What to Do in Lalbagh?
"Appa (which means father), today we will go to the lake first," said my son as we entered Lalbagh, the largest botanical garden in Bengaluru. Covering an area of around 240 acres, Lalbagh is a major tourist attraction in Bengaluru. It is a treat to nature lovers
Ashy Prinia in Lalbagh
Hyder Ali, Sultan and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, commissioned the making of Lalbagh in 1760.
Have you visited Lalbagh?
As we reached the lake, we were welcomed by monkeys and kites. My son was delighted to see ducks swimming with young ducklings in tow. “They are so cute know appa!?” he exclaimed. "Yes" I replied.
This lake covers around 40 acres; maximum depth is around 3.5 meters. It has two islands, which were formed naturally while de-silting the lake. The lake and its surrounding areas are home to a large variety of bird species, including black pelican, white pelican, spot billed pelican, egret, night heron, Indian pond heron, grey heron, purple heron, little cormorant, great cormorant, Indian cormorant, oriental darter, white-breasted kingfisher, brahmini kite, parakeet, cranes, ducks, swans and geese.
Lalbagh Lake Is in the Background of This Video
Lalbagh was originally planned over 30 acres of land here, before Tipu Sultan and the British planned it across the 240 acres that we see today.— Mansoor Ali, founder, Bengaluru By Foot
"Shall we go to Master's tree?" asked I. My son gave a thumbs up happily. What we, abhyasis of Shri Ram Chandra Mission, call "Master's tree" is actually a 200-year-old Bombax tree.
Raja Yoga Guru Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari preferred to sit under this tree during his walks in Lalbagh in the 1990s. There is a wonderful positive energy around this tree.
I sat on a bench under the tree and meditated for few minutes while my son was feeding peanuts to a monkey.
"Where do we go next?" I asked my son. "Flower clock" he replied enthusiastically. It was not the first time that we were visiting Lalbagh.
My son is familiar with various places of interest in this beautiful garden. In fact we have shot many videos for our YouTube channel "Knowledge & Fun" in this garden.
The 7-meter-wide floral clock was gifted to Lalbagh by Hindustan Machine Tools in 1983. It uses an electronic oscillator regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time.
"Appa, aren't they cute"? Asked my son pointing at the statues of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs placed around the clock. I nodded with a smile.
A Video that We Shot in Lalbagh
The floral clock is always a must-visit in Lalbagh. I still remember the initial days when the clock was set up and people used to come in hordes to see the marvel. Those were not the smartphone, WhatsApp days. The word quickly got around and it was a topic of discussion among students who would rush to Lalbagh during weekends and holidays to see the clock. I hope the clock starts ticking again soon.— Subramanya, an old-time visitor to Lalbagh
Our next destination was Glass House, an excellent artistic structure in Lalbagh. Me and my son started walking towards it, enjoying our churmuri, a popular local street food item which I had bought from a vendor.
Built in the year 1890, Glass House was inspired by London's Crystal Palace. It is the center of attraction during the flower shows held around 26th January (Republic Day) and 15th August (Independence Day) every year in Lalbagh.
On these occasions more than 350 varieties of flowers are displayed decoratively enough to attract attention of tourists from all parts of the world.
Glass House Bangalore
Inside the Glass House During the Flower Show
"Shall we climb the hillock now?" I asked my son. He started running joyfully towards the Kempegowda Tower, which is on top of a huge rock in Lalbagh.
This watch tower was built by Kempegowda II 1597 to mark the limit to which he had predicted Bengaluru would expand in course of time. It is another matter that the city has now grown beyond his expectations.
This well-maintained artistic structure stands on a stretch of rock known as peninsular gneiss, which is 3,000 million years old. Me and my boy sat on the rock near the tower, enjoying the breathtaking views of the city while munching on roasted corn laced with red chilly powder, salt and lemon.
Kempegowda Tower Wikipedia
"Shall we go and say "Hi" to our little friends appa?" asked my son. I understood that he was referring to the bonsai garden. I nodded and said "Sure." Covering an area of around 2.5 acres, the bonsai garden in Lalbagh is home to more than 700 bonsai plants aged between 5 and 35 years.
We ended our trip to Lalbagh by exiting through the K H Road gate.
© 2018 Srikanth R