Bangalore's Famous Picnic Spot-The Big Banyan Tree
Dodda Allada Mara(Big Banyan Tree)
Bangalore,The Garden City
Bangalore or Bengaluru as it is now known has always been called the garden city of India.The city is green with large trees lining up the roads. According to season,the trees flower and the horizon is covered with a riot of colours-red,orange,pink,white,purple,yellow,mauve. Large expanses of land within the city make up the parks which are alive with birds chirping-again according to season,we have different species. Large water bodies make up the lakes around Bangalore city. Today,though some of the lakes have been filled up and trees cut to widen roads,the general environment is still fresh and green because of the climate.Bangalore is certainly more pleasant at any given time of the year than most othe Indian cities.
People from other parts of India and foreigners have made Bangalore their home because of the climate,the jobs available,for it is also home to many IT firms and the BPO industry. It has also been called Pensioner's Paradise as many retirees have made this their home.
The city boasts of a night life in addition to theme parks,bowling alleys, resorts, health spas, restaurants(any cuisine),star hotels and quick getaways.Being well connected by rail,road and air and located in the centre of South India makes it a must stop over for tourists and a memorable one at that. Hospitality is at its best here and the people are warm and friendly.
Trees-A Botanical Paradise
Bangalore is a botanist's dream come true.It is home to several species of plants and trees.Orchids abound here as well.The International Flower Auction Centre is located here and flowers grown here,particularly roses of various hues reach even Amsterdam and Canada. Green houses and farms are plenty surrounding the city.Organic farms market their rich produce here.Fruits,flowers and vegetables are aplenty according to season.
Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh are the 2 large gardens located within the city.These have a rich collection of trees,plants,green houses,among them several Heritage Trees. All trees anywhere in the city sport name plates as to their common name and Botanical name.
Bangalore is home to some scenic picnic spots. Quick getaways for a day's outing with family and friends on a holiday or a Sunday! One such has been the Dodda Allada Mara or The Big Banyan Tree.
The Big Banyan Tree In All Its Glory
Cool And Shady For Romance And Film Locales
Dodda Allada Mara
The famous Big Banyan Tree is located about 25 kms from the city of Bangalore at Ramohalli. Off the Bangalore-Mysore highway,in the backyard of the scenic Manchanbele dam,the big banyan tree is an excellent picnic spot to help unwind.
Banyan tree or Ficus Benghalensis grows to be a very large tree. The main bark of the tree holds up a myriad branches like a canopy and with time,lateral shoots from the branches grow downwards until they reach the soil and plant themselves. These branches and lateral roots keep growing and spread all around the main tree,making it look as if there are many trees in a grove but then it is the same tree that has spread out. The cool and shady environment makes it the no.1 destination for a sudden picnic. The backdrop of Savanadurga hills makes it even more scenic.
It is the fourth largest Banyan tree in India and is over 400 years old-one of the many Heritage Trees that bangalore posseses. It is totally fenced and protected and maintained by the Government. One can walk around it or drive around it as it spreads over 3 acres.Yes,3 Acres! You are also allowed within the fence to enjoy the shady environs of the huge branches. Way above your head,the towering branches only give you a hint of the bright sunshine as the green leaves cover up the sky. It is also home to several monkeys. Today,the main trunk of the tree is separated from the rest of the large tree. Yet,the tree is growing,literally spreading its branches and lateral roots. It is believed that the tree symbolizes the trinity Brahma(roots),Vishnu(stem & bark) and Maheswara(branches). A Shiva temple is located within and many devotees perform their pujas.The tree is worshipped by the villagers living nearby in Alanhalli.Special pujas are performed on auspicious occasions.
Several years ago, as a little girl,I remember,playing among the branches and swinging by holding on to the aerial roots with my cousins. As a teenager and over the years I recollect walking through,admiring the roots, branches and the large canopy that sheilds us from the sun. We looked forward to seeing the old tree from afar off as we approached the quiet country road. And got ready to play within the shady environs while our mothers got their eats ready for a picnic spread on a large mat. The boys would each pick up a stick to ward off the monkeys from reaching for the bananas and peanuts from the picnic basket.The last time was when we drove around it since we were hard pressed for time visiting a friend's farm on the way to Mysore. The picturesque shady cool environs of the large tree provides some of the best locations for romantic and fighting sequences of many regional films. The tree also bears witness to several budding romances over the years.
Dodda Allada Mara is a treasure trove of biodiversity as it harbours different species of birds,bats,mynahs,squirrels,and insects within its massive canopy. Truly a heritage tree!
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