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Timings : 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 2 - 3 hrs

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Big Banyan Tree, Bangalore Overview

The Big Banyan Tree or locally called as the Dodda Alada Mara is a 400 year old banyan tree in the village of Kethohalli near Bangalore. Sprawling over a vast 3 acres of land, the tree is one of the largest of its kind. In the 2000s, the tree got infected with a natural disease and the chief roots died of contamination. Ever since, the giant tree looks like an amalgamation of several smaller trees, with its roots still multiplying in number and size. Awning with at least a thousand aerial roots, Alada Mara covers a circumference of more than 250 metres.

The humongous tree is a scintillating example of nature’s marvels. Tourists from all over India gather here just to soak in the impeding sunlight amidst the labyrinth of its enormous roots. The tree has also been believed to symbolize the holy trinity of the Hindu gods- the roots, stem and branches represent Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively. Over the years, the big Banyan tree has been a witness to the state’s development, and is maintained and managed by the horticulture department of Karnataka. The area has been fenced, has neat little pathways and brightly painted cement seats and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions of Bangalore.

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Activities at the Big Banyan Tree

The dense aerial roots of Dodda Alada Mara provide just the adequate sunlight to match the temperature between cool and warm. The pleasant atmosphere and the picturesque location is an ideal spot for a day out or a picnic amidst nature’s bounty. It is also a hot spot for botany students, the spiritually inclined and the religious devotees. The gigantic tree is home to an extensive variety of rare birds including Drongo, Hoopoe, Doves and Pirnia. Several people visit just to spot one of these rare entities. If you’re lucky, you might catch a movie shoot, which is a usual sight at the spot.

Places to Visit at Big Banyan Tree

1. Lord Munisvara Temple is situated right inside the tree complex. The shrine was constructed sometime in the 2000s when the main trunk of the tree collapsed due to old age.
2. Mukti Naga Temple is another famous tourist spot around 10 kms on the way back to Bangalore. It houses the largest statue of Lord Naaga- 16 ft. tall. An interesting myth suggests that if you take 9 rounds of this temple and make a wish, you wish is bound to get fulfilled within 90 days.
3. Manchanabele Reservoir is a scenic dam, 10 kms on the road ahead to Mysore, away from Bangalore. If you have time at hand, you can club the two and go visit the stunning water reservoir.
4. Ranganathaswamy Temple is one the most famous Vishnu temples of South India, is located a 100 kms away, on the Bangalore- Mysore highway.
5. Melkote Temple is another popular attraction, set up by Ramanuja Acharya in 12th AD. It is located on the same Bangalore- Mysore highway, at a distance of around 120 kms from Dodda Alada Mara.

Haunted Stories of the Big Banyan Tree

It is a common belief in India that witches, evil spirits and stray beings nestle in dense ancient trees, banyan and neem topping the list. Big Banyan Tree or Dodda Alada Mara is a 400 year old tree with an extensive canopy, elaborate roots and covers an enormous area. It is believed that the area is haunted by a lot of evil spirits. Locals believe that straying in the tree premises has bought major misfortune to many. Some people also claim to have seen figures dressed in white, during the late hours of the night. The atmosphere presents a very eerie picture during the dusk hours and in the night. It is therefore advisable, not to wander off in the area post evening.

Tips For Visiting Big Banyan Tree

1. The area is replete with monkeys considering the tree spot. It is advisable to carry all your things in a bag. Avoid food items. But if you do bring some, make sure they are packed properly. You wouldn't like to be harassed by a bunch of monkeys.
2. The place has dustbins installed all over. We request you to not litter and dispose off the garbage in the bins.
3. Some people have carved graffiti on the trunk of the tree. We request you to refrain from doing any such activity to preserve the national heritage.
4. Carry your sunglasses or hats for the sunlight.
5. Considering the population of monkeys, take good care of your bags, cameras, phones and other stuff.
6. It is advisable not to wear jewellery or carry valuable stuff.

How To Reach Big Banyan Tree

The tree is located around 28 kms from Bangalore on the Bangalore- Mysore highway. It can be reached in a private taxi cab or you can also drive down in your own vehicle. Take the Mysore Road and drive 7 kms, then take a right at Ramohalli Crossing. Alternatively, you can go in a public bus. State buses run from Majestic to Kanjeri, change at Kanjeri to reach Dodda Alada Mara. Or you can also take a direct bus from K. R. Market to Dodda Alada Mara.

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Kovid Kapoor 1 year ago
We went on a Sunday bike ride to the Big Banyan Tree, also known in Kannada as Dodda Alada Mara, during the monsoon. As usual in Bangalore, the weather was brilliant for a long bike ride. We rode mainly on the ring road, then the NICE road, and then the last few kms to the spot. The place itself is very interesting - it's quite intriguing to see a since tree which has grown so many huge offshoots. Walking inside the park feels like you are inside a forest of banyan trees. The tourism dept. has made a few benches to sit in the park and enjoy the scenery, and are also reconstructing a temple inside the park. It makes for a nice bike ride (or long drive) from the city.

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