This place was about 25kms from ISCKON. The route was pretty simple, go on chord road all the way till the end where it meets Magadi road, Then go on Magadi road, towards magadi. On that road after about 13kms there is diversion to the left. There is no signboard there, but then most people know about the place, so I guess you would not have trouble locating the which left. The diversion to the left, is a very small beautiful nice lane kind of road.
The place, itself was not that great. There is a park kind of stuff, and inside the park there is this banyan tree. Apparently the original big tree has died and fallen down, and right now there are 5-6, big banyan trees which apparently were the part of the big tree earlier.
For me the fun part of this trip was going on the cycle. Overall it was 50kms, I have never done 50km cycle before on one day. But it was little taxing, especially because the roads were up and down. But forget the tiredness and everything else, the worst thing about this cycles is that your bum pains a lot, so if you ever plan to cycle, get a good cushion seat.
We all were supposed to carry the placard, when we cycle. And it was fun, to see people reading the banner and smiling. My placard was related to safe sex and prevention of AIDS, and most people would read it and giggle. It was fun. There were couple of people who stopped me, to ask me about Jagruthi and that was good to see. But most funny thing was this guy stopping me and asking me if I was distributing free condoms !!
Below is one of the pic which I took with some of the kids who were really fascinated with the cycle. The second pic has the placard that I was carrying all along the way on my cycle.
PS1: Jagruthi is a NGO which works for AIDS awareness. In their Bangalore home they house about 80 children, some of them HIV+, some who have been sexually abused, etc. Jagruthi tries to educate this kids, and also provide them some vocational training.
PS2: Apparently according to the survey of 2007 by National AIDS control Organization there are about 2.5M people living with AIDS in India, which is about 0.36% of total population. Karnataka accounts for about 11.2% of the AIDS cases in India, which is third in list after Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh. It is also very interesting to note that, Mahashtra, AP, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for about 60% of the AIDS cases. I was surprised at this stats, because I thought that AIDS was more prevalent in North India, but apparently this does not seem to be true.
PS3: Some of the pictures of Big Banyan Tree place,
One of the trees
All the tree trunks have all kind of graffiti
Another view of the same tree.