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Bangalore India
Forum Mall - Still stands out!
Mar 25, 2016 05:12 PM 10643 Views
(Updated Mar 25, 2016 05:25 PM)



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I've been in Bangalore since 2002. At the time, 'Kemp Fort' was the only real mall in the city and'Rex' and'Symphony' were regarded as the best movie theatres in Bangalore. That was. until'The Forum' came into being in 2004. With the subsequent emergence of other malls like'Garuda' and'Central' in the Brigade - M.G. Rd area and several others some of which even had their own theater complexes, 'Rex' and'Symphony' gradually lost their clout among Bangalore movie theaters and'Kemp Fort' was no longer the only real mall around.

Coming back to'The Forum', the mall is situated in Koramangala 7th block spanning over 600, 000 square feet on Hosur Road on the way to'Central Silkboard' junction. This is one of the malls which has stood the test of time and is still one of the best malls to hang around because it has also evolved well over the years retaining its best features and turning the not so good features into better features.


The mall itself is 4-storeyed, if one doesn't count the huge parking space for vehicles(below). That is followed by the actual mall at the next level with one entrance facing Tavarekere and the road to Christ College and Dairy Circle and the other side opening out to the rest of Koramangala. Most of the shops and stores are concentrated on the first 2 floors, with:

A>Oodles of eating joints like KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and lots of other donuts, chocolates, ice-creams and other snacks outlets.

B>There are also several clothing stores both for women and men alike with Levis, Lee, Van Heusen, Westside and several others.

C>Important shoe brands like Adidas, Nike, Reebok stores are also to be found here with several other sporty outlets.

D>One would also find several electronics item stores too although that is mostly on the 3rd storey.

E>Besides all this, there are several stores dedicated to women's jewellery and clothing items.

F>'Landmark' on the third floor featuring children's, readers', gamers', electronics sections with a collection of knick-knacks as well.

G>There's also a food lounge kind of area called'Transit' on the 3rd storey. Aptly named and a great place for people stopping by to grab a bite.

H>A gaming zone for children and adults alike, which came into being not long ago.

I>The fourth storey is dedicated to PVR Cinemas, featuring 12 theaters with all categories.

J>There are other health and beauty related stores here along with sections dedicated ATMS and gift stores for special occasions.

I>The immediate outside of the malls on both sides of the mall feature sitting areas for visitors which are typically characterised by people just gazing around, chatting etc.

There are several other eateries and snack outlets like Baskin Robbins, Cafe Coffee Day with other variable factors like a'Flea Market' kind of setup which may be observed occasionally.


1.The mall features a wide range of stores, but not all of the stores are of very known brands. There are some with the relatively'unknown' factor too, which make the place all the more exciting.

2.There is always some or the other event which happens around here, like a new car model that is released is advertised here, or program for a new store that is opening or some lottery / prize winning event in dedicated areas. Or a concert or an occasion that is celebrated which adds to the aura of the place. Or opening for a new store etc.

3.Being so well located, 'Forum' does attract great crowds. But despite that, it never feels too crowded. It's as if the people kind of fit in to the section of the mall where they aptly belong. And the people moving about do so in channels which are meant to be for the same.

4.This mall focusses on making its strengths its major strengths, like for e.g. no mall would have more comprehensive'cinema' section. Nor would any mall have a more complete'Landmark' section or'Westside' section. The mall has made these features stronger over a period of time and on the other hand tried to add on to some extent, features it did not originally have, like the gaming zone and some other stores.

On the other hand, it does not focus on having everything although they effectively do, but the stores they have, don't feel subsidized compared to some other malls.

5.'Forum' sort of adapts to the occasion in its mood and feel. If it's XYZ day, the decorations in the mall would unconditionally suggest so. There could also be some program about the same. Same goes for festivals. During lean periods, they would make up for the same by some other means.

And all this while, the people who simply want to have a chat, sit and gaze around, shop / window shop etc. can do all that in their own time.

6.Another thing about Forum is that it doesn't feel like a gem in the middle of nowhere. If one thinks about it, there are some other malls now which are arguably more replete, albeit in only some aspects.

For instance, Phoenix Market City Mall with its 2, 900, 000 square spread has all the stores one could hope for with great open spaces in between to host endless events. It literally has everything within its layout. They are doing'more' with'more'.

UB City Mall seems to be doing'more' with'less' with an eclectic but select few outlets spanning two floors but still quite unique in feel.

Mantri Square literally has every store one could hope for, but in a really cramped fashion. They may have an Addidas store, but the contents of the store barely feel like a complete Addidas section.

Orion Mall is a decent new mall with some new features, but ultimately it also appears to have some limitations like'Mantri Square'(For e.g. the Landmark section), although it is quite good in certain aspects.

But then, many of these malls are like a self-sufficient fortress city on the top of the hill. The paradise lasts till you are within the fortress. One goes outside, and there is just hilly terrain, compared to the paradise.

Forum on the other hand, is like a "good climax" to a "wonderfully spread out story" that is'Kormangala' and the other side of the mall. I mean even if one ventures out of the mall, it doesn't feel like you've necessarily come to a lesser place. The things you have inside the mall are there outside too and some which you don't have also, like'Starbucks' and'Bowling Alley' are just outside the mall. And so much more spread out over an area. So, in totality, it is a great feeling.

To conclude: I would just say that that'Forum Mall' is a great place to spend time if one feels like it, whichever aspect one is looking for, like mentioned in the lines above.'Garuda Mall' is another mall which has maintained itself reasonably well over the years and perhaps'Royal Meenakshi Mall' kind of comes close with regards to the feel of the'Forum', but then it's not that well located.

Moral of the story is'Forum' manages to hold its own despite the great new malls of Bangalore and still is a great place to visit if one so desires. I liked its steady evolution over the years(More evolution is happening there as we speak:);) and I absolutely recommend it to others.

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The Forum - Bangalore