Kengeri is perhaps one of the few neighbourhoods where the old and the new merge harmoniously
Kengeri, located roughly 14 km from the heart of Bangalore on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, is steeped in history with the Cholas, Hoysalas, Marathas, Wadiyars and Tipu Sultan having had a presence here. You still find traces of this rich heritage such as the Hoysala Circle, which has been named after the dynasty.
Remnants of past cultures still remain such as the large banyan tree, an old water tank, many temples, mosques, a church and the Radhasoami Satsang. It is believed that an Italian, Signor De Veechi introduced sericulture to Kengeri.
However, the area gets its name from the many coconut farms around it.
Kengeri is fast becoming a sought after residential locality owing to the rapid development it is witnessing. It is well-connected both by road and rail with Mandya railway station, Mysore Road and Kengeri Bus Terminal being the major links. There is also the ring road with a flyover on Mysore Road and the nearby NICE Road for easy commuting. It has bustling areas such as Nagarbhavi and Rajarajeshwarinagar for neighbours.
The Kengeri Satellite Township which was developed by the Bangalore Development Authority is today the point of confluence — where old meets new. Nestled inside are engineering, management and P.U. colleges, and several schools like S.J.R Kengeri Public School and Vidyaniketan. With numerous restaurants and darshinis dotting the area, it is teeming with youngsters from colleges and schools nearby.
Kengeri has been able to strike a balance between the young and the old. Senior citizens have their parks, libraries and laughter clubs while the youth have the restaurants. Hospitals like Sahana, Shreya and Indus are located in the vicinity. Being away from the noise and pollution of the city, and at the same time enjoying good connectivity, Kengeri has become home to many eminent politicians and film stars.
As originally intended, the Kengeri Satellite Township is quite self-sufficient and is quickly merging with the city.
Over the last 10 years, the area has seen tremendous development like the coming up of many new layouts and apartments, with the oldest being the K.H.B Colony also called Shirke. True to its name, this satellite town has almost everything within a 5-km radius — the property tax office, L.I.C. office, post office, railway station, telephone department, water department and electricity department.
A whiff of the new
Fresh fruits and vegetables make it first to Kengeri from the surrounding villages before they go to the rest of the city. Here, you can smell the changing season in the air, just like old times. When a festival is round the corner, be it Ganesh Chaturthi, Sankranti, Diwali, Id or Christmas, the atmosphere is lit up with a contagious festive spirit.
Most of the agricultural produce of the season is harvested at the time of these festivals, and in those days Kengeri smells of sugarcanes, mangoes and watermelons. For some more olfactory indulgence, you can walk to the forests of Bangalore University and take in the dense smell of the woods.
Though the word has spread about Kengeri, it still remains tranquil and somewhat detached from the noise and clutter of city life. It's perhaps one of the few neighbourhoods where old and the new exist harmoniously and it is often hard to decide which is better.