Lalbagh, Cubbon Park, Basavangudi to witness Bengaluru’s Neralu tree festival

Come February, Bengaluru’s trees burst into spectacular blooms, and the play of colours continues through the year. The second edition of Neralu, a citizen-led Urban Tree Festival will be organised on February 7, 8 and 14 February at multiple venues. Neralu, which translates to ‘shade’ in Kannada, has been planned to coincide with the blooming season in the city. It will bring citizens together to celebrate the garden city’s glorious natural heritage.

Bound by a common love for trees, naturalists, ecologists, artists, technologists, storytellers, homemakers, photographers, students and citizens from all walks of life have come together to put together Neralu. This year, the organiser’s celebrate trees in different localities and public spaces, from the traditional tree platforms or kattes, to our neighbourhood parks and streets that are a part of our lives. Events are in collaboration with various institutions, networks and community groups.

The festival begins on February 7 at Doddamavalli Katte near Lalbagh, where local communities have been using the traditional tree platforms as an integral part of their lives – where the Peepul, Neem and Banni trees are revered along with snake stones. Neralu’s focus is to draw attention to the old-world charm that flourishes in many parts of Bengaluru.

This year the organiser’s partnering with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) to bring you workshops, talks, audio walks, performances and art installations which will be hosted at the NGMA on the February 7 and 8. Distinguished speakers T V Ramachandra, Vijay Thiruvady, KN Ganeshaiah and Suresh Moona will be talking about ecology, history, heritage of Bengaluru trees amongst others. We have planned tree walks on February 8, an event to introduce a variety of trees to the public through cultural and ecological narratives, and a unique photo walk where participants will record tree-stories in various localities of Bengaluru.

A mini-Neralu event will also take place at M N Krishna Rao Park, Basavanagudi on the same day, with activities that will bring together people of all age groups to enjoy their Sunday morning in the wonderful company of trees. The following weekend, on February 14, the festivities will move to Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park, with a host of art activities and cultural performances that bring a grand closure to the NERALU tree celebrations.

Two interesting on-going public participation projects are, Neralu Photo Project and Neralu School Project. This is to engage Bangaloreans in fun and informative projects that will bring them closer to trees. In the spirit of keeping the festival participatory, the volunteers meet on every Sunday at 3 pm around Bandstand in Cubbon Park, to discuss and plan the festival. Interested citizens are welcome to join these meetings to take part in organising this unique Tree Festival.




NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art)

February 7 & 8, 2015

10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Doddamavalli Katte, off RV Road

February 7, 2015

8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

MN Krishna Rao Park, Basavanagudi

February 8, 2015

7:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park

February, 14 2015

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Like last year, Neralu 2015 too is entirely crowd-funded by citizens, and participation in this citizen-driven festival is free. The festival has been successfully crowd-funded, with over 150 citizen donors whole-heartedly contributing to the event. An overview of activities planned during Neralu:

  • Heritage, ecological and histo-cultural walks, in multiple localities of Bangalore city
  • Talks by experts on history, culture, climate change, ecology and urban spaces.
  • Tree journalling, design, mapping, identification and movement workshops
  • Documentary and artistic film screenings of local and global narratives about trees
  • Panel discussion with experts from various disciplines
  • A curated photo exhibition showcasing tree stories
  • Performances by musicians and folk artists
  • Storytelling events involving diverse traditions and forms
  • Games and fun activities for children
  • Mega hug-a-tree campaign

Related Articles

The Neralu Photo Project: Express your love for trees through your photographs
Neralu – Bangalore’s very own citizen-led tree festival
Learn to identify trees surrounding you, at the Neralu tree festival

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About Poornima Kannan 12 Articles
Poornima is an avid blogger with keen interest in urban wildlife.She is also a freelance communication consultant with special interest in organisations that work towards a social cause.