Saturday, November 28, 2009

Residents say jai ho, Jayanagar

Residents say jai ho, Jayanagar

PK Surendran



Jayanagar may be known for many things, but one of its claims to fame has to be the fact that no less than three co-founders of Infosys call it home, among them Infosys chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy.
India's top IT Trinity taking up residence in this part of town is perhaps the biggest endorsement of Jayanagar as one of the three most coveted residential areas in the city. Little wonder then that a square foot of land here sells for Rs15,000 – Rs 17,000 (here's a little trivia: the original plots of land here were sold at the now bizarre-sounding rates of 50 paise per sq ft). "Owning a house in Jayanagar is like owning property in New York," says S S Nayak, a property dealer.
"Murthy loved this place; he used to drive around and have dosa at one of the local eating joints," recalls Dr RS Surendra, a physician who has lived in Jayanagar for 40 years and who knows the Murthy family closely. But it is not Murthy alone who loves the area. "We once made a liberal estimate and found that at least 10 percent of Karnataka's celebrities and an equal number of corporate honchos have property here or live here," says Ashok Maheshwari, chairman, Intellect Outsource Pvt Ltd. Anil Kumble, cinestar Vishnuvardhan, Golden Star Ganesh are just a few. The number of corporate head honchos living here is no less considerable.
Located in south Bangalore, Jayanagar is bounded by Mico-BTM Layout to its east, Lalbagh Lake to the north, Banashankari to the west and JP Nagar to the south. Dating back to late 50s, it is one of the 17 planned residential areas in India after Independence and is believed to be the largest planned residential area in Asia. Lakshman Rao, the then-administrator, and some British urban planners are said to have contributed to making Jayanagar what it is today.
What makes Jayanagar great?
It is one of Bangalore's best laid out residential areas with wide (widest, say residents) roads with a liberal sprinkling of parks and green spaces. The locality also borders Lalbagh, Bangalore's green heart. Suresh Bhatt, one-time secretary of Bangalore South Residents' Association, uses only superlatives for Jayanagar.
Nine blocks and 15 lakh people, each block with a welfare association, eight parks, wide roads, two malls (one opening soon), 31 schools and colleges, five premium hotels, several restaurants and shopping complexes, two cinema halls, super bazaars, hospitals and even a pub! The Jayanagar Shopping Complex in IV Block is a thriving commercial centre. The 4th Main Road, also known as Nanda Road, is a beautiful boulevard running north to south from Southend Circle to 44th Cross in 5th block for almost 2 km and is characterised by well-maintained parks on either side. It is the only such road in Bangalore.
Jayanagar I Block is primarily a residential locality. It is a very quiet place and quite a contrast to the rest of the city. Jayanagar IV Block is well-known for being a hub of shops, restaurants and fast food centres. Residents say Jayanagar is self-contained, with good schools, colleges, hospitals and retail outlets in the area. "Roads and connectivity are excellent here," says R Kumar, a physiotherapist who moved here three years ago.

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