Lalbagh Botanical Garden is located in Southern Bengaluru and is one of the prime most tourist attractions in India. It was commissioned by Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore in the year 1760 and finally implemented by his son Tipu Sultan. The glass house was modeled after gardens in Sira, which was commissioned by Dilawar Khan. Sira is about 120kms from the city and is in Tumkur district, Karnataka.
The Journey of Lalbagh Botanical Garden
During that time, such gardens were in rage and dominated Mogul architecture. While Hyder Ali laid out the plans, Tipu Sultan brought horticulture wealth from all over the world to this garden. Thigala community, which was extremely adept at gardening, was deployed by Hyder Ali.
As reported by Captain S. S. Flower, Lalbagh garden had tigers, monkey houses with an orangutan, cheetal, sambhur deer, pair of emus, peacocks, rhinos and barking deer by 1850-1860. Originally Lalbagh was sprawled across 45 acres and later, 30 acres, 13 acres and then 94 acres were added to it in the year 1889, 1891 and 1894 respectively. This also includes the addition of rock with Kempegowda tower. Kempe Gowda was the founder of Bangalore and the tower was erected by him. It offers the aerial and bird eye view of the city from the top.
The Lalbagh Rock is dated and reported to 3,000 million years, making it one of the oldest rock formations on the planet. The rock was designated by Geological Survey of India and is one of the peninsular gneissic rocks.
Thanks to the efforts of Tipu Sultan, the garden has rare and exotic plants that are originally found in France, Persia and Afghanistan.
Another wonderful that can be credited to the Mogul architecture is its well-sorted and well-planned irrigation system. This aesthetically planned garden has such irrigation and watering system in place since then that water reaches every pool, pond, fountain, flowerbeds and lawns. Moreover, every plant and tree is labeled for easy identification and information of the public.
The Lalbagh garden in Bangalore is very famous for its glasshouse and the foundation stone of the glasshouse is modeled after London’s Crystal Place. The credit of the designing the foundation stone goes to John Cameron, who was superintendent of Lalbagh then in the year 1898. This botanical garden is also famous for its two annual flower shows on Republic Day and Independence Day, January 26 and August 15 respectively. These shows attract footfall from all over the world.
Lalbagh Botanical Garden is home to India’s largest and myriad collection of over 1000 species of tropical plants. Boating and lake is an added attraction. Its rich fauna attracts several exotic species of birds such as pond heron, purple moor hen, Brahmini kite, parakeets, common egret and myna.
Sprawled across 240 acres now, this garden also boasts of trees that can be dated back to over 100 years.
Gates at Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore:
There are four gates in the garden. Entrance is allowed from the West-end gate which adjoins the Siddapur circle. However, the Southern gate, opening to Lalbagh road is considered to be the main gate. Eastern gate is nearby Jayanagar and Northern gate lead to the glasshouse and an exit from the garden.
Timings and Entry Fee of Lalbagh Bangalore:
The timings of Lalbagh are from 6:00am to 7:00pm on weekdays. For joggers and runners, the entry is free in the morning from 7:00am to 9:00am in the morning and 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the evening. For rest of the times, a nominal entrance fee of Rs. 20 is charged. Entry of specially-abled people and school children is absolutely free.
The Flower Shows at Lalbagh Botanical Garden:
The flower shows are conducted every year on Independence Day and Republic Day to promote flower enthusiasts and to create awareness in children as well as commoners with regards to cultivation and conservation of plants and flowers. The entry fee to these shows is Rs. 20 per adult. Entry of children below 12 years is free.
Cultural Show at Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Every weekend on the second and fourth Saturday and Sunday, the government of Karnataka organizes “Janapada Jaatre” aiming to promote folk fair, folk dance, folk music and folk plays performed by troupes coming from all part of Karnataka with the help of instruments, attire and jewellery. This show helps the cultural roots extend to the urbane folks.
Controversy and Protests:
During the construction of Bangalore Metro Rail, trees falling under the acquired land of Lalbagh were supposed to be cut. In the year 2009, about 500 feet of wall was demolished and a number of eucalyptus trees were cut to make way for the tracks. Bangalore citizens took it on themselves to preserve the rich heritage of Lalbagh and environment and started protesting on a weekly basis to put a deferment on the land acquisition by the metro authorities and to protect the greenery of the city.
How to Get There:
You can avail cab services. Lalbagh Botanical Garden is well-connected with the bus services of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses. Take bus from Shivaji Nagar or Kempegowda bus stop. Buses going towards Banashankari or Jayanagar go from Lalbagh road and halt at the garden.
Months to Visit:
Bangalore weather can be hot and humid. Since roaming around in an open and huge botanical garden can be little discomforting in such weather, it is advised that you visit there from November to March. The Sun is cooled down by that time and you can easily enjoy and explore the garden with your family.