Tuesday 25 June 2013

A park where legends met

It is the second biggest rock in Bangalore after the one at Lalbagh. If the rock in Lalbagh is surrounded by an oasis of green, this rock too has a smaller garden. But what marks this out from Lalbagh is that this place is home to some of the most popular temple sin Bangalore.
This is the famous Bugle rock park in Basavanagudi and just adjacent to it is the Dodda Ganesha Temple and the temple of Basava. There are a few other temples in the vicinity and a host of educational institutions, kalyana mantapas and of course eateries.
But unlike many other parks in Bangalore, this one is literally and figuratively steeped in legends. For decades, it was the favourite place of some of the mightiest men who made their mark in Kannada literature to sit and exchange their notes.
One of Kannada’s all-time greats, DVG or D V Gundappa (1887-1975), the author of  Manku Thimanna Kagga, philosopher and a journalist, spent long evenings here chatting and talking about serious topics with another equally well-known legend of Kannada literature, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar (1891-1986).
A host of other equally eminent personalities from different walks of life would join DVG and Masti. Sometimes, T .P. Kailasam, would also drop in and sit across one of the many stone benches of the park.
However, the regulars included legendary Kannada journalist P R Ramaiah, whose Tainadu, is still spoken of today, A. N. Subba Rao, the founder of Kala Mandir at Gandhi Bazar, Nitoor Srinivasa Rau who later became the Chief Justice of the Mysore High Court and a well-known lawyer of  those times, M.P. Somashekar Rao.
Many walkers and visitors to the park found these people a familiar face for several years. Sitting on a stone bench and seriously discussing the events of the day.
Another regular to the DVG durbar was Prof. V.T. Srinivasan, founder and principal of Vijaya College, Bangalore. Old time residents of Gandhi Bazar even today recall the days when DVG and Masti relished the dosas and coffee at Vidyarthi Bhavan in Gandhi Bazar and walked down to Bugle Rock.
Incidentally, DVG has his house on what is today known as DVG road. His house has now given way to a commercial complex and the once serene DVG Road today is one of the major roads of Basavanagudi. Fortunately, Masti’s house in Basavanagudi is being maintained as a museum.
Both DVG and Masti considered Prof Bellave Venkatanaranappa, professor of physics in Central College, their guru and even his house was in Basavanagudi. He was among the first settlers of Basavanagudi and the founder of innumerable institutions which exists even today.
Coming back to the park, today it serves as a green canopied memorial to remember these literary greats. The outer wall of an old water tank in the has been decorated with murals of  Sir M. Visvesvaraiah, DVG, Masti, Kempe Gowda and other famous personalities.
There is also a statue of DVG in the park.
The Bugle Rock or Kahale in Kannada is a massive rock ad its age goes back to more than 3000 million years. The tower on the Bugle rock was used for sounding the bugle during the days of Kempe Gowda and the Wodeyars.
Most of the rocks on the Bugle Rock adjacent to the Bull Temple have hollows, which were once used to light lamps

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