| Ruati Chhangte | Indie Bookstores Series |


Church Street, Bangalore


Bangalore’s pride and cultural landmark, Blossom Book House on Church Street (Blossoms for us proud regulars), celebrated 20 years in January 2022. Did you know that the owner Mayi Gowda used to sell books on pavements before he opened the bookstore in 2002? The former engineer left his job with GE, ran with his passion for books, and set up what is now one of the largest bookstores in the country. What an absolutely amazing legacy!


My reading habits during my childhood and right through my late teens were shaped by notable absences – the absence of a bookstore in my hometown, or even a library in our school. Not that any of that stopped me from reading. I would raid my parents’ collection, explore my English professor aunt’s home library, intercept my grandpa’s mail, trade comic books with friends and so on and so forth. I have always been an insatiable reader for as long as I can remember. However, my early memories don’t include the experience walking into a bookstore and getting swept away by the sheer abundance of books, each holding exciting possibilities within their pages.

My very first ‘wow’ moment in a bookstore happened at Oxford Bookstore in Park Street, Kolkata, and later at Bahrisons in Khan Market during my pre-graduate days. Blossoms happened in December, 2007, the winter I went to spend Christmas with my family in Bangalore. 

Blossoms, with its friendly team and unassuming interior, is hands down the warmest bookstore that I have had the pleasure of visiting. There is just something about the quiet calm of being surrounded by rows upon rows of books stacked on ceiling high shelves, with some spilling over lazily on the floors. There is something too about the hushed camaraderie of being in the company of fellow bibliophiles, intent in our own quests, sometimes bumping elbows, our fingers traveling down adjacent rows, only to part again to set off on separate voyages inside that wide ocean of books.

Back when I lived in Bangalore, I used to go to Blossoms every other Saturday, and on weekdays too sometimes when I could afford an extended lunch break from our office on the nearby Lavelle Road. After innumerable visits, I had my routine down pat. I would enter from the main door, turn left, and stomp up the winding staircase to march towards the fiction section on the first floor, my spirits ripe for an adventure. What treasures am I going to loot home this time? Last week, they said they might get more secondhand Mishima books in stock. I wonder if they have arrived. Sometimes, I would stop midway on the stairs to idly browse the myriad posters lining the walls that announced upcoming plays, workshops, and festivals across the city. Yes, this is the kind of bookstore that generously promotes local events, artists and authors.

Blossoms has now expanded to another outlet nearby, and seeing from their Instagram posts, they are regularly hosting book launches and other literary events at their new space. More power to Mayi Gowda and his wonderful team.

Unsurprisingly, Blossoms enjoys a cult following among bibliophiles, and there is even a Tumblr dedicated to it Overheard at Blossoms – ‘A collection of funny, silly, ‘senti’, nostalgic things people say in Bangalore’s favorite book store.’

Salini Vineeth’s debut novella Magic Square features Blossom Book House on the cover. Blossoms is the author’s favorite bookstore, and is featured prominently in the plot.


Apart from their two brick & mortar stores on Church Street Bangalore, you can order online through their website https://blossombookhouse.in/ They have an exhaustive collection, and there is even a rare books section!

You can also order by contacting them on their Instagram page. I have bought a couple of books via Instagram when I couldn’t find what I wanted on their website. To be quite honest, it is sometimes a bit difficult to order through their Instagram, and thats quite understandable given the many DMs that they would be receiving every day. (I tried and failed to get my hands on a signed copy of Pranay Lal’s Invisible Empire, and I am still a bit salty about that.)

You can directly contact the owner Mayi Gowda @ 9448220202. They accept payments via Gpay on this number too.


Ruati Chhangte is a reader, writer and hobby photographer from Mizoram. She is deeply passionate about gardening, planting trees, editing fiction, and tending to her family farm with her tree-hugging mother.

She blogs at https://justincaselifeonlyhappensonce.tumblr.com/


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