Setting the context for Satvan
SatVan is situated inside the campus of The Valley School. This campus is spread across 100 acres of land towards the south of Bangalore City. About 90 percent of this 100 acres is wilderness. This wilderness is a result of conscious afforestation efforts made since the time the school began in 1978. While the surrounding area has seen a rapid increase in built up area because of urbanization, the area inside the campus has become more and more dense in terms of vegetation. As of today we are just a kilometer away from the Metro Station on the Kanakapura road.
The campus has an ecological relevance because of its location. It is surrounded by three major conservation areas of this part of the city. The Bannerghatta National park towards its southeast, Turahalli reserve forest towards northeast and BM Kaval Agara Reserve forest towards Northwest.
For many years now the campus residents have noticed the movement of wildlife such as elephants, leopards, deer and many smaller mammals through the campus from one conservation area to another. While it is a relatively small area, it still plays a role as a part of the corridor for the movement of animals.
Apart from the transit animals, this campus has many resident mammal species such as slender loris, civet cats, mongoose, wildboar, jungle cat etc. There are many reptiles, insects, and amphibians found on the campus.
The Valley campus and the adjacent area has been a very popular spot for birdwatchers. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded in and around the campus over the past many years.
The Valley School has also had a socio cultural impact on the surrounding area. A lot of the non teaching staff who work for The Valley School are the residents of the adjacent villages of Tathaguni and Rachanmadu. A lot of the staff have worked with the school from the time it started in the year 1978 and many have retired completing their full service. Through this engagement a relationship of mutual respect and appreciation has been created between the institution and the staff. The Krishnamurti Study Centre has also constantly attracted many people who have been intrigued and touched by the life and work of Jiddu Krishnamurti. It continues to provide a dialogue space for people in the process of meaning making of the complex aspects of life.
The art village within the campus has been a space for learning various art forms. Apart from the regular art course for the students, the art village also provides multiple opportunities for parents and friends of the school to take part in many art related activities. It is a space where artisans, artists, craftsmen, performers and interested individuals come together.
The ecology of the space has always had an influence on the culture of the space and vice versa. These mutually complementary influences have helped this space evolve into a unique landscape over these 40 years. It has reached a point in its evolution where it seems right to imagine and implement a centre within the campus that is engaged in looking deeply into the relationship between human beings and nature. An attempt towards this direction is SatVan. It is an open, collaborative, creative space conceived to look into different aspects of our relationship with Nature.
One of the objectives of Satvan as a centre is to explore avenues to invite people from diverse socio-cultural, professional and educational backgrounds into this space with an intent of having mutually enriching relationships. SatVan would also want to explore ways of opening the space to the people from the neighbourhood to create learning opportunities. Another important aspect of this centre would be to look at the possible ways of protecting the space and its surroundings from the negative impact of urbanization.