Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore

28 Aug

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Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens

Lal Bagh (Kannada: ಲಾಲ್ ಬಾಗ್, Hindi: लाल बाग़) or Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, meaning The Red Garden in English, is a famous botanical garden in southern BangaloreIndia. The garden was originally commissioned by Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore, and later finished by his son Tipu Sultan.[1] It has a famous glass house which hosts an annual flower show. Lal Bagh houses India’s largest collection of tropical plants, has anaquarium and a lake, and is one of the main tourist attractions in Bangalore.

History

Hyder Ali commissioned the building of this garden in 1760 but his son, Tipu Sultan, completed it. Hyder Ali decided to create this garden on the lines of the Mughal Gardens that were gaining popularity during his time. Hyder Ali laid out these famous botanical gardens and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants from several countries. Hyder Ali deployed people from Thigala Community who were extremely good in gardening. The Lal Bagh Gardens were commissioned by the 18th century and over the years it acquired India’s first lawn-clock and the subcontinent’s largest collection of rare plants.

In 1874, Lal bagh had an area of 45 acres (180,000 m2). In 1889, 30 acres were added to the eastern side, followed by 13 acres in 1891 including the rock with Kempegowda tower and 94 acres more in 1894 on the eastern side just below the rock bringing it to a total of 188 acres (760,000 m2).[3] The foundation stone for the Glass House, modelled on London’s Crystal Palace was laid on 30 November ‘1898?’ by Prince Albert Victorand was built by James Cameron, the then superintendent of Lalbagh.

Overview

Lal Bagh is a 240-acre (971,000 sq.m. – almost 1 km².) garden and is located in south Bangalore. It holds a number of flower shows, especially on the Republic Day (26 January). The garden has over 1,000 species of flora. The garden also has trees that are over 100 years old.

The garden surrounds one of the towers erected by the founder of BangaloreKempe Gowda. The park has some rare species of plants brought fromPersiaAfghanistan and France. With an intricate watering system for irrigation, this garden is aesthetically designed, with lawns, flowerbeds, lotus pools and fountains. Most of the centuries old trees are labelled for easy identification. The Lal Bagh Rock, one of the oldest rock formations on earth, dating back to 3,000 million years, is another attraction that attracts the crowds.

Basis for modelling of Lal Bagh Gardens

The Lal Bagh Gardens are based on the design of the Mughal Gardens that once stood at Sira, at a distance of 120 km from Bengaluru on the main NH4 at Tumkur District in Karnataka. This is amply supported by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and other historical records. At that time, Sira was the headquarters of the strategically important southernmost Mughal “suba” (province) of the Deccan before the British Raj.

Tourism and eco-development

Lal Bagh remains open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. throughout the year. For the benefit of joggers, tourists and fitness enthusiasts, entry is free from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. At other times, a fee of Rs.10/- is charged. Entry for school children and the disabled is free all day.

Save Lal Bagh protests

As part of the ongoing development of the Bangalore metro rail, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) has acquired a section of Lal Bagh of around 1,135 m2 where tree felling is taking place. On April 13 and 14, 2009, 500 feet of Lalbagh’s wall was broken down and a number of eucalyptus trees were cut.

Citizens protests started almost immediately and have been continuing on a weekly basis. Protests are being made against illegal tree felling and land acquisition by the government without paying heed to various acts put into place to protect Bangalore’s greenery and public park spaces.

Connectivity

Lal Bagh is well connected by BMTC buses from Majestic/Shivaji Nagar. All buses towards Jaya Nagar/Banashankari areas pass through one of the four gates of Lal Bagh.

The Western Gate

Lal Bagh has four gates. The western gate is situated near Siddapur Circle.One can enter this gate and enjoy the silvan atmosphere of the garden. Outside, touching the compound gate, is Krumbigal Road. The other side of the road touches the compound wall of R.V.College. The National College, Maharashtra Vidyalay, Chikkamavalli and Doddamavalli are nearby. The other side of the road goes to ‘Krishna Rao road’, where you can see The Indian Institute of World Culture, a beautiful library and a fine auditorium, which hosts a programme every week. Farther south, Model House street and the Yediyur Terminus are the main points.

The Eastern Gate

This is a wide road and and is an ideal place for parking vehicles. If you happen to come from the Ashoka Pillar side, Jayanagar is close by.

The Southern Gate

Also referred to as the main gate. This gate is near Lalbagh Road and next to MTR.

The Northern Gate

This is a fairly wide and big road. If you go straight, the Glass House is visible. Many important functions, exhibitions, workshops and other programmes in Lal Bagh are hosted here from time to time. This is the main exit as well.

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