Rolling down the lane, one of the Chickpet neighborhood 's oldest streets in Bangalore feels like a classic Indian scene stereotyped in so many movies — people, traffic, animals, and a nice dose of color and noise mixed with each other. A flight of stairs is an oasis of peace in a by-lane off this street-the quaint supermarket, Balaji's Antiques & Collectibles. Collectibles, furniture and art pieces from various ages light for room on the many racks, walls and floor. For a shop specializing in antique products, the environment is hardly overwhelming. Instead, the place and owner Balaji, welcome you to discover and enjoy the joys of discovering something beautiful and storied.Balaji's Antiques wasn't always a luxury goods shop. It originated as a shop selling what is today one of the antiques icons-gramophones.
More than 35 years ago, when Mr Veerendra Heggade,the Dharmasthala temple administrator, decided to establish a museum for the devotees of the temple, it was Balaji 's father who entrusted him with the task of collecting artefacts. Over the years, Balaji and his father provided the museum with items ranging from ships, vehicles, and aircraft to antiques.Balaji,in his search for antique objects, remembers the many fascinating expeditions his father embarked on. "My dad bought a whole antique train from Kolkata in early 90's," says Balaji. "He spent three months in the train every night before it was delivered to the museum, to deep the pieces from being stolen!