Lalbagh, a prominent attraction in Bengaluru, encompasses a vast 240-acre garden nestled in the city center. It boasts India’s largest assortment of tropical and sub-tropical plants, some of which are centuries old. The garden proudly showcases rare plants originating from France, Persia, and Afghanistan, earning its distinction as a Government Botanical Garden. Adding to its charm, the picturesque garden features a watchtower atop a 3000-million-year-old rocky outcrop, designated as a National Geological Monument.
This watchtower was constructed by Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru. Photography enthusiasts will find delight in capturing the garden’s beauty. Lalbagh also houses a renowned glass house, where an annual flower show takes place, along with an aquarium and a lake. Thanks to Tipu Sultan’s efforts, imported trees and plants from around the world were brought and planted here. One of the largest collections of rare plants in the world is proudly housed in Lalbagh Botanical Garden today.
History of Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Originally known as Rose or Cypress Garden, this garden was established in 1760 by Haider Ali, inspired by the Mughal Gardens he admired. His father, who had worked for Dilawar Khan, a Mughal viceroy, had instilled in him a deep passion for creating gardens. Taking inspiration from a garden in Sira, located 120 km away from Lalbagh, Haider Ali set out to create a similar oasis in his city. Over the years, Lalbagh evolved into India’s first lawn clock and gained recognition for housing the subcontinent’s largest collection of rare plants.
After the British seized control of the Kingdom of Mysore in 1799, Major Gilbert Waugh, a Company paymaster, was assigned to oversee the management of Lalbagh. In 1814, the control of the garden was officially transferred to the Government of Mysore. Major Waugh requested the Marquis of Hastings, urging that Lalbagh be placed under the supervision of the botanical garden at Fort William, Calcutta. The request was approved, and on April 24, 1819, Nathaniel Wallich was appointed as the supervisor of Lalbagh. However, in 1831, the oversight of the garden was eventually shifted to the Mysore Commissioner, marking a transition in its management.
Attractions in Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Lalbagh Botanical Garden offers a multitude of captivating attractions that can easily keep you engaged for an entire day. Some noteworthy points of interest include the Floral Clock adorning the park’s entrance, and the Tree Fossil, which preserves the carbonized remains of a coniferous tree dating back 20 million years.
The magnificent Glass House, built entirely of glass, stands as a remarkable edifice. Other highlights include the Deer Paddock, Aviary, Lecture Hall, Lalbagh House, Lalbagh West Gate Guard Room, The Directorate Building, Lalbagh Lake, and The Museum, which showcases a diverse array of artifacts. The Pigeon House entices various bird species, while the Aquarium building offers intriguing illustrations of underwater life. Not to be missed are the Kempegowda Tower and Bandstand.
As you enter Lalbagh, the melodic tweets and chirps of Parakeets, Crows, Pond Heron, Mynas, Purple Moor Hens, and more will serenade you. Moreover, the well-identified and labeled plants and trees provide an educational experience, allowing you to gain knowledge about their history as you stroll amidst these towering natural wonders.
Flowers at Lalbagh Botanical Garden
A stroll through Lalbagh Botanical Garden is a sensory delight, captivating the senses with its abundant blooms. I found immense joy in capturing the blossoms that appealed to my eyes, nose, touch, and even the gentle rustling that reached my ears in the morning breeze. Some of these trees and plants were uncommon and a delightful discovery for me, as I had not seen them outside the park.
Lalbagh curates and introduces exotic species from various parts of the world, allowing them to acclimatize and multiply within its grounds. The collection now boasts an impressive stock of 1854 species, with more being added regularly. Some of the remarkable exotic plants found at Lalbagh Botanical Garden include Amherstia Nobilis, Adansonia digitata, Ficus bengalensis var – krishnae, Araucaria Cookie, Bombax Ceiba, and Dillenia Indica, among others. These fascinating plant species contribute to the garden’s diverse and captivating collection. Each of these plants showcases unique characteristics and adds to the overall beauty and allure of Lalbagh Botanical Garden.
Since its inception, the caretakers of Lalbagh have diligently expanded and nurtured the vibrant plant variety, even during medieval times when rulers imported plants from far-flung places like Persia, Cape Town, Kabul, Turkey, and Mauritius. These diverse and exquisite plants elevate the garden’s beauty to another level, establishing it as one of the country’s most prominent horticultural hotspots.
Flower shows at Lalbagh Botanical Garden
The Lalbagh flower show is a vibrant and visually stunning event eagerly anticipated by the people of Bangalore. During January and August, Lalbagh Botanical Garden is at its absolute best, bursting with a riot of colors. The dazzling display of flowers within the Glasshouse is a must-see, but the entire garden is adorned with various flower varieties.
Flower Shows are held annually on Republic Day and Independence Day, organized by the Department of Horticulture and Mysore Horticulture Society. These shows beautifully showcase the garden’s diverse flora and are immensely popular among the locals. One delightful highlight is the arrangement of flowers in the shape of butterflies, which captivates all who see it. Visitors can witness stunning blooms like Cymbidium Flowers, Impatiens, Begonia, and Fuchsia during this time.
The upcoming Independence Day Lalbagh Flower Show 2023 will run from August 10th to August 20th. To enjoy the show with fewer crowds, it is recommended to visit early in the morning when the gates open at 7 AM. Cash is advisable for purchasing tickets near the Glasshouse, as digital payment options may not be available. After the show, you can treat yourself to a delicious breakfast at MTR, adding to the overall delightful experience.
Best time to visit Lalbagh Botanical Garden
If you are planning to visit Lal Bagh botanical garden, the best time would be during the flower shows that happen in January and August of every year. Morning and evening hours are the best enjoy the lush and serene beauty of this garden.
Restaurants near Lalbagh Botanical Garden
If you want to enjoy some quintessential Bangalorean food near Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, then there are several options available to you which include Shyvan Restaurant, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Nandhini Restaurant, Bangalore Belly, and Naidu Military Hotel.
Tips for visiting Lalbagh Botanical Garden
- Visitors attending the flower show can access it through any of the four gates, catering to pedestrian entry.
- Tickets for the flower show can be conveniently purchased online through the official website, offering a hassle-free booking experience.
- At every entrance of Lalbagh Botanical Garden, cloakrooms are available for visitors to store their belongings securely.
- Please note that the usage of plastic disposable bottles is prohibited within the premises of the garden, as part of the effort to promote sustainability and environmental consciousness.
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The Lal Bagh botanical garden in Bengaluru is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and photography enthusiasts. Covering a vast area of 240 acres, the garden is home to an extensive collection of exotic tropical and sub-tropical plant species from around the globe. Established by Haider Ali, the garden’s intriguing history adds to its charm and appeal.
The annual flower shows held on Republic Day and Independence Day draw visitors from far and wide. These shows showcase breathtaking displays of vibrant flora, including unique arrangements of flowers resembling butterflies. The Lalbagh Flower Show is a delightful sensory experience that attracts both locals and tourists.
Visitors can explore various points of interest within the garden, such as the Glass House, Tree Fossil, Deer Paddock, and the picturesque Lalbagh Lake. Convenient cloakrooms are available at each entrance for storing personal belongings securely. Lalbagh Botanical Garden not only provides a serene retreat amidst nature but also serves as an educational hub, with informative labels identifying the diverse plant species and their historical significance. The garden’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its ban on plastic disposable bottles.
In conclusion, Lalbagh Botanical Garden stands as a treasure trove of horticultural wonders in Bengaluru, captivating visitors with its vibrant blooms, rich history, and dedication to preserving the beauty of nature. A visit to Lalbagh is a truly enriching experience, leaving a lasting impression and fostering a deep appreciation for the botanical world.