Friday, February 29, 2008

Subbarayanakere

Amble Anniah Pandit Park, more widely known as Subbarayanakere, on the Chamaraja Double Rd. was a tank some decades back. Some years from now, it would be a welcome woodland in the heart of the city. The Mysore civic authorities have devoted much care, and spent money and energy on landscaping and planting trees in this park that is right in the middle of a densely housed locality. The park has some ageing trees, one of which is worshipped by residents in the neighbourhood. In depressing contrast to the emerging greenary in the park, the streets around the park could badly do with some tree cover.
It is not as if the people and the establishments – such as cinema theatre, and petrol bunk - located around the park cannot be persuaded sponsor tree-planting on pavements. Students of a college across the park would be happy to volunteer labour; and nearby residents, who offer puja at the grand old tree in the park, wouldn’t grudge planting some saplings in front of their houses and nurse them into pavement trees. Such as these ones on a street close to the park.A lot of people want to sponsor saplings and take care of the roadside ones, if only they knew how to go about it. Neighborhood residents welfare association or a green agency could step in here.
The Amble Anaiah park was a tank about a century back, named after Subbaraya, a religious person of the 'Dasa' movement, during the days of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. According to veteran journalist Gouri Satya who lives in the neighbourhood, and whose wife has been a municipal corporation member, the then maharaja developed the water body into a tank, with steps built to facilitate devotees who visit the temples located round Subbarayanakere.Besides the Raghavendra and the Rama temples I counted three other places of worship on the fringe of the tank. Mr Satya says it is not clear how the tank went dry to give way for a park. His guess is outbreak of malaria in the area some time back could have led to the drying out of the tank that bred mosquitoes.

6 comments:

kallu said...

Very intersting and clear post. Shows people just how they can be proactive. HOpe you get some good results.

Guru said...

As far as my memory goes (1950s) Subbarayanakere was what I would call a dry large concave area resembling a park- the dried up remnant of a tank perhaps that existed near the turn of 20th century.

On our way back home from our middle school days on saturdays (this was a small private school in an old house, was run by an enthusiatic person, the headmaster, with a mix of good retired teachers and younger graduates), we used to cross this area on foot diagonally and on the way watch sights tadpoles
swimming in small paddles of water (then Mysore used to be a bit wet frequently), squirrels running around, birds pecking the greengrass for worms etc.. The grass was green and was not spread uniformly. There were sprinkling of wild bush. There were a few short trees which the squirrels and birds used very freely. For us this small detour was a kind of practical session in wildlife after our half day at the school.

Just ending our detour, we could see at the north bund of Subbarayanakere the superb sight of 3 very muscular Holstein bulls (they were wrongly called Jersey bulls which we accepted without question!) each tied to two poles on either side to keep them safe from the public. We were told that these were the first Vilayathi
(meaning Western) bulls with a private owner who got them for his breeding business, and looking at his large house opposite, he was very successful indeed!

I can well understand the argument about planting trees. But I am not sure how this helps at a time when Mysore is so full of automobiles of sorts,the roads have become huge car parks and the car becoming a status symbol for every Mysorean, a gift I am told often demanded by the bridegroom parents!! Is the call for tree planting a first sign towards catharsis by the car owners?

Dr YNI Anand said...

Like minded people may join together, make house to house visit, request the inmates of the house to look after the saplings after they are planted and then actually plant in front of the houses of whoever agrees. I am willing to be one of the volunteers.

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