The running culture has really caught up in Namma Bengaluru. What I love about it is how it keeps growing unlike one of the many fitness trends to hit the city. The reason we Bangaloreans readily adopted this format of exercise is because of the great weather. Yes the summer was bad, but we have beautiful parks across the city to retreat to if you’re not keen on hitting the streets. If you haven’t tried running yet, here are six gorgeous outdoor running spots in the heart of the city that will get you hooked.

Cubbon Park

cubbon park is a good place for running

Photo by: Nvvchar

Practically the Central Park of Bangalore, this spot of greenery transports you to a different era. The best part about the park is that it’s a no traffic zone until 8am on weekdays with no traffic all day on Sundays allowing you to do tons of stuff beyond just running. For runners though, it gives you both trail and road route running options. If you touch all the exit gates of the park, you can do a good 5km circuit. You can also make your own route for your longer endurance runs. My favourite thing about this park is its vibrant energy. From art installations to heritage buildings, to elderly gentlemen and gossipy housewives, and to dog parks and laughter clubs – you can see it all happen on any given morning!

#LBBTip: Perfect for long runs.

Where: High Court of Karnataka, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangi Rama Nagar

Timings: 6am onwards

Lalbagh

lalbagh is a good place for running

Photo by: Hafiz Issadeen

Located in the South of Bangalore, is the city’s botanical treasure. This park is a real treat for the eyes with flora dating back centuries. Lalbagh is famous for its exotic flower show which is held twice a year. And for joggers, it’s pure heaven! It has two glass houses, a lake, rocky surfaces for uphill runs and a dedicated path just for runners. You can easily do a 5km loop around the park.

#LBBTip: Morning and evening runs are both great here.

Where: Lalbagh, Jayanagar {East entrance}

Timings: 6am to 9am and 6pm to 7pm is free for runners and fitness enthusiasts.

Ulsoor Lake

ulsoor lake is a good place for running

Photo by: Swaminathan

Wrapped around the Central Business District of the city, this one is spread over 3 km with a 1.5 run track that offers a great view. There is a fitness circuit created in a small patch of the garden along the trail where you can do strengthening exercises and stretches. And you’ll be surprised how beautiful it is despite being right in the business area. In fact, it leaves you feeling like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a boat ride to cool off after your run or take rowing lessons if you feel adventurous.

#LBBTip: Great for tempo runs and shorter distances. Make sure you catch a sunset run.

Where: Ulsoor Lake, Sivanchetti Gardens

Timings: 6am – 8pm

Lakshmi Devi Park

This cute 700m park is less known, but a jewel in buzzing Koramangala. With minimum traffic around it, it is super for sprints and interval runs. If you want a longer run you can do a 3km in the surrounding area. You can meditate under its shady trees or even get good recovery after your run. An extra benefit is the Gangapathi temple next door for some yummy prasad.

#LBBTip: Beat the heat and do mornings here.

Where: Ganapathi Temple Road, 6th Block, Koramangala

Timings: 9am – 10pm

Sree Kanteerava Stadium

sree kanteerava stadium is a good place for running

Photo by: Sanyam Bahga

A pretty popular landmark in Bangalore, it might just be the biggest sports hub in the city, it has plenty of events happening all the time. But a little known fact is that it has a brilliant run track of 400m that is up for grabs in the wee hours of the morning. You can do your sprints and high intensity runs here. Breaking your speed limits when you train on this track with the stadium surrounding you, makes you feel like a real winner!

#LBBTip: Early at day break is really gorgeous, go at 5am for some magical misty Bangalore mornings.

Where: Near Corporation Circle, Kasturba Road, Sampangi Rama Nagar

Timings: 5am onwards

Jayamahal Park

Spread across about 1 square kilometer, Jayamahal Park is great if you want to get in a good run and let the kids have a good time. The landscaped space makes it quite pleasant, and a crisscross joggers’ track means you can modify your route each time. There’s a rock face which is great for a cardio workout too. Quite a breath of fresh air on any given day, morning or evening.

#LBBTip: Go here early or post sunset as it can get crowded and kids may come onto your track.

Where: 127, 4th Main Road, Jayamahal Extension, Jayamahal

Timings: 6am – 8pm

Featured image of Cubbon Park by: Augustus Binu