From this month, I am adding a Travel section to this blog. I have often spoken about my love about travel, but rarely blogged about my travel adventures here. For now, I plan to publish at least one travel post per month. This month I bring you all the greenery and freshness of Cubbon Park, Bangalore.
Place: Office Cafeteria
My colleague-cum-friend, and a wonderful travel partner by now, Pooja, asks me if I want to go to Cubbon Park this weekend. I don’t even think before saying yes. I don’t even know where Cubbon Park is, what is special there. I just say yes, because it’s been a long time since I went somewhere.
So on fourth of June, Saturday, Pooja and I reach Cubbon Park around 2.30 PM. We both are hungry and bubbling with energy. The first thing I observe are the tall trees flanking the roads, and people in black-and-white dresses coming out of a office. Lawyers. “Is there a court here?” I ask Pooja. “Yes,” she replies. I exclaim what a wonderful place it is to work, surrounded by greenery.
There are benches under the trees. We go sit in one. We have brought lunch with us. I made aloo parathes, which unfortunately, got cold. Pooja made some really spicy pasta. Few feet away from us, a family of pigeons and squirrels are also having their lunch. Squirrels are my favourite! I feel privileged to sit by their side and eat my lunch. It is perhaps the most natural lunch that I ate in my life.
Lunch beside squirrels (though I don’t think they are much visible in this)
After we finish eating, we venture out. “There’s an aquarium somewhere nearby,” Pooja says. “Sure, let’s check it out.”
On the way to the aquarium, we see the wonderful statues they have made from tree trunks.
The entry fee at in the Goverment Aquarium is a mere five rupees. I am surprised by the fact that you can get to see something for so cheap in Bangalore. There is a good collection of fish in there, in two separate stories. The room is dimly lit, except the fish tanks. It is a psychedelic experience. We meet the parrot fish, whose pouts Pooja admires. We learn that parrot fish, once tamed, will eat food from our hands. We also see snake-head fish, whose heads really do resemble snakes. Some fish are restless, moving across the tank in second’s time. Some are patient and float slowly, especially the lone long-nosed fish.
Parrot Fish at the Aquarium, Cubbon Park
After the aquarium, it is time for the Children’s park. Pooja wants to get on some rides. As a child, I haven’t ridden much. I am the more viewer type. Plus, my mother didn’t appreciate spending bucks on some thrill that lasts few minutes. But today is different. I want to try out something new, with Pooja. Her enthusiasm is catchy. She asks if I will be scared. I say, “Not at all.”
It is not really fear that I am feeling as I sit on the boat-shaped swing, though I watch from time to time at the mechanical joints. What happens if the hinge breaks? Slowly, the boat is filled with little children and a few adults. After some time, it swings into motion. High and high we go, and then whoosh, we come down. I know I hate this coming-down feeling. My stomach feels empty. The air is filled with the screams of the little children. They scream as the boat rises, they scream as the boat comes down. They are giggling, but they are screaming. I am suddenly transported to my childhood days when all my classmates would shout wildly in the few minutes the teachers left us alone. The smile on my face grows wider and wider.
After the swinging, it is time to do some break-dance. It is Pooja’s favourite ride. For the next few moments, I discover what it must feel like to be a piece of cloth in the washing machine, or an onion in the mixer grinder. The accelerations are sharp and erratic. I am hurled into Pooja and vice versa. We laugh non-stop.
By the time I jump down the break-dance, I am bubbling with energy. I hardly feel that we have walked for so long. My childhood is back with me.
After the rides, we roam some more. We take a few pictures. We see Karnataka High Court. I pose beside the lion in front of the High Court gate, determined to look ferocious. I hardly manage to stop smiling.
Who’s the scary one?
After this we see some more wood carvings. I take a panorama picture in front of the Library housed inside Cubbon Park. After two hours of breathing in the freshest air, we leave the Park.
Visiting the Cubbon Park was one of the most exhilarating experience I had since coming to Bangalore. I live near Whitefield, which is hardly as beautiful and decorated as MG Road. It was refreshing to see that part of Bangalore.
If you are travelling from Kadugodi/Hope Farm/ITPL, you can take 335E bus which will directly take you to Corporation. Cubbon Park is a few minutes walk from there. If you do go there, do not forget to also visit the Vidhana Soudha, which is the legislative building of Karnataka. It is a majestic building, imposing in its own right. There are small eateries selling popcorn, corns, juices in many places inside the park in case you’re hungry.
If you have a kid, Cubbon Park is one of the must-visit places for you.