys in Bangalore

In Bangalore, Bowling has been popular since 1999, when the first bowling alley in the city, the Mega Bowl at Old Airport Road was opened to the public. This was quickly followed by a four-lane alley at the Mota Royal Arcade, one of the oldest shopping malls in the city.

  • Popularity: Since its inception, the youth of Bangalore have taken to bowling with full force. It is truly an international sport that was a huge craze in the United States in the second half of the 20th century. Since then, the interest in bowling has dropped off in the US, but has picked up elsewhere in the world, especially in India.
  • Professional group for bowlers: In Karnataka, there is even a professional circuit for bowlers. The Karnataka State Tenpin Bowling Association (KSTB) was formed in 2003 with just 40 professional bowlers. There are close to 150 professional bowlers in Bangalore today, of whom five have gone on to become national champions.
  • Good for fitness: But the real reason bowling has become so popular in India is that it is very good for fitness. Vardhan Sardha, who has won the men’s national bowling championship several times, explains, “If taken seriously, bowling is like a personal gym. When you bowl, you are pulling and pushing simultaneously, and that too with a heavy weight. This tones various muscles trims the waistline and increases[HR1] body strength.” Girish Gaba, an avid bowler and media professional, who has represented India in the Asian Games says, “Having college tournaments is one of the best things to have happened for the sport. I was a product of one such tournament and today, I am one of the best bowlers in the country.” Girish adds that the great thing about bowling is that anyone can compete in this sport – age truly does not matter. You can have a 68-year-old taking on a 22-year-old and going on to win the contest. It’s a sport where skill and accuracy matters just as much as strength and athleticism.

    Health benefits of bowling

    Bowling in Bangalore is a sport that requires a great deal of flexibility, coordination, and strength. It is very good for cardiovascular health and improves stamina.

    • Burns calories: When you practice the sport for hours at a time, you will burn a lot of fat because of all the muscle flexing that you will be doing with every swing, twist and turn of the ball. The movements performed in bowling, because of all the flexing and stretching, provide the perfect exercise for your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.
    • Full body exercise: When you bowl, you are effectively giving a great workout for several different muscle groups in your body, including your shoulders, forearms, hips, legs, back and torso. This is particularly beneficial for those suffering from knee pain or other types of joint pain.

    History of bowling in Bangalore

    When bowling was first introduced in the country back in the 1990s by US companies such as AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowling, it was met with a tepid response from the public. Deep Kalra, Founder, and CEO of MakeMyTrip who was the head of AMF Bowling Inc.’s Indian operations in 1995 explains why: “The reason for the failure was the absence of large-scale growth. Unlike today, malls were rare then and large footfalls impossible. People were thinking small, and could not promote a family entertainment center successfully.”

    Back then, bowling alleys were not up to international standards and suffered from a serious lack of capital. Bowling is a capital-intensive sport, so it was hard for the bowling centers of the 1990’s to generate a reasonable cash flow from the business.

    Things have changed today because of the rise of shopping malls in every city in India, and because there is such a large middle class in India with higher disposable incomes. Today, bowling is the fastest growing indoor sport in the country. There are now over 400 bowling alleys in India, twice as many as in 2014.

    So, have you tried bowling yet? If not, why? Don’t you think it’s time you visited the bowling alleys in Bangalore?

    Bowling In Bangalore As A Future Sport

    However, despite the interest shown in bowling by so many in India, the fact remains that the sport is still pretty much unknown in the country and is generally favoured by the upper middle class. Not everyone can afford to practice bowling at the sports centres in Bangalore.

    It will take some time before the sport starts growing in India, but for that the administrators of the bowling alleys in Bangalore will have to work hard to make the sport more enticing to every section of the Indian society. There is no reason why bowling cannot be a popular sport in India.

    Survey of bowling alleys in Bangalore

    Kannan and Pragthima: Is a sports administrator and the secretary-general of the Tenpin Bowling Federation (I), while Prathima is a leading professional bowler. They have together done more for bowling in Bangalore than anyone in the city. Prathima, who is a multiple time national championship winner in bowling says, “Tenpin bowling started off as a lark for us, like it does with many recreational bowlers.”

    “Kannan’s French partner had come down to Bangalore in 2000-2001 and we went to G’s Lanes on Brigade Road to bowl. We then began frequenting Megabowl and slowly took up the sport seriously,” she explains. “Kannan contacted the World Tenpin Bowling Federation president, who was a Malaysian of Indian origin, and invited him to India. The gentleman was happy to promote the sport in our country,”

    Bowling in Bangalore is what it is today because of people like Prathima and Kannan. They have encouraged a number of youngsters to take to the sport full-time, such as Aakash Ashok Kumar, who won the bronze medal in bowling at the 2011 Commonwealth Championship.

    Aakash says, “When I started, it was more as entertainment and a passion. But I got trained by professionals and it helped me get into the sport seriously. Then the federation started looking for talent at college level. Now, we have a good pool of youngsters in the city.”

    Kannan adds, “There are 12 gold medals at stake for bowling in the Asian Games. When you have that many at stake, it seemed ideal to work towards it.”

    Aakash: Pro-bowlers such as Aakash have a busy lifestyle. They have to juggle their job with their training, and find time to appear in competitions. Pavithra DM is a young bowler who somehow finds time to train in bowling despite being a busy college student. She says, “In the morning, I attend college and I come for training in the afternoon. It’s exciting and challenging to manage studies and bowling, but I love it.”

    Radhika Kumari: Is another serious pro-bowler who quit her job to pursue bowling full time. She says, “Bowling is an addiction. You just can’t leave it. When I started it was fun and I can’t believe that I am representing the national team now.”

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