Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka a southern state of India has many sobriquets including Garden City and Silicon Valley of India. Much before the IT industry took root in the city and Software Parks started mushrooming instead of nature parks, Bangalore used to be quiet and enchanting getaway with vast expanses of green. Though the city which was once called a “Pensioners Paradise”, owing to its salubrious weather, green cover and gardens has transformed into a bustling metropolis, many of its iconic gardens thrive even today. They are the lung spaces for a city dotted with modern concrete structures. Bangalore is a must visit city in India and getting there easy as frequent domestic and international flights arrive and depart from here. The mushrooming of budget airlines also ensures that one can book cheap air tickets for Bangalore to Delhi flights or to and from anywhere in the country. Bangalore offers many and varied experiences and is also the nodal point for many of the natural and cultural landmarks of the state of Karnataka. Here we look at some of the gardens of Bangalore that justify the Garden City tag for the city.
Lal Bagh which literally translates to “Red Garden” is a sprawling and historic garden in the centre of Bangalore city. This garden which is one of the prime tourist attractions of Bangalore was planned and laid out in the year 1760. It was Hyder Ali who ruled over the then state of Mysore who conceived the plan for the Lal Bagh and initiated it. The garden however was completed by his son Tipu Sultan.
Lal Bagh is a sprawling garden spread over 270 acres and has the largest collection of tropical plants in India. The Lal Bagh has four gates and has been designed in the Mughal Garden style which was much in vogue in those times. Over 673 genera and more than 1800 species of plants are found in Lal Bagh. The garden is also enlivened with the cries of different bird species like the Brahminy Kite, Pond Heron, Common Egret, Parakeets, and Mynahs. A serene lake provides a picturesque setting within the garden while there is an exquisitely designed Glass House in the centre. The Glass House is the venue for flower exhibitions. Flower shows are organized twice in a year at Lalbagh to coincide with the Indian Independence Day on August-15, and the Indian Republic Day on January-26. The Lal Bagh is also home to some very old trees which tower over the sprawling gardens. Lal Bagh is a favourite haunt of locals and tourists alike.
The Cubbon Park is a sprawling garden in the middle of the Central Business District of Bangalore. It is named after the longest serving British Commissioner of the city, Sir Mark Cubbon. Cubbon Park was originally created in the year 1879 and at that time spanned an area of a 100 acres, however subsequent development and expansion resulted in the Park becoming larger and larger. Today Cubbon Park spans an area of almost 300 acres. The Cubbon Park is rich in flora and fauna and also encloses many heritage buildings. There are a few motorable roads that wind their way through the park along with walking paths. The Cubbon Park is home over 6000 plants and trees across ninety six species and sixty eight genera. The pathways inside the park are lined by exotic flowering Silver Oaks. The Cubbon Park is another vast garden and lung space that attracts locals and tourists alike. Within the Cubbon Park premises there is also a children’s play area and a toy train that takes you on a ride across the periphery of the Park.
Bannerghatta Biological Park
On the outskirts of Bangalore is situated the Bannerghatta Biological Park which was carved out of the larger Bannerghatta National Park. The Park is one of the few of its kind which is so close to a city. The Park provides a great opportunity for people learn about wildlife and watch them in their natural environs. The Park also aims to disseminate knowledge of the importance of the environment and bio-diversity amongst the younger generations. The Park offers Lion and Tiger safaris where the visitor is taken into the jungles in closed vehicles to closely observe the lions and tigers in their natural habitat. In addition there is a zoo which has more than 94 species of animals which include Deer, Cobra, Himalayan Black Bear, Panther, and various birds. There is also a museum and auditorium in the premises also. The auditorium screens films about wildlife and the conservation of environment. The Bannerghatta Biological Park also houses a Butterfly Park which has more than 48 species of butterflies.The park makes for an ideal day trip with the entire family and a great opportunity to combine a fun experience with the thrill of spotting wildlife as well as learning more about the environment we live in and the steps to be taken to protect and conserve it.
A visit to these three places that resound with the beauty and purity of nature will definitely convince you that Bangalore is indeed the Garden City and rightly so.