As the title suggest, we wanted to start our first stroll exploring one of the oldest residential localities of Bangalore. We have great deal of affinity with this area having studied in one of the iconic schools here. Well planned with wide, tree canopied roads, it still retains the old world charm of Bangalore. Spare few hours to explore Basavanagudi this weekend.
Lalbagh West gate - Vidyarthi Bhavan (Gandhi Bazar) - Bugle rock park - Big bull temple - Dodda Ganesha temple - Ramanjaneya park - Gavi Gangadhareshwra temple - Ramakrishna Ashram.
Distance - 4.5 KMs
Let us start.
Start point - Lalbagh
We recommend you getting up early. Drive to Lalbagh and park your vehicle in the parking area near the hillock (red pointer on the map). The entry is via KH Road (double road) or Hosur Road.
Go for a stroll in Lalbagh. It is a exhilarating experience to be in Lalbagh on a morning. On a clear morning, sunrise from the hillock is a memorable experience. You can walk, run, explore, sit on a bench with your favourite book/music or simply do nothing and indulge in Human watching! Inhale some fresh air in the middle of the congested city.
Stop 1 - Vidyarthi Bhavan
After spending an hour in Lalbagh, walk on a tree lined Madhava Rao road to Vidyarthi Bhavan for a yummy breakfast of Butter Masala Dosa. This iconic restaurant established in 1943 is best known for this delicacy. Make sure you order two dosas at a time. Lest you will have to wait long for the second dosa! Note that the restaurant will be closed on Fridays.
Stop 2 - Bugle rock Park, Big Bull temple and Dodda Ganesha temple
Breakfast done, explore the flower market on the streets of Gandhi Bazaar outside the restaurant. It is an excellent opportunity for some colourful pictures. Walk along DVG road to reach Bugle Rock park. A small hillock with boulders strewn around, the park is well preserved and canopy of huge Java rain trees provide the green cover. Climb over to the vantage point on the "Bugle rock" where soldiers used to sound bugle at retreat and reveille. If you want to know more on this park, please click here
Through bugle rock park enter the Bull Temple and Big Ganesha temple which are next to each other. The bull temple was built in 1537 by a local chieftain under Vijayanaga Kings. The temple houses Nandi monolith, one of the biggest in the world. The name "Basavanagudi" translates to "Bull temple" (Basava = Bull and Gudi = Temple). The Ganesha temple has one of the largest idols of Lord Ganesha in the country.
Stop 3 - Ramanjaneya Hill Park
Having got the divine blessings of Ganesha, walk across the road to Ramanjaneya Hill. A small hill which has a lovely statue of Lord Rama and Hanuman in embrace. It has a nice park if you want to rest a while.
Stop 4 - Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
|The temple atop Ramanjaneya hill|
Climb down the steps from Ramanjaneya hill and head straight to the cave temple of Lord Shiva. Known as Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple, this is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore built in 9th century.
|Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple|
For more information you may click on this link.
Stop 5 - Sri Ramakrishna Ashram
With blessings of Shiva, walk to serenity amidst chaos of the city - Sri Ramaksrishna Ashram or Math as it is now called. Acres of green island which is deep in spirituality. Spend few minutes meditating in the lovely prayer hall housing the pictures of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda and Matha Sharada Devi. Walk up to the small boulder on which Matha Sharada Devi meditated. Browse in the book shop to pick up excellent books on spirituality.
|Statue of Swami Vivekananda in the Ramakrishna square (Photo Courtesy - Srinivasa S)|
|Meditation hall and main shrine of Ramakrishna Ashram (Photo Courtesy - Suma)|
For more information on ashram, you can click the link below.
By now you would be tired and would not mind a good lunch. Get into an auto-rickshaw and round it up with a meal in iconic Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR - Closed on Mondays) near Lalbagh Maingate. After lunch, walk through Lalbagh to your vehicle to round up the stroll.
Postscript - Being walkers, we did create this stroll route for someone like us. If you do not want to walk, you can do the same route by driving/cycling around. After spending time in Lalbagh, you can pick up your vehicle and explore these paces.
Another option is to travel from Lalbagh to Vidyarthi Bhavan on your vehicle and explore remaining parts on foot, return to Vidyarthi Bhavan, pick up your vehicle and move to MTR for lunch.
If you have more time, there are extensions to this walk. If you are a foodie like us, there are many more places where you can savour some tasty stuff. Write to us if you are keen to explore further in Basavanagudi. Happy to help.
Look forward to more to come in this series on other neighbourhoods in the city.....
Other interesting posts on Bengaluru on this blog
Sundays are meant to be in Sunday Bazar!
Chitra Santhe - The "Art Mart" of Bengaluru
Lalbagh - The famous botanical garden in Bangalore.
Vidyarthi - Student
Bhavan - A meeting place
Masala Dosa - Indian pancake made of rice and lentil stuffed with potato filling. Served with spicy chutney.
Nandi - Bull, Mythological vehicle of Lord Shiva
Vijayanagara - A medieval dynasty which ruled south India.
Ganesha - The elephant god in Hindu pantheon.
Rama - The hero of Hindu epic - Ramayana. A reincarnation of Lord Vishnu one of the trinity in Hindu pantheon.
Hanuman - Hindu god and ardent devotee of Lord Rama.
Gavi - Cave in Kannada language
Gangadhareshvara - Another name for Lord Shiva
Ramakrishna - A venerable saint of India.
Vivekananda - Hindu Monk. Disciple of Saint Ramakrishna.
Sharada Devi - Holy consort of Saint Ramakrishna
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