Distance: 30 km from Bangalore
Journey Time: Around 1 to 1.5 hour Majestic and Market by bus. Around 1 hour in private vehicle and bike.
How to reach there: Regular BMTC buses ply between Dodda Alada Mara and Majestic or Market. Bus # 227. Frequency of bus is low from Majestic, so one can travel upto Kengeri and from there can catch bus # 227. Frequency of bus if good from Kengeri and Market. It is advisable to go for a day which will cost you Rs 30 and will let you travel unlimited on BMTC blue buses. Private Vehicles or Bikes will be ideal, as you can stop on the way and enjoy the greenery and various flower nurseries. Recently, a few Volvo A/C buses has been introduced on this route.
Route: Bangalore – Kengeri – take a right turn to get on the road besides Rajarajeshwari Dental College – Ramohalli – Dodda Alada Mara/Big Banyan Tree.
Where to Eat: Do not expect swanky restaurants to be there. However, a few country shops are there which offers tea, snacks etc. Also, a small darshini hotel is there which offers Idly, Dosa etc.
Dodda Alada Mara or Big banyan Tree in English is a popular tourist destination. It is over 400 years old big Banyan tree covering around 3 acres of land. I thought it may be just a tree and nothing around it and may even be a place of anti-socials because of solitude. However, I was in a for a surprise when I reached there. I found a well baricaded area with pavements, dustbins, seating arrangements, security. It can be a good picnic spot, provided you bring food along with you and preferably a tent as there a lot of monkeys.
The tree itself is a awesome sight and please note that it is just one tree covering that entire area. Banyan trees become so big that many parts of the tree which are very far from the root do not receive enough water so that sprout off shoots as roots and let them reach the soil as another root to take water. This results in covering a huge area. This tree is said to be the largest tree in Karnataka and the second largest in India. Apart from the Big Banyan Tree, there is small temple dedicated to Lord Muneshwara (Lord Shiva). The Big Banyan Tree is maintained by Bank Of Maharashtra. Take a walk around the tree or sit some good amount of time in the shades of it. If you are keen on looker then go ahead and check the roots, take pictures in their various dimensions.
This place is 2 -3 km from Ramohalli (a village). Away from the maddenning rush of the city, you can enjoy the greenery on the way and check the various flower nurseries that you will encounter.
Note: Advisable to leave this place before dusk.