In a city that already loves its bookstores, Atta Galatta—loosely means “total hubbub” in Tamil—gained an almost cult-like status among its loyalists. Its location in a crowded, hopping Koramangala street ensured a steady stream of college kids…waves of GenZ and Millennials unwilling to let go of their younger selves sat with shoulders pressed to older, more serious readers.Jun 24, 2022, 11 26 | Updated: Nov 26, 2022, 16 44
UPDATE: 26 November, 2022
The face of Atta Galatta has quickly transformed. The first set of books have been stacked by the busy team at Atta Galatta. The new coat of paint and the shimmery lights make the books almost twinkle.
The glass, marble and wood exterior looks modern and inviting.
A passer-by stopped to stare at the shiny storefront. He peered at the sign on the glass doors that read, “Atta Galatta Opening Soon”.
“Excuse me,” he collared me, “What is this Atta Galatta?”
“A bookstore,” I replied.
He registered a look of approval as he left.
We know that owner Subodh Sankar is currently occupied as he is one of the organisers of the Bangalore Literature Festival. So for now, Atta Galatta will have its pop up store at the venue at The Ashok Hotel. But we should expect the store to open soon after.
ORIGINAL STORY: June, 2022
Right now, there’s a massive green plastic sheet covering the building.
Inside, there’s a rash of activity. Someone shouts instructions sternly to someone else. On one side someone hauls a load of plumbing pipes. But on the other, a sight to warm the cockles of readers—bookshelves lining the walls.
Amidst this frenzy is a smiling Subodh Sankar, the owner.
He has much to smile about.
The re-opening gala of Atta Galatta is nigh.
In a city that already loves its bookstores, Atta Galatta—loosely means “total hubbub” in Tamil—gained an almost cult-like status among its loyalists. Its location in a crowded, hopping Koramangala street ensured a steady stream of college kids…waves of GenZ and Millennials unwilling to let go of their younger selves sat with shoulders pressed to older, more serious readers.
“They (the younger patrons) just hung around and livened up the space,” Sankar told Explocity.
When Atta Galatta ran up its “temporarily closed” sign, no one was happy.
All that is set to change. Facing down the blight of delay, after unavoidable delay, Atta Galatta is set to re-open in July.
The new Atta Galatta is located in the more upscale neighbourhood of Indiranagar, home to an older, upscale demographic.
And judging from the reactions of some of the residents though, Atta Galatta is going to get itself a new cult following.
For one, the new bookstore will offer more delights. The new venue will sport a decked out and fully equipped performance space, with whisper-quality soundproofing. This space, on the lower level, is access-friendly, both, by a staircase and an elevator.
A cafe is a given. And Sankar has planned a free reading corner, with a difference. Among other magazines, he has collected a whole bunch of sports magazines like Sports Star and Sports World from 1992-96.
Atta Galatta is forging a partnership with this publication, Explocity, to bring events to the venue. A live version of the popular podcast, “The Literary City With Ramjee Chandran” is one such plan.
Sankar said, “It’s a natural fit. Explocity is the source of all events in Bangalore. They have the audience, we have the space. Our relationship is symbiotic.”
Sankar hopes that fans of Atta Galatta will find its same, curious and intellectually hungry community in this new Indiranagar setting. “We have always been a collaborative, non-judgemental space for artists and audiences to discover each other,”
Especially after the pandemic, people are hungry for live events.
The move from Koramangala to Indiranagar was also for economic reasons. “We’re a for profit business,” Sankar said, “but that said it is a business that barely brings in anything. So we could no longer afford Koramangala rents.”
Now in the space they own, removing the rent component, Sankar hopes, will give the business legs to stand on.
So who’ll come to the Indiranagar location?
“Who knows, maybe we’ll ask startup guys to drink coffee and conquer the world from Atta Galatta,” Sankar fantasised.
When it re-opens, Atta Galatta will be located at 178 5th Main, Indiranagar 1st Stage. (google map coordinates.)