bangalore sights: lalbagh botanical garden.

lalbagh botanical gardens is one of my favourite spots in all of bangalore. i have spent innumerable hours at lalbagh over the years, visiting for picnics and boys’ home field trips and runs around the lake, but until this last weekend i had never visited specifically to see the flower show. i have seen it once before, very briefly with a large group of boys from the boys’ home, but i wanted to be able to spend some time and enjoy it in peace.

lalbagh was built in the late 1700s by hyder ali and his son tipu sultan and now sits over 188 acres in the southern heart of the city. with gorgeous gardens to wander through, trees to marvel at, and a beautiful lake to stroll around, a visit to lalbagh can be a delightful experience. from the hill you have a 360-view of the city and you can see one of the original city boundaries, now firmly nestled in the middle of bangalore.

every year for republic day [26 january] and independence day [15 august], the glass house in the middle of lalbagh has a fabulous flower show exhibition. there have been over 200 such exhibitions, and the tradition shows no signs of letting up. last year the central exhibit for independence day was a replica of the bangalore palace, and for republic day this year it was a replica of the home of gh krumbeigel, the president of the mysore horticulture society and the long-time designer at lalbagh.

cindy and i ventured to lalbagh for our sunday morning run this past weekend so that we could also visit the glass house and see all the flowers. the crowd was crazy, even at 8am, but we still took a quick spin through to see what this year’s exhibits looked like.

to be honest, the replica of krumbeigel’s home was a little underwhelming, but the rest of the exhibits were pretty grand. our personal favourite was the mermaid [we christened her bertha] for all of the conversational fodder she provided us, but otherwise we enjoyed the half-hour we spent wandering amongst all the flowers. if i am still here in august, i’ll definitely drop in again to see what the centerpiece is. and to people-watch.

good things to know:

  • regular admission is rs 10, but walkers and joggers can enter for free between 6am-9am and between 6pm-7pm.
  • during the flower shows [16-26 january / 5-15 august], admission increases to rs 10 for children and rs 50 for adults [except for sundays and holidays, when it is rs 60]
  • there are 4 entrances to the garden — double road, lalbagh road, siddapur circle, and near jayanagar. there are directional names for these gates [north, east, etc], but i always get confused as to which is which. double road leads to the shantinagar bus stand, and lalbagh road gets you to mtr. that’s all i need to know.
  • the tender coconut guy outside the lalbagh road gate is really nice. tell him veena and cindy sent you.

xx

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