Mysore's lung spaces

URBAN GREENERY

Mysore's  lung spaces

Mysore’s roads have many trees that are over 60-70 years old. They not only enhance the beauty of the cityscape, but provide respite from summer’s searing heat, reports Lakshman T Naik

Two districts in the State that people associate with scorching summer are Bellary and Raichur. Among the districts that are known for their pleasant weather, apart from Bangalore, of course, is Mysore. However, this summer, even Mysore was not spared, with temperatures crossing 36 degree celsius. What, however, came as a respite for Mysoreans are the huge trees that line the roads here. Not only do they enhance the beauty of the City, but also help lower temperatures.

Take the road that starts from the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) office building and touches Kukkarahalli. Huge trees line this three-km-stretch, and bring relief to evening walkers.

Most of the trees here are gulmohar trees and are in full bloom, adding to the beauty of the road. But the moment the road touches the University, one can feel the heat again.

The same applies to Valmiki road, which is full of greenery. Also, Ballal Circle Road — the sight of trees on this road is a feast to the eye. The road that passes through Pilot Road, and Suburban bus stand, further touches the taluk office and the SP’s office. The gulmohar and sampige trees on this road vie with each other for attention.
Most of the trees that line Mysore’s roads are honne, matti, teak, sandal wood, sampige, neem, etc.

Key green space

The Chamundi hill is another important lung space of Mysore. A 613-acre-area of the hill is home to many medicinal plants. Even the central region of Mysore houses many such medicinal plants. Mysore is known to have 98 varieties of flower-bearing plants.
“The credit for such huge ancient trees that dot Mysore’s cityscape should go to the royals who ruled the region for centuries.

There are trees that are over 60-70 years old,” explains retired botany lecturer of Mysore’s JSS Women's College G K Chandrashekar.

Unsung green man

The association of the word saalumara (row of trees) is almost immediately with that of Thimmakka. Another green enthusiast who stayed away from the limelight was Gowdegowda. Hailing from Sunkatonnur in Pandavapura taluk, he got saplings planted on either side of the roads in the region.

Gowda continues to live in people’s memories, thanks to these trees he planted back in the Sixties. There are dozens and dozens of trees on the third and fourth mile of the road that passes between Bevinakuppe and Shambhunahalli village, all planted by Gowdegowda at one point.

His family members continue to take care of these trees. There are as many as 300 trees that he planted. Though the Forest Department has tried to take over the possession of these trees, the family has remained firm, and continues to manage them.

Apart from planting saplings, Gowda also had also installed stone benches here and there on the road, for the benefit of tired wayfarers.

Today, some of those benches have disappeared, but the trees remain, forming a dense canopy and providing much-needed relief from the scorching sun during the summer months.

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