Sunday, January 31, 2010

Exploring Cubbon Park

I am on a mission of exploring the parks in Bangalore. Instead of going for the flower show at Lalbaugh we went to Cubbon Park on 26th Jan. We drove to the fountain end near Vidhan Soudha parked the car on one of the side roads where paid parking is available and then walked around nearly half of the expanse of 1.2 kms. Yes that's how big Cubbon Park is, 300 acres of greenery, woods and landscaped gardens. I loved the sight of the sun soaked High Court building and the State Central Library. Going to be going there often to read, it is free for reference and entry I got to know while I enquired about membership.

The last time I was in Cubbon park was when my nephew, Pranav visited. There will be another post on Cubbon Park for kids later.

We drove back home and enjoyed Coffee at a nearby Cafe Coffee Day, our order, Lattes, toasted Corn n spinach sandwich and wedge of Chocolate fantasy cake warmed. We love their unhurried service. Overall a nice evening, I love Bangalore just for this laid back life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Evening Stroll At Lalbaugh

It takes time to realize the importance of a space in our backyard. That is what happened with me. Lalbaugh is the heart of Bangalore and hence never really attracted me. However the last time I was there for the flower show I realized that it was a haven in this city where one could go for a quick break away from the buzz.

Flower Show Aug 2009

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Big Banyan Tree, Ramohalli

Post lunch we set out on our way back to Bangalore from Janapada Loka. While coming towards Bangalore reaching the Rajarajeshwari Dental College, we took a left. From this Kumbalgod cross road one has to drive 6kms to reach the The Big Banyan Tree at Ramohalli. My driver told us that in Kannada it is called Dodda Alada Mara.

There have been references to The Big Banyan Tree is almost all the media that talks about Bangalore and I had not yet seen it. It interested me to see how a 400 year old tree has survived. It covers an expanse of 4 acres but we are late by years. The main root has died and the aerial roots have taken anchor in the soil to give the appearance of multiple trees.

A bank has adopted this place for maintenance. On this hot sunny afternoon it was so cool under the tree. It was a pleasure to see children climbing the aerial root and branches. Picnickers enjoying lunch in the shade of this canopy.

We took a walk around the circumference in awe of this sage, in Hindu religion anything that lives so long is considered a sage or an evolved soul. There is a Munishwara temple at the center, we joined our hands from outside itself and moved ahead.

Sitting under such a tree is a simple pleasure of life which has become so rare now. Have you taken your little woman or man there yet? You must.

P.S: A temple we passed by on the Mysore road. It is a panchamukhi Ganapati atop a temple in place of the standard gopuram.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Karnataka Folk Culture Treat: Janapada Loka

The Murals on the walls of the office building.

Some years ago we passed by Janapada Loka, I didn't even realize what I missed. Then my dear friend Deepa had been suggesting it to me for a while. Finally decided to go there as we had not gone out of Bangalore this entire month.

It is only 45 kms from my home so we decided to have breakfast at home and reach there by 11 am today, spend couple of hours at the Janapada Loka and then go next door to Kamat Loka Ruchi for lunch. Over to the review on my food blog.

The Janapada Loka is on the right hand side when you drive towards Mysore. We took a U-turn just as we reached the milestone, parked the car outside as it does not have a drive in parking lot. Kamat's does have one but we were going to spend 2 hrs at Janapada Loka so did not try to park at Kamat. It would be more sensible to do so. That is an after thought.

The entry fee is Rs. 10 for adults. We decided to begin our walk around the 15 acre folk world conceptualized by Shri Nage Gowda from the Doda Mane. The big house has a central courtyard and verandah. The surrounding rooms are used for some theatre related activity. The start wasn't very impressive. We moved toward the heritage village, consisting of a potter's hut, a blacksmith's and some tools of the trade of various other occupations.

Fisherman's equipment, Farmer's seed sowing contraption

A blacksmith's hearth, A Jaggery mould

A house with a verandah and a well in the courtyard

The campus is interspersed with many resting places of different structures, some is brick and others with thatched roofs.

The sculptors yard was interesting with mostly sculptures of Gods and warriors. It was very telling that the sculptors mostly were commissioned for their work. The temple had lovely wooden pillars.

I spotted many carts of the common people and a large chariot for God, as is used in festivals.

It looked old and I think is was burnt so it was covered with plastic, may be some restoration will be done. The carvings were intricate and had various avatars of Gods depicted.

The thatched houses. The roller used to level the ground lying in the front.

The kitchen, the bamboos allowed enough sunlight and the ventilation was natural. The Bathroom shows a provision for heating water with a platform like area for bathing with a slope for water to drain easily.

The auspicious designs on the wall. Also used for ornamentation of lamp coves in the wall. There was a tradition of having mud pots embedded in the wall. They acted as little safes. I remember my grandparents old home in Thal had such near the Chool. My grandma kept small change in it. When we had that home we found it dark and dingy and got rebuilt into a concrete eyesore to prove that the sons had made progress into the modern world.

The two entrances showing difference in status and may be caste. One thatched the other of mud with a beautiful design on it.

The amphi theater

Behind the amphi theatre is a small place that displays the Dasara Gombe dolls and some paintings on cloth.
The central pondThere is a small museum with artifacts from rural life and folk art.

The Dasara Gombe Dolls, an interesting collection

The puppets
The Yakshagan charachters, weapons of war exhibited interestingly next to a quilt

Leather puppets, musical instruments

and some masks...

I am in Bangalore for the last 4.5 yrs and feel happy I learnt a little more about Karnataka. If you have school going kids you must take them atleast once to give them this exposure. Visit Janapada Loka official site for more info.

Though we walked around at leisure and the entire campus is wooded we were tired and hungry. It was 1.15 pm and time for lunch the Kamat Lok Ruchi is strategically positioned just next door. The food is the rural taste of Karnataka. As decided we went there to for a lunch on Banana leaf or the Yelle Oota.

The plan was to go to Ramohalli on the return journey to see the Big Banyan Tree. Post follows...