Gunda thopes or wooded groves have existed across villages in Karnataka, and around Bengaluru, for many years. Situated closely to the city, they are of great significance for local communities, who planted and cared for the trees.
As urbanisation swallows up areas around cities, gunda thopes have, sadly, been gradually lost, silently melted out of existence and even our consciousness> They have been replaced by residential complexes, IT hubs, roads, malls and schools. Younger people hardly remember a time where these groves existed, and how important they were for the economic, social and cultural life of the communities.
This book, ‘Where Have All Our Gunda Thopes Gone?’ is an attempt to relive the glory of these groves through a fictional conversation between Lakshmamma and her friend Maranna, an old peepal tree. Through their conversation, we learn about the times when thopes proliferated and prospered, and also their recent transformations to other kinds of spaces. This book is visually crafted and available in English and Kannada, aimed at adults and children alike. We hope it appeals to all of you with a child-like curiosity.