Tourists visiting Bangalore make it a point to visit LalBagh. All the travels and tour operators keep LalBagh in their itinerary. However, I didn’t pay a visit to this picturesque 240 acre (1 sq Km) Botanical Garden until last Saturday. Here’s a brief description of what I saw, observed and felt during my 5 hours at LalBagh.
About the place
The garden houses 1000+ species of flora and was commissioned two-and-half centuries back by Hyder Ali. It houses a lake, several gardens (Japanese, Rose, Bonsai, Topiary), world’s one of the oldest Rock formations (and atop it lies Kempe Gowda Tower), a magnificient Glass House and a Floral Clock among other things. LalBagh remains open daily from 6 am to 7pm (Entry Fee-INR 10). The place is a jogger’s delight.
Location/How to Reach
LalBagh has four gates – of which, vehicles are allowed inside only from the East Gate. Local buses ply between several parts of the city to LalBagh, which is only 4km from Vidhana Soudha.
What to See
Glass House: Inspired by the famous Crystal Palace of London, Glass House is surrounded by Pencil Cedars and Champaka trees.
Lake: Ideal for bird watchers, joggers, and of course, love birds. Spending some time around it may remind you of lakes in Ooty and Kodaikanal.
Kempe Gowda Tower: It is a monument built over a stone formation that is one of the world’s oldest (3 billion years).
Other Attractions: An equestrian Statue of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar stands tall and beside it, lies a Floral Clock. The Clock is surrounded by Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. Other places you may visit include Band Stand, Dove Cot, Bonsai Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Aviary, Deer Paddock and Lotus Pond.
Buy a LalBagh map at the entrance – it costs just INR 5. If you’re an early riser, come to LalBagh at around 6am. Jog or walk around the lake for a mesmerizing view with the breeze caressing your face and hair. If you are a Photography enthusiast, you wouldn’t be dissapointed, thats for sure. A little late in the day, have some roasted corn, half ripe mangoes or groundnuts. Sit on the benches aside the lake, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden or the Band Stand and watch – the birds, the trees and flowers, the lake and other people doing the same. If you like sketching, take your ‘implements’ with you and sketch. Sit atop the small hillock – KG Tower and feed your eyes the view of Bangalore. The Flower Shows, organized twice a year (26th January, India’s Republic Day and 15th August, India’s Independence Day) are a must see. Ans yes, don’t miss the Deer Paddock.