In the early summer of 2010, Nataraja Upadhya was feeling the need to set up a water cooler to deal with the impending heat. As he geared up for temperatures to soar in Bengaluru, where he lives, he thought of how he could help regulate the temperature in his own home. He was already maintaining a garden in front of his house, located in Vivekanandanagar in Banashankari area, so he decided to begin gardening on his terrace as well, to have a relatively cool roof.
Up until 2008, the 58-year-old IT professional had been leading a hectic lifestyle. Once he retired, his aim became to concentrate on his health. “I was working 18 hours and driving around five hours a day. My specially-abled wife and two daughters needed me. Hence, I quit to focus on my health and family,” he says.
Nataraja belongs to a farming family, hailing from Parampalli in Udupi. So he decided to go back to his roots, and pursue his love for gardening and nature.
Over the past years, Nataraja’s consistent efforts have seen the growth of 300 varieties of plants, including 100 trees of 72 species, creepers, fruit trees, and vegetables. The terrace has a dense green cover, with trees including moringa, bamboo, drumstick, tamarind, and wild fig. The view is a sight for sore eyes, as the garden hosts 50 varieties of butterflies, about a dozen species of birds, hundreds of insects, squirrels, and bats, among others. The best part here is that Nataraja does not need any cooler or fan during the summer, but definitely a thicker blanket in winters, he admits.