Far from the crowded city centre, Varthur is a preferred address for several gated communities
What was once a village is now a semi-urban neighbourhood. Varthur's story lies in that transition.
“We have heard from our elders that the area used to be called Varpuri. The original settlers of the area, the farmers, are nowhere to be seen today. Almost 75 per cent of those who traditionally lived here have relocated. They sold their land and left,” said Janardhan, who has lived in Varthur for the past 65 years.
Long-time residents like Janardhan feel the locality has witnessed serious transformation in the form of better roads, infrastructure and discernible construction activity only in the last seven years.
“Nearby areas like Marathahalli used to be a part of the Varthur constituency. Then the locality became part of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. Gradually, we saw significant changes in terms of road connectivity and street lights,” said Arun Kumar, a resident of the area working at a private firm.
The entrance to Varthur is flagged by a lake. The road running parallel to this lake, popularly known as the ‘kere road' connects Varthur to Marathahalli and Whitefield.
Drawn by the tranquillity
Located at a distance from the centre of the city, the area houses employees of the software industry as well as a community of expatriates and NRIs that have chosen to settle in the neighbourhood because of its tranquil location.
“When we first came here around 7 years ago, there was nothing. It was just a barren land with the Sai Baba ashram serving as an important landmark. Today, there are tonnes of builders. The area has many gated communities, schools that offer ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE, and many hospitals too,” said Sangeetha, a resident of Mahadevapura, close to Varthur.
The model of a gated community, Sangeetha said, works well for most residents of the area. “It's like a bubble — everything is available inside. There is a play area for children, and parks. It is a family-oriented community,” she explained.
Water isn't too far away
Of course, there are the questions of whether the supply of water and electricity to the area is sufficient. “There is no Cauvery water here. Most of the gated communities get water tankers everyday. Around 50 tankers come in,” said Sangeetha. Residents at the entrance of Varthur say the lake makes it easier to find groundwater.
This journey to being a modern residential hub has received mixed response. “Yes, we have better connectivity than before, but the area has become crowded. On any week day, the main road is congested with vehicles and often, there is too much noise,” said Shridhar, who owns a shop on the main road.
Then, he added, “It is quite understandable why people would move into this area. It is quiet, away from the crowded centre of the city. People move in here for some peace of mind.”