Saturday, 9 February 2013

The park with 3,000 species of plants

Mention parks and gardens in Bangalore and the first words you hear are Lalbagh and Cubbon Park. These two swatches of green have become so famous that Bangalore is nothing without them.
The Lalbgah and Cubbon Park have had such an overwhelming presence that they have put all other parks in the shade.
These two parks are marked as a must see on the tourist map. Unfortunately, no mention is made of other parks either by the tour operators or even by the Government.
Thus, tourists and even many Bangaloreans miss the greenery of other parks. These parks may not match Lalbagh and Cubbon Park in size or even in the variety of flora. However, they can give us a sense of  Bangalore’s diversity and also its green heritage.
One such park is the Kariappa Memorial Park.
This park is situated right across MG Road, one of the busiest and happening roads of Bangalore. Though no Bangalore has missed a trip this road, I am sure at least 90 per cent of them have given this beautiful park a miss.
Though this park is of recent origin, it has quickly made a name for itself as one of the most imaginatively laid out garden of green. It occupies a portion of the vast Parade Grounds between MG Road and Cubbon Road.
The park was officially opened to the public in 1996 and it is built in memory of Field Marshal K.M. Kariappa. The park occupies 22 acres and it is divided into six sectors or segments.
An entrance plaza and a seven feet high monolith monument dedicated to Kariappa welcomes you to the park. There is also a wonderful man-made waterfall and a pond that attracts birds. Interestingly, the park is maintained by the various divisions of the Indian Army.
Every fortnight, six military bands perform at the bandstand, which is set amidst an elevated lush green lawn. The lawns provide  comfortable seating for the visitors.
The park also boats of a scientifically created play area for  children. This is built in military style in order to improve the physical capability and mental intensity of the children.
The play area of the park is divided into several segments such as  Burma bridge, Tarzan swing, Zig Zag tunnels, spider webs, sand pits and balance bars.
There is also a 1.8 kilometre long walking  path paved with cobble stone. There are more than 3000 species of plants on both sides of this track and in other parts of the park. The plants belong to both indigenous and imported species among them. The Defence authorities do not use insecticides and pesticides for the growth and maintenance of trees and shrubs.
This is perhaps the only park in Bangalore with a waterfall.
You can visit the park on Saturdays between 1 p.m.,  and 7 p.m.,  and on Sundays between 9 a.m.,  and 7 p.m. During other weekdays, the park is open to visitors from 5:30 p.m., to 8 p.m.
Getting to the park is no problem at all. It is just opposite the Oriental building, now called Anil Kumble Circle on MG Road. Shivajinagar bus terminus is just a few minutes walk from the park.
Apart from the park, hop onto the metro and ride till Baiappanahalli and back. MG road, of course, is just around the corner. So you have a park, road, metro and a major bus terminus nearby. In addition you have scores of historic churches such as St Mark’s Cathedral, St Andrews Church, East Parade Church. The BRV Cinema is a monument to look and gaze.
Just a mile away is Cubbon Park and its surroundings. What more do you want. Head to the park and then decided what to do.        

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