Yediyur is the core that gave birth to landmark neighbourhoods such as Jayanagar and Basavanagudi
Between impeccably planned neighbourhoods and posh streets of high culture, lie tiny enclaves with less glitz and narrower roads than the areas wrapped around them.
Yediyur is one such old-time village that gave rise to Bangalore's landmark localities of Basavanagudi and Jayanagar. So, the little neighbourhood decided it would be laid back and traditional, retaining its maze of twisting lanes, low roofed houses and traditional shops. Walking down a calm street, this writer was surprised out of her stroll by a bevy of cows emerging from behind a haystack.
Village at heart
“That way, Yediyur is still a village,” laughs K.V. Chandramathi, a resident of Yediyur for about 49 years. Small temples and idols of various deities are seen on raised platforms under huge peepal trees here. A few modern structures and departmental stores are coming up here and there. Yet, the local market is the most thriving part of the area.
Yediyur is said to have been a village that formed under the Hoysala rule nearly 1,400 years ago. It is called ‘Pattalamma Thavaruru' in Kannada, meaning the birth place of goddess Pattalamma, the local deity invoking whom the ‘Oor Habba' (village festival) begins every year.
For residents like Chandramathi, even the first signs of development and modernity in her beloved neighbourhood have not been encouraging.
“Fifty years ago, children used to swim in the lake whose water was used to irrigate the agricultural fields here. Today, the water is neither used for drinking nor is there a field to be watered, and children are not allowed to swim in the lake. Though there is a path around the lake where people can jog or walk, the water itself is just ornamental, which to me doesn't make sense,” she says.
Although the cosy neighbourhood has all the necessary amenities within accessible limits, residents still find travelling to nearby neighbourhoods difficult. “Although it is within walkable distance, travelling to 4th Block Jayanagar is difficult because of lack of direct buses,” says Swetha Chandran, a resident whose family has been living in the area for the past 34 years.
K.R. Road is the one development that Yediyur is proud of. It is the central street that connects south Bangalore to the city's central business districts and defines Yediyur. “In my days, it was a mud lane not more than 15 ft wide,” Chandramathi says. “Now it is a wide road enabling plenty of vehicular movement. But, I can't even cross it and go over to the other side now! How could they forget to put in a crossing when they planned such a major road?”
With the building of an underpass, pedestrian movement has been further restricted.
Missing the ‘pachche kallu'
Yediyur, in the past, was famous for its ‘pachche kallu' or green granite. But there are no traces of this mineral in this area now. Councillor Ramesh N.R. says, “Green granite was last found in 1996 when the lake was cleaned. A layer of this mineral was found on the bed of the lake. It has perhaps been exhausted because of excessive mining.”