Sprawling over an area of 240 acres in Bangalore, which contains nearly 1854 species of plants, Lalbagh Botanical Garden is a nationally and internationally recognized center for botanical art, scientific study of plant species, and conservation, and is a heaven for nature lovers.
Hyder Ali commissioned the Lalbagh Botanical Garden in 1760, and it was later completed by his son Tipu Sultan. The Lalbagh Botanical Garden features rare plants from French, Persian, and Afghani origins and has been designated a Government Botanical Garden. The Lalbagh Rock, which is more than 3000 million years old and is a popular tourist attraction, is also one of the highlights.
The famous glass house, which is also the focal point of this botanical garden, hosts an annual flower show and also houses an aquarium and a lake. Historically speaking, Tipu Sultan imported plants and trees from around the globe and planted them here.
Booming with rich foliage and offering one of the biggest habitats for various species of birds, such as myna, parakeets, and crows, brahminy kite, pond heron, common egret, and purpole moor hen, Lalbagh Botanical Garden also boasts of being one of the world’s largest collections of rare plants.
History of Lalbagh
Lalbagh Botanical Garden, which was built by Haider Ali in 1760, was known as the Rose or Cypress Garden until 1856. Haider Ali was an avid admirer of Mughal Gardens and wanted one in his city as well. He was influenced by his father, who used to work for Dilawar Khan, a viceroy of the Mughals, and was especially passionate about setting up gardens.
The garden is modeled on another one in Sira, which was situated 120 km from Lalbagh. Many rare species of plants, trees, and shrubs have been added to Lalbagh over the years, and most of these were added by Tiu Sultan himself. The garden area stood at 45 acres in 1874, with major additions done in 1889 (30 acres) and 1891 (94 acres). The foundation of the famous Glass House was laid down in the year 1898 and was further built by John Cameron in the image of London’s Crystal Palace.
The layout of Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Lalbagh, is located in South Bangalore and covers an area of 240 acres. It is situated around a tower built by the founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda.
Its sophisticated irrigation system, which can irrigate over 1,000 species of flora, including trees over 100 years old, is the most important part of the garden’s construction. The garden comprises a variety of flowerbeds, a lotus pool, fountains, and lawns.
The rock formation is also believed to be over 3,000 million years old. There are four ways to get into the gate. The northern gate allows easy access to the Glass House. While the southern gate opens up to Lalbagh Road, it is commonly considered the main gate. The eastern gate is located near Jayanagar, while the western gate can be found close to the Siddapura Circle.
Flowers in Lalbagh
The garden’s caretakers have maintained a diverse and vibrant plant collection since its inception. In medieval times, rulers imported plants from faraway places such as Persia, Cape Town, Kabul, Turkey, etc. Exotic species are brought in from around the globe, acclimatized, and further multiplied. This results in an impressive 1854 species stock that continues to grow.
Some of the exotic plants here include Amherstia Nobilis, Adansonia digitata, Ficus bengalensis var – krishnae, Araucaria Cookie, Bombax Ceiba, and Dillenia Indica, among many others. These plants make this area one of the most beautiful horticultural hotspots in the nation.
Points of Interest in Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Flower Show at Lalbagh Botanical Garden
The Lalbagh Botanical Garden hosts a bi-annual flower show that is an amazing sight to see. Visitors travel from all over India to see the millions of flowers and thousands of plants, as well as the amazing artistry involved in creating the flower structures and figurines.
It is held twice a year, once in January during the Indian Republic Day week and again in August during Independence Day. A new theme is selected every year, and floral arrangements are created according to that theme.
Over 20 million flowers and plants are imported annually from around the globe. The spectacular Glass House, located within the Botanical Gardens hosts the show. The show runs from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Even though it is best to see the show in the morning, when all the flowers are in full bloom in their vibrant colors, the night is an entirely different experience; the entire Glass House glows in a golden glow, making the structures appear even more magical and ethereal.
The Glass House
One of the main attractions in the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is the Glass House which is inspired by London’s Crystal Palace; it is a large structure made from glass and iron that houses rarer species.
The glasshouse hosts a flower show twice a year, one in January and the other in August. Guests are invited to visit the glasshouse and see some of the most beautiful plants and flowers from around the globe.
Lalbagh Rock stands out as one of the most prominent attractions in the garden. This rock is a National Geological Monument that was placed in the garden by Geological Survey India. The rock is described as being over 3000 million years old. This makes it one of the oldest rocks in the world.
The Floral Clock
This clock is 7 meters wide and contains different flowers, plants, and shrubs. It is located in a garden decorated with figurines from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This makes it a relaxing place for children and adults.
Lalbagh Lake is a natural lake that lies just beside the garden, and allowed for construction of this garden in the first place. The Lalbagh Botanical Gardens was established in the year 1760 by Hyder Ali. The lake was believed to be one of the main reasons for Hyder Ali to set up the park.
However, the credit for developing this natural lake and its surrounding areas go to the then Superintendent of Lalbagh, James Cameroon. He was the person who commissioned the lake in 1890 to provide water to the botanical garden. Under his orders, the bund was built, and ornamental steps leading to the lake were constructed. He also set up a waste weir to the lake.
The lake has a lovely walk bridge that passes over it at the eastern end. The lake connects the two ponds lying on its north and south corners. These two ponds are known as Lotus Pond and Sunken Pond. Both the ponds are totally dried out and silted. You can enjoy boating or picnicking right next to the lake. It is a great place for relaxation, even though it is in the middle of the city.
How To Reach Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Lalbagh Botanical Garden is located at a distance of 38.8 km from Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore. There are frequent bus routes that ferry between the two places. You can also book a taxi or hire a car which will take you to Lalbagh after a short 45-minute drive through the city of Bangalore.
Price and Timings of Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Timings: Monday to Sunday (9 AM – 6 PM)
Price: INR 20 for adults and INR 10 for children
Best Time to Visit Lalbagh Botanical Garden
The best time to visit the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is during winter, which lasts from November to March in Bangalore. Even though the gardens remain open throughout the year, it can get pretty stuffy and hot during summer.
It is also pointless visiting here during the monsoon when the rain can prevent you from enjoying the full beauty of the garden. You should also plan your trip to the garden during January and August when the flower show takes place yearly in the Glass House.
To Know More About Other Attractions in Bangalore, Read: 10 Best Places to Visit in Bangalore
Are cars allowed inside Lalbagh?
The Horticulture Department banned all government vehicles from Lalbagh Botanical Garden and introduced electric vehicles and bicycles to allow movement within the city’s most important lung space.
Is it permissible to picnic in Lalbagh?
Yes you can picnic in the 240 acresgarden.
Who laid out Lalbagh?
In 1760, Haider Ali, the ruler of Mysuru, commissioned the development of Lalbagh gardens, which are spread over 25 acres. His son Tipu Sultan completed it. In 1856, it was made a government-owned botanical garden.
Is it possible to cycle in Lalbagh?
Bicycling in Lalbagh is prohibited.
What number of gates are there in Lalbagh?
Lalbagh has four different entrances making it easy to get in and out. The West gate is located close to Lalbagh Metro station. Parking is available at the double street entrance.