As you enter J.P. Park, a long concrete path with figures depicting village life on either side winds ahead of you. Hidden in the early morning mist, surrounded by 85 acres of greenery, groups of people can be seen huddled together, getting an energetic start to their day.
Since its establishment in 2006, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) biggest park, located at the Jalahalli and Mathikere junction, has provided residents of the area with the perfect space and atmosphere to exercise, relax, or participate in a number of activities.
The 4.5-km jogging track is abuzz with people every morning and evening. Under the mantaps which provide shade at various corners of the park, people participate in yoga, laughter clubs and other activities. “Every morning, for the past five years, we have all gathered here to exercise, walk, jog or do yoga. The park is the perfect place for us to work out and stay healthy,” says Ramakrishna, who comes to the park every morning at 5.45 a.m. with his friends. Every morning at 6 a.m., a large group of children can be seen practising taekwondo and self-defence near the Musical Fountain. Conducted by the Karnataka Taekwondo Association, the lessons draw nearly 140 students everyday, says trainer C.R. Penchanaiya. “We get students from 4 years to 45 years old. We conduct the training here in evenings as well,” he says.
The park also hosts blood donation drives, eye camps and diabetes camps. “Since they are free, such camps are helpful to all those in the locality,” said Pramod Kumar, a resident of Mathikere. The park also entertains its visitors with a musical fountain, open to the public every Saturday and Sunday after 7 p.m.