We meet a lot of people every day. Some stay with us, and some are just visitors – they leave as quickly as they come into our lives. I don’t always remember these visitors but I do whenever we do something worth remembering together – like visiting the Big Banyan Tree – and it was my first as well.
I met this traveller, who shuttles between Chennai and Bangalore often because of work, on couchsurfing.com, and we decided to explore Bangalore together. We started off with the Big Banyan Tree, located in the village of Kettohalli, Bengaluru. It’s only 28kms from Bangalore – off Bangalore-Mysore Rd.
We rode on his bike, which he had bought solely to explore Bangalore whenever he was here – through an industrial area, a railway track, mud roads, and finally, to the Big Banyan Tree. Conversation and the thrill of going to a new place for the first time kept us company all along. I remember the excitement all too well.
I live quite close to the Big Banyan Tree that’s 400yrs old and is spread across 3 acres of land… but could visit it only recently. It was sometime in February this year. Yes, it was Valentine’s week and there were a lot of couples at the park and that’s one of the reasons why they didn’t let us stick around for long. I wanted to loaf there for some more time, at least, until the sunset, but they shooed us away at around 5’o clock.
Couple’s paradise – you may call that. There was greenery, lamp-posts, wooden benches, corners to hide from any prying eyes. A perfect Valentine’s week hangout spot in my opinion. Err…but I went with a friend. Perhaps, next time…
Though I had a company, I sat there in silence absorbing the enormity of the gigantic spread of a tree that has stood the test of time…400yrs is no joke! The main root of the tree died sometime in 2000s. Now, the tree looks like many different trees but everything connected and intertwined, and looks like a work of a lazy artist. The tree had too many stories to tell to its visitants, however, we had very few hours to listen to it and be consumed in its mysteriousness. Perhaps, another day…
The growth was thick, and the sun rays that made it to the ground through the gaps between the leaves and the branches gave an eerie feeling to the place. It felt like I was in one of those places where I could find elves and little forest fairies if I waited long enough. It is a perfect ‘fantastical and mysterious’ place for a (aspiring) fantasy writer like me to sit all day and scribble away stories of magic and miracles. The place was soothing and inspiring, and will definitely find a mention in one of the stories I shall write.
Oh, by the way, there were many red-mouthed monkeys climbing trees and hoping to get treats from the visitors. It was fun watching them play. Then, there was a temple at one corner. The park is well-maintained, too.
All in all, it’s a good hangout spot if you like going on short road-trips and being close to the nature.