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Lal Bagh Gardens in Banglore

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Lal Bagh Gardens in Banglore

Lalbagh Gardens is a well known tourist attraction in the city of Bangalore. Translated literally into English as The Red Garden, the Lalbagh Gardens is known to be one of the most unique botanical gardens in South Asia. Located in the southern part of the city, the Lalbagh Gardens was commissioned by the ruler Hyder Ali to be used as a private garden for him, and was further developed by his son Tipu Sultan. The Lalbagh Gardens has derived its name from an assortment of red roses that were found blooming throughout the year in the garden.

About Lal Bagh Garden in Banglore :

The Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore is of royal origin and was started initially as a private garden in an area of 40 acres by Hyder Ali, one of the most famous rulers of old Mysore in 1760. Initially designed in Mughal style, on the model of an extensive garden at Sira in Tumkur near Bangalore, this garden was further developed by Hyder Ali’s son Tipu Sultan and subsequently by the British and Indian doyens of horticulture by extension of area and addition of a number of plant species. Of them, Major Waugh, Dr. Wallich, William Munroe, Sir Mark Cubbon, Dr. Cleghorn, William New, A. Blck, John Cameron, Krumbeigal, Rao Bahadur H.C. Javaraya, K. Nanjappa and Dr. M.H. Marigowda, as the Superintendents of the garden, have made noteworthy contributions to the development of Lalbagh.

Price: INR 269.00
Was: INR 299.00
Lalbagh is currently under the aegis of the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka. The Directorate is housed amidst the splendid environs of the botanical garden. Lalbagh was given the status of a Government Botanical Garden in 1856, and since then, it has been an internationally renowned centre for scientific study of plants and botanical artwork and also conservation of plants. Formal and informal styles dominate the garden in perfect harmony, which is a testimony to the beauty of nature. Today, the garden is a lush green paradise with an area of 240 acres in the heart of the city.

History of Lalbagh :

What is known today as the Lalbagh Botanical garden was a private garden of Hyder Ali who was the most famous ruler of Mysore in the 18th century. The construction of the garden was started in 1760 under the supervision of Hyder Ali but it was only during the reign of Tipu Sultan (son of Hyder Ali) that the garden was completed. The garden was then located in an area of 40 acres and had a marvelous collection of red roses which led to it being called Lalbagh (Red Garden).

Architecture of Lalbagh :

The Lalbagh is said to be inspired in design by the Mughal Gardens which were quite popular at the time of construction of Lalbagh. The specialists in gardening – the Thigala Community were given the task of beautifying the garden. There are four different entry gates to Lalbagh in all the four directions. The major attractions of the garden include:

Lalbagh Glass House: The glass house in Lalbagh built in 1898, is inspired from the London’s Crystal palace. The Glass House appears as a shining white monument in glass hosting a wide array of colourful flowers in the morning whereas at night it is lit up in golden light creating a view which is a treat to the eyes. It is here that the flower shows are held in the months of January and August every year. Lalbagh has around 1854 species of plants some of which are very rare and exported from different parts of the world. The different species of plants found in the garden include Agathis sp., Amherstia nobilis, Araucaria sp., Averrhoa bilimbi, Bambusa sp., Bixa orellana, Brownea grandiceps, Castanospermum australe, Cola acuminata, Corypha umbraculifera, Couroupita guianensis, Cupressus sp., Eriobotrya japonica, Magnolia sp among others.

Lake in Lalbagh: There also is a lake situated in the vicinity of the Lalbagh. This lake situated in an area of 30 acres is one of the primary reasons for the development of the garden in this area of Bangalore as it makes for a beautiful view within the garden and meets the water requirements for the nourishment of plants in the garden.

Kempegowda Tower:  The Kempegowda Tower is a monolithic rock formation in the Lalbagh garden. It is one of the four towers that were built by Kempegowda who apparently built the city of Bangalore. It is visited by people in large numbers and recently a proposal has been made to host a laser show besides this tower depicting the history of Bangalore city to the tourists.

Lalbagh Gardens Attractions :

The Glass House is the highlight of the Lalbagh Gardens. If the city of Bangalore is famously known as the City of Gardens then the Glass House at the Lalbagh Gardens is surely a glistening diamond in this plethora of gardens. Fondly known as the Crystal Palace of India, the Glass House is inspired by London’s Crystal Palace it is the venue of the bi annual flower show.

The Floral Clock located at the entrance of the garden is surrounded by colourful flower beds, and is a great attraction for children.
The Lalbagh Lake is eye catching and beautiful and serves as a source of irrigation for the garden.

The Bombax Tree is a huge tree that adds a royal touch to the garden. as old as the garden, and is located at the entrance of the west gate

Events at the Lalbagh Gardens :

Flower Shows: The Lalbagh Gardens hosts bi annual flower shows every year in the months of January and August for Republic Day and Independence Day respectively; and is an absolute delight for flower lovers to enjoy. For more details please contact the Directorate of Horticulture, or the Mysore Horticultural Society Office.

Janapada Jaatre: Literally translated “Janapada Jaatre” means Folk Fair. This event organized by the Government of Karnataka on

every second and fourth weekend (both Saturday, and Sunday), comprises of Folk Dance, Music, and Plays performed by groups from all parts of Karnataka. The mission of this fair is to portray the cultural folklore of Karnataka, traditional costumes, and musical instruments.

Locations of Interest :

Of the many artistic structures in Lalbagh, the Glass House is the most famous. In the necklace of Bangalore’s gardens, Lalbagh is a pendant and in the centre of this pendant is the glass house in the form of a diamond. It was built in 1889 during the administration of Sri John Cameron to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales. Designed on the lines of the Crystal Palace of England, it was intended for acclimatizing the exotic plant specimens. Today, as the jewel of Lalbagh, it is the centre stage for holding the famous biannual flower shows.

The Bandstand, Lecture Hall, Lalbagh House, Pigeon House, Statue of Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar, the Directorate Building, Lalbagh West Gate Guard Room, the Museum and Cottage which now house some of the department offices, main gate of Lalbagh (Cameron gate), Deer Paddock, Aquarium building, Aviary and Kempegowda Tower are other artistic structures that can be seen in Lalbagh. Lalbagh lake is an important location of interest.

Education :

Lalbagh is an important centre of dissemination of knowledge of plants having ornamental, environmental and economic value. Regular training courses on fruit and vegetable processing, mushroom cultivation and ornamental gardening and horticulture are offered to the public by the Department of Horticulture. The Dr. M.H. Marigowda National Horticulture Library is a reference library with a good collection of books on horticulture and allied subjects.

Location and Access :

Lalbagh Botanical Garden is located in the heart of the city, about 4 km from the State Legislature – the Vidhana Soudha. Most parts of the garden is surrounded by different blocks of the beautiful residential layout – Jayanagar. The city buses plying to Jayanagar and localities beyond Jayanagar stop at one or other approach gates of Lalbagh. The garden is accessible through four gates. Vehicles are allowed only through the East gate towards the Double Road. There is ample parking space on entering through this gate. Vehicular movement inside the garden is restricted. Access to the Directorate of Horticulture and related offices is through the main gate. HOPCOMS, MHS and BNCS offices are easily accessible through the Double Road gate.

Best time to visit :

The best time to visit Lalbagh is during its flower shows. These bi-annual flower shows are organized each year by Directorate of Horticulture during the month of January and August on the occasion of the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations respectively. If you want to escape the crowd then plan to visit the garden during any other month of the year. The climate of Bengaluru remains pleasant throughout the year.

Timings :

The garden opens for the public at 6 am in the morning and closes at 7 in the evening on all the days of the week.

How to Reach the Lalbagh :

Lalbagh is located in the residential area of Jayanagar in Bangalore city. Once in the city you can hire a private taxi or a cab which will take you to the garden easily or you can also opt for the BTIS (Bangalore Transport Informatuon System) buses heading to Jayanagar.

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Sudhir Kumar

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