PARKS ARE SAID to be a city’s lungs. They are places where one can escape from the noises and fumes mainly created by traffic. On New Year’s Day 2023, we took a walk in Bangalore’s Cubbon Park. Almost as soon as we had entered it, the air seemed cleaner, and we experienced an uplifting sense of serenity.
Cubbon Park was laid out in 1870 under the direction of Major General Richard Sankey, British Chief Engineer of Mysore State. Initially named after Sir John Meade, it was later renamed to honour Sir Mark Cubbon (1775 – 1861), the longest serving Commissioner of Mysore State. The name was changed again in 1927 to Sri Chamarajendra Park, in honour of Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar (1863–1794), ruler of Mysore State when the park was created. There is a statue of this man in the park. Despite that change of name, the place is still popularly known as Cubbon Park. Even the recently built metro station at the northern edge of the park has that name.
The popular park has plenty of trees that provide shade. Many different species grow in the park, several of them flowering trees. Footpaths cris-cross the park, but visitors do not need to be confined to them. A main road winds its way through the verdant landscape, but this is closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays.
Words are inadequate to convey the joys of Cubbon Park. Only by entering this lovely island of nature in Bangalore’s ocean of urban development can one appreciate the beauty and delightfulness of this city’s important green lung.