Cubbon Park, A sprawling lush Greenland occupying 197 acres of land in the heart of Bengaluru, It might have been instrumental in giving the city the moniker of “Garden City”. Everyone who lived in and visited Bengaluru would have been to this place at least once in their life. Cubbon Park has had a rich history spanning all the way to the colonial era. This place is more than a park, as someone born in Bengaluru, Cubbon Park connotes a plethora of emotions. It is a place which embodies romance and culture, it is a union of diverse sagas and valour.
The park is named after Sir Mark Cubbon, Chief Commissioner of Mysore, and covers over a hundred acres. It contains the public offices, built in 1868 by Col(now sir) Richard Sankey before which an equestrian statue of Sir Mark Cubbon, the band promenade, and the Government Museum. In addition to carriage drives and broad promenades, there are many tortuous paths and shady nooks which all help to provide a pleasant retreat, whether for pleasure or rest.
-From the caption of an 1890’s picture of Cubbon Park, part of the Curzon Collection’s “Souvenir of Mysore” album
Cubbon Park originally was called Meade’s park, under whose tutelage the park grew to enormous heights, but he is seldom acknowledged, it was following named Cubbon Park in honor of the longest serving commissioner of Mysore. It has been the center of key government activities since time immemorial, the Attara Kacheri(18 offices), the acclaimed Neo-classical Greek styled building, served as the administrative office during the Mysore State era and it is now presently functioning as the high court of Karnataka. It is also home to Vidhana Soudha, which serves as the legislative house to the Karnataka Government. Sheshadri Iyer Memorial hall built in the honor of the second longest serving dewan of Mysore, and is currently a library which houses a vast collection of books.
The most major aspect of Cubbon park is its Flora and Fauna, which is the reason for its contemporary fame, When you enter the park through its main gate, you are welcomed by coconut trees on adjacent sides, like a military formation of soldiers in discipline to welcome their monarch, Sheshadri Iyer Memorial hall is visible on the horizon and in its front yard is a beautiful rose garden which has innumerable breeds of roses and other flowering plants and in the centre is the encirclement of grassland with flowering plants adorning it like gems in a crown and in its eye is a towering lamp which illuminates the area at night, in the mornings, young and old alike are seen exercising in communal harmony.
A complex network of roads is laid out in a way which seamlessly integrates with the park and allows commuters to bask in its beauty as they drive to reach their destinations, it is a common sight to see parents teaching their children to ride bicycles. The roads are all connected by all the entrances and exits and is connects the dots to all the key places, the tennis court, the high court, the metro stations, vidhana soudha, vikasa soudha and Bal Bhavan.
The park is home to a lot of activities, It can arguably said that this place has housed a lot of cultural movements which has spread like wildfire across the city, It is the starting point of marathons which focused on social causes, it was the first stage for various indie musicians, rich in sculptures by made by aspiring artists. Unlike lalbagh which has had lots of authorities in its development and management. I feel Cubbon Park is a park which embodies lot of people’s feel to it, makes it feel more authentic. In a way, it is not rigid.
It houses a lot of non-conventional activities such as Dog shows, extreme sports like skateboarding and roller skating, and Music Jams, like I mentioned earlier all the people involved in this breathe life into the park. The families who come with their children to spend their time there, it paints a beautiful picture. The 12.5-acre children’s park is filled with things every child loves Miniature trains, swings, playgrounds and everything else a child needs to have a fantastic time.
The park has been an integral part of my life and I recommend everyone young or old, native or migrant, student, and working professionals to enjoy everything the park has to offer and bask in its beauty. It opens its doors to everyone whether they having a good day or a bad day, if you have a breakup or a successful love, if you failed or passed your exams, no matter what, Cubbon Park is there for you. Just take the time and smell the flowers.