Dodda Alada Mara-The timeless tree
Dodda Alada Mara, literally meaning ‘Big Banyan Tree’ in Kannada language, is at a distance of nearly 28 kilometers from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. It is a massive 400 year old Banyan tree near to the area Kengeri, in the village of Ramohalli situated off to ‘Bangalore-Mysore’ Road. Dodda Alada Mara is the 4th biggest banyan tree in the world, after world’s biggest trees in Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata and Chennai.
Mythological significance of Dodda Alada Mara
In India, a banyan tree is revered due to its mention in our scriptures. It is often considered as the symbolic representation of fertility because of its enormous canopy and countless roots. Dodda Alada Mara totally lives up to these expectations owing to the massive canopy it has. The roots are symbolic of Brahma, stems of Vishnu and branches of Shiva.
The largesse of Dodda Alada Mara
With a very large canopy, this single tree encompasses around 3 acres of land and has a top circumference of more than 120 meters. It has more than a thousand aerial roots and the highest branch rises to 95 meters. However back in 2000s, the central root of the tree was diseased, giving it an appearance of multiple trees conjoined together in clusters.
Being one of the largest of its kind, the tree offers a beautiful vision of greenery .The visitors can sit in the cool shade on the benches to appreciate this beauty. One can see myriad small roots, which have not yet touched the ground sprouting up. The cobbled pathway gives it the look of a park. A restaurant offering food and water has been opened by the Tourism Department. One can visit temple of Shiva also in the enclosure.
With the fenced boundaries and serene surroundings, Dodda Alada Mara is an ideal place to spend a relaxing day, in complete solitude, away from a city’s hustle and bustle .It is an ideal picnic spot, for people of all age groups to unwind in nature’s companionship.
Other places of interest near Dodda Alada Mara
Dodda Alada Mara has been maintained very neatly under the aegis of ‘Bank of Maharashtra. One can breathe fresh air under the sprawling tree. Savanadurga hill and backwaters of Manchinabele reservoir further intensify the beauty of this tranquil place. There is a small temple called ‘Mukti Naga Temple’ in the vicinity of Dodda Alada Mara. The temple has a statue of ‘Lord Naaga’, 16 feet tall and 36 tone in weight, which is world’s largest monolithic statue.
How to reach Dodda Alada Mara
The place is well-connected and tourists can hire taxis, autos and private vehicles .There is direct connectivity to Dodda Alada Mara via bus also from Majestic, Bangalore’s main bus stand.