About Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
Lalbagh is one of the oldest botanical gardens in India and is also a major tourist attraction in South India. Located in South Bengaluru, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is not only one of the largest botanical gardens in India, but also the first of its kind, with planned routes, glasshouses and ornamental flowers growing throughout the property.
The garden itself is spread over an area of 240 acres and its construction was commissioned by the famous ruler Hyder Ali. It was finally completed by his son- Tipu Sultan- who designed the gardens keeping in mind the beautiful gardens of Sira in Tumkur District in Karnataka.
Lalbagh is home to exotic flowers that were imported by the Sultan from countries like France, Persia, Arabia, Afghanistan, etc. Therefore, flowers that were previously never seen in India were first witnessed in this historical garden. Trees that were imported by Tipu Sultan from all over the world can still be found growing here.
Apart from the exotic trees, visitors can also catch sight of some rare birds such as the Myna, pond heron, purple moorhen, parakeets, Brahminy kites, the common egret and much more. Apart from the stunning flora and fauna of the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, it has another striking attraction, which is the Lalbagh rock. This rock, which is said to be over 3000 years old, is one of the oldest rocks in the world and can be found in the center of the garden.
History of Lalbagh Botanical Garden Lalbagh is not only one of the most well-developed botanical gardens in India with a wealth of exotic flora and fauna, but also a historically significant place. Hyder Ali who was the ruler of Mysore between 1761-1782, commissioned the construction of the garden. In fact, he was known for the many gardens whose foundations he laid and architecture he ordained during his reign as emperor.
The development of the Lalbagh Botanical Garden was then taken over by his son Tipu Sultan who added to the beauty of the garden by importing trees and plants of his own from faraway countries.The layout of the garden was based on the sprawling Mughal gardens that were being constructed throughout the Mughal Empire, especially the one at Sira- an important Mughal outpost in South India and a little distance away from Bangalore city.
After its completion in the 18th century, Lalbagh also received India’s first lawn-clock and was home to the largest collection of exotic plants in the Indian subcontinent. By 1860, Lalbagh also had animals like orangutans, peacocks, rhinos, deer and emus. The foundation for the now-famous glasshouse was laid by Prince Albert Victor in 1889, where the structure was modeled on the Crystal Palace in London. Today, Lalbagh is home to some of the most exotic plant and bird species and is also the resting place of the Lalbagh Rock, one of the oldest rocks on the planet.
Flower show at Lalbagh Botanical Garden
The bi-annual flower show at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is a spectacle to behold. People travel from far and wide from India and even from abroad to witness millions of flowers, thousands of plants and the incredible artistry that goes into making the figurines and flower structures.
The show takes place twice a year- once during January in the same week as the Indian Republic Day, and another time in August, during Independence Day. Each year, a different theme is chosen and flower arrangements are made according to the theme.
Plants and flowers are imported from all over the world and over 20 lakh flowers are used each year to make semi-permanent structures in various characteristic shapes and designs. The show takes place inside the striking Glass House which is located on the premises of the Botanical Gardens and goes on from 9:00 am in the morning until 6:00 pm in the evening.
Even though the best time to witness the show is in the morning when you can see all the flowers in full bloom and in all their vibrant colours, night time is a whole different experience. The whole Glass House lights up in a golden glow which makes the structures look even more magical and ethereal.
How to Reach Lal Bagh Botanical Garden- From Airport?
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.
Best Time to Visit Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
The best time to visit the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens 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, which is when the flower show takes place every year in the Glass House.
What Not to Miss at Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
Attractions at Lalbagh Botanical Garden Apart from being a learning centre and a fantastic retreat in the middle of the city, there are several unique attractions that you can check out as well when you are there. Here are some features of the garden you must not miss:
1. The Glass House
The Glass House in the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is one of its primary attractions. Modelled after the Crystal Palace in London, this Glasshouse is a huge structure made of glass and iron which houses some of the rarer species of plants.
A flower show is conducted two times every year inside the glasshouse- once in January and another time in August- where guests are welcome to come and witness some of the most beautiful flowers and plants from all over the world.
2. Lalbagh Rock
Lalbagh Rock is definitely one of the most striking attractions in the garden. The rock is a National Geological Monument, placed in the garden by the Geological Survey of India. A small placard outlining information about the rock claims that it is over 3000 million years old, making it one of the oldest rocks in the whole world.
3. The Floral Clock
The Floral Clock is a large natural clock composed of various flower plants and shrubs, measuring 7 metres in diameter. It is placed in a garden that is also decorated with figurines from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, making it an interesting place for both adults and children to relax
4. Lalbagh Lake
Lalbagh Lake is a natural lake located just alongside the garden whose presence allowed the construction of the garden in the first place. Visitors can try out boating and picnics beside the lake, making it the ideal place to relax, despite being in the heart of the city.
Places to visit near Lalbagh
Despite Lalbagh being a great attraction of its own, there are several interesting places one can visit in the vicinity.
1. Tipu Sultan’s Palace
Located 2.3 km from the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, this used to be a much sought-after summer retreat for Tipu Sultan, who used to frequently stay at this palace. It is a two-storey structure which is now a museum. The palace also has manicured gardens, wooden structures and intricate architecture.
2. Bangalore Fort
Bangalore Fort is located 2.4km from Lalbagh. It was built by Kempe Gowda in the 15th century and was renovated by Hyder Ali in the 17th century. Although there were initially nine massive gates, the Delhi Gate is the only survivor.
3. Bull Temple
The Bull Temple is not only an incredible specimen of Indian art and architecture but is also the oldest temple in Karnataka. It is dedicated to Nandi- the loyal consort of Lord Shiva. It is 3.4 km from the botanical garden and is a place you must visit when you are in Bangalore.
4. Cubbon Park
Located 4.6 km from the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Cubbon Park is an expanse of clean and organized greenery, right in the heart of the city. Gulmohar and silver oak trees grow in abundance in the park which is frequented by people for its fresh air and peaceful atmosphere.
Other Essential Information About Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
Location: Mavalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka 56000
Timings: Monday to Sunday (9:00 am – 6:00 pm)
Price: INR 20 for adults and INR 10 for children|
Facts about Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Here are some interesting facts you should know about Lalbagh Botanical Garden:
1. The garden was constructed over hundreds of years by several people. What started out as a passionate project for the ruler of Mysore- Hyder Ali- was later developed into a horticultural research centre by his son- Tipu Sultan. It was finally completed, developed and maintained by British officials and Indian experts in horticulture.
2. The name Lalbagh is derived from the original garden that was constructed by Hyder Ali, which was full of red roses. Lal refers to the overwhelming red roses that were spread throughout the property.
3. The garden was originally intended to be a private garden spread over 40 acres of land. However, it is now one of the biggest gardens in the country, occupying over 240 acres of land.
4. Lalbagh is the first botanical garden of its kind in India boasting of a geometrical structure, four entry and exit points, paved roads and open spaces for people to relax under the shade of many trees inside.
5. Lalbagh is not only a place for visitors to come and witness the exotic birds and flowers, but also a research and educational centre for horticulturalists, biologists, students, researchers, and scientists, because of its vast and unique resources.
Tips for visiting Lalbagh
Here are some useful tips you should keep in mind when you are visiting Lalbagh Botanical Gardens:
1. The garden has been maintained with care and precaution for hundreds of years, which is why it is absolutely imperative for visitors to take care of the garden as well. Littering, dirtying and leaving trash and vandalism is strictly prohibited and looked down upon.
2. Tickets for the flower show that takes place twice a year can be bought online beforehand to avoid any hassle when you reach the venue.
3. The garden is spread over a large area, so it is recommended that you carry a pair of walking/running shoes.
4. Because of the vast expanse of the garden, it is best that you sign up for a guided tour, where an expert will take you to the most remarkable places inside and share valuable insights. This is especially recommended if you are visiting for the first time.