India: When Cities Were Nature’s Haven: A Tale From Bangalore


The Wire | October 29, 2017

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Bangalore has a long-lasting love history with nature. Credit: Eirik Refsdal/Wikimedia, CC BY-ND

We tend to think that nature and cities are polar opposites. Yet this is not true. As my research on Bangalore or Bengaluru – India’s IT hub – shows, for centuries, the population of this region grew because of nature, not despite it.

In my book Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future, I take a deep dive into the ecological history of an Indian city, going way back in the past to the 6th century CE.

Inscriptions on stone and copper plates show that the starting point for a new village was often the creation of a tank, or lake, to collect rain water – essential and life-giving in this unfavourable low-rainfall environment.Read More »