Thursday, September 02, 2004

A walk in the park in Basavanagudi

Oasis of tranquility amidst hustle and bustle

Times of India

Bangalore: Basavanagudi is synonymous with parks and landscapes. Steeped in history, this vast expanse of beautiful tree-lined avenues has turned into a major stress buster for its denizens: a transformation over the last five years.

Basavanagudi has 11 parks and each one, a landmark in itself. On funds for parks, area representatives admit, “Sky is the limit,” notwithstanding sporadic public outcry of “a bit too much” from some quarters.

A walk in the park is a routine for the denizens. Says Geetha Ramalingam, a college lecturer, “We used to form small teams and spend half an hour in the park in the mornings and evenings. Gradually, it grew into an association. And, now we are into many social activities.” Geetha is joined by her mother-in-law Malathi and her college-going daughter Videesha.

The past five years have seen a dramatic change in the landscape. Take the seven-acre Ramanjaneya Gudda. The temple had an abandoned look about it with creepies and crawlies all around. Today, Ramanjaneya Gudda is Basavanagudi’s beauty spot. A lush green lawn contoured with a beautiful pathway on the hill. With music, water falls and light shows to soothen fatigued minds, the hill attracts some 300 people during weekdays, day and night. During weekends the number simply doubles. A total family entertainment.

Another unique park is the 16-acre Bugle Rock. It was just a rock known for nefarious activities that took place there. Old timers recall seeing dead bodies hanging from trees. Today it’s lush with greenery, a well-known landmark. “Though close to the main road, Bugle Rock with its artistic elevation and welcoming lungspace is a perfect getaway,” says a regular walker.

Krishna Rao Park was once an abandoned site. Now it is teeming with activity, with a children’s play area on one half and a garden on the other. “The look of the park is tempting, we hate to be in our houses,” gushes Seshadri M.N., a bank manager, who resides just across the road. Ditto at Madhavan park.

A 17-acre Fantasy Park will soon come up in Basavanagudi. There will be train and boat rides, computer games for children, birthday party halls, dinosaur shows, a gym and much more.This is another gift to the area to be readied in a few months,” MLA K. Chandrashekar says proudly. Basavanagudi will have another six parks. “Kempambudi Lake will have a park surrounding the lake and then the 46-acre lake will be all yours,” he declares.

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