We are Bangaloreans,
we love trees,
and we want to celebrate them.
This is our time to do that.
This is our festival of trees.
Everyone lends a hand, ear or pocket 😉
And the result is a glorious festival honoring the trees. 

NERALU, meaning shade in Kannada, is a descriptive metaphor for our annual urban Tree festival and indicates what trees have meant to so many citizens of Bengaluru. Bangaloreans share historical, cultural and ecological stories and experiences because of trees that enrich our urban existence. NERALU is a way in which this can be celebrated, shared and reflected upon.As citizens of Bangalore / Bengaluru, we come together once a year to celebrate the wide diversity, aesthetics, functionality, ecology, histories and our memories of our city’s trees. This is one-of-a-kind public event that celebrates trees, and possibly the only one in the recent times to be a completely crowdfunded, completely Citizen led event. The Neralu organising community is now a large network of over 200 people.

Bangalore’s green history

For centuries now, the city of Bangalore has shared a unique relationship with its majestic and diverse trees. Our urban flora stands testimony to historic moments of the Srirangapatna-Mysore region- Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan, the Wodeyars and European colonial powers that governed the region. Local communities like the Tigalas have been involved in development and maintenance of the city’s green cover. Other local and migrant communities have connected to trees for sacred purposes, community and religious identities. Post Indian Independence, many naturalists, enthusiasts and officials, ranging from Javaraya to Marigowda and many more worked hard to expand the glory of the Garden City that Bangalore was turning out to be. Many big and small histories about individuals’ and communities’ passion for a green urban space have have left their stamp on the city’s unique culture and complexion.

Presently, massive urbanization and unplanned extension of Bangalore- both public and private- have led to mindless, socially inconsiderate, ecologically unfriendly and inefficient infrastructure. In the bargain, the city has lost many precious avenue trees & parks; and this still continues unabated. The city’s characteristic tags of ‘Pensioner’s paradise and ‘Garden City’ are losing relevance in the midst of this massive destruction of urban and peri-urban green space.

Neralu is a much needed Urban tree festival that brings together citizens and tree-enthusiasts from Bangalore and aspires to celebrate this beautiful city’s rich natural heritage and its trees. As citizens, our hope with the festival is to create more conversations and contemplation on our rapidly changing urban spaces.