Today is a good day. Today is a great day.
Today – June 5th 2019 – we celebrate World Environment Day and Global Running Day.
So, here’s to an amazing Environment Day and Running Day to you and your loved ones!
As I began my run today, I contemplated what I’d write about. I knew that this year’s theme for World Environment Day was Air Pollution. And while I did consider writing about it, I wasn’t really convinced.
Then I thought about running? Surely, as a physiological process that every species indulges in, running too comes in the purview of my blogging world.
The choice was hard. Writing about one meant foregoing the other. But then I realized that there was something I wanted to talk about a lot more than air pollution or running.
While many may talk about losing their favourite haunts to the ever-increasing curse of pollution (and yes, that’s important too); I still had something that (for now) was relatively untarnished.
In a sea of smog, I still had a piece of paradise in my city, where I could run in peace, enjoy a lungful of fresh air and watch birds and animals scamper about in joy.
Say hello to Cubbon Park
Located in the heart of India’s Garden City, Cubbon Park is a beautiful, wooded, public park, that is spread out over 300 acres of pristine land. A kaleidoscope of greens, browns, oranges and yellows, it is a place that embodies happiness. A stroll through Cubbon Park can rejuvenate you and inspire the best in you. A run can do so much more.
Cubbon Park is a goldmine of biodiversity.
Over 34 species of birds, belonging to 10 different families, call Cubbon Park their home. And what a home it is. The park is also home to 68 genera and 96 species of plants (overall 6000 types of plants & trees!). It is one of the largest biological ecosystems in the South of India. Look around and you may spot a cluster of Bamboo trees, Ashoka trees, Gulmohars, Banyans, Neem plants, Mahagony and more.
Peer through the lush leaves and you’ll definitely spot massive bustling beehives and birds nests with newborn chicks, on the branches. The twittering of baby birds can be heard for miles; a sound that is so soothing. Listen harder and you may hear the trilling, screeching and singing of the many insects who also have an equal claim on this beautiful land.
Follow the trail of nuts on the ground and you may spot an industrious squirrel busy foraging for the coming season. If you’re really lucky (like I was), you may even get to see the flowering of the Bamboo trees – a rare phenomenon which happens once every 12-20 years here!
A magnificent study
Cubbon Park has been a top research spot for biologists, zoologists and botanists. There are many scientists who believe that there are undiscovered species of animals and plants here. Studies are regularly conducted by the Horticulture department and individual researchers, to unearth the ecological diversity in Cubbon Park.
A runner’s paradise
Cubbon Park isn’t just a haven for the flora and fauna who have taken up residence here (and the people who study them). It is also a paradise for walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and yoga enthusiasts. The park offers numerous trails where nature lovers can retire to and enjoy the meditative silence.
You’ll also find heritage guides organizing guided walking tours of Cubbon Park, explaining its history and ecological significance. There’s always this gentle bustle of activity here that’s just infectious.
Contrary to what some believe, the visitors to the park seldom disturb the flora and fauna. In fact, there are many who purchase bird seeds from government-run bird seed vans and feed the birds here. Not just the birds, there are many who feed the ants and termites sugar, honey and flour and keep them fed and energized.
A muse for the artists
Cubbon Park isn’t just excellent for fitness enthusiasts, it is also an amazing inspiration for artists – professional and amateur. Don’t get too surprised if you see a man, woman or child with a paintbrush or a crayon in hand, sketching a tree or a pond or a flower. Because that’s exactly what this park does – kindle your creativity.
Like a second home
A single visit to Cubbon Park is enough to make you fall in love with this emerald treasure. You feel at home among the trees and among the animals, birds and insects. You never wish to leave and when you do, your thoughts are consumed about when you’d be back.
As they say, “Home is not a place…it’s a feeling.” And I can safely say, Cubbon Park makes me feel so much…