Sunday, 26 May 2013

Semmozhi Poonga

While Bengaluru (Bangalore) has the reputation of being a garden city and is known for its beautiful gardens and trees Chennai, though not known for its tree cover, is also surprisingly green. Many of its roads and streets are lined with trees offering a lot of shade. But unfortunately these trees are not well kept. Chennai is also an extremely pedestrian-unfriendly city and therefore although the streets are shaded, the people out on the streets cannot enjoy a leisurely walk at any time of the day.

Chennai also has between 250 and 350 parks which are supposed to be maintained by Chennai Corporation. In fact many of them are not at all maintained, but this is something that is improving of late. The three largest parks in the city are the Guindy National Park, Semmozhi Poonga, and Tholkappia Poonga. The last two are recent additions to Chennai's park-list although both were already large open lung spaces of the city.

My sketching group from PencilJammers visited Semmozhi Poonga several times in the space of a few months. I was with them on only one of these visits and I found it to be a very pleasant place to visit. But my wife who had been there about a year earlier was very critical of the poor upkeep and felt that the place was being allowed to go to seed. Hopefully the people in charge will realise that they owe it to the public to preserve such spaces in pristine condition.

At Semmozhi Poonga I started my first sketch sitting at a shady spot, but unfortunately I had not taken the sun path into consideration. I soon found myself out of the shade and sitting directly under the hot sun. Fortunately I had already completed the skeleton of the sketch. I therefore packed up and completed that sketch at home. 

Meanwhile the others in my sketching group had selected a spot in the park that offered multiple sketching options and were engaged in a discussion on different approaches to sketching. I joined them and decided to experiment with a loose and quick gestural sketch based on suggestions from my friend Ganapathy Subramaniam (GS). Though new to this way of approaching a sketch I was quite pleased with result.


  1. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them. It is a wonderful place to be with nature. Visitors should know the Semmozhi Poonga timings and other information to enjoy the scenic beauty.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment and my apologies for the delayed response. Also my thanks to you for sharing the link to the timings. It is unfortunate that Cyclone Vardah devastated the place. Let us hope that it recovers soon.