Lalbagh Botanical Garden is a must among places to visit in Bangalore. The 240 acre Lalbagh Botanical Garden with more than 1,800 species of plants, shrubs and trees serves as the lungs of Bangalore. Built by the legendary Hyder Ali in 1760, Lalbagh Botanical Garden is a prominent landmark of Bangalore and is host to the world famous flower show making it a key destination among places to visit in Bangalore. Lalbagh Botanical Garden is not only a horticulturist’s paradise, but it also provides a respite to people of Bangalore from the ever spreading concrete jungle. Lalbagh Botanical Garden is the favorite of all morning walkers of Bangalore and is the venue of the famous Bangalore Heritage Walk which is another must among places to visit in Bangalore.
Lalbagh is located in Jayanagar and is 4 KMs from the City railway station, making it easily accessible among places to visit in Bangalore. Lalbagh has 4 gates. The East Gate is where parking for vehicles is available and is towards the Double Road. Lalbagh can also be reached from Subbaiah circle through the Northern Gate, from Basavanagudi through the West Gate and even from Jayanagar through the South Gate.
For walkers, the timings are 6am-9am and 6pm-7pm.
The Lalbagh Garden is open from 9 am – 6pm.
The entrance fee is Rs 10 for all aged 12 or above.
The most popular structure within Lalbagh is the Glass House. Built in 1890 on the lines of Crystal Palace of London, it plays host to the Flower Shows twice a year. Incidentally the Crystal Palace of London was gutted in a fire in 1936 and Lalbagh is its only remaining avatar! Hence this is an important destination to include among places to visit in Bangalore.
Bonsai Garden is located near the Double Road gate and is spread over 2.5 acres. There are more than 700 plants belonging to several species of Trees. Kempegowda Tower has an interesting story behind it. It was built to mark the boundary of Bangalore which Kempe Gowda had predicted in the 16th century. Cleary he had under-estimated by a huge margin! It is located on a 3000 million year old rock called Peninsular Gneiss, another landmark not to miss among places to visit in Bangalore.
The Tree Fossil is an interesting relic to see. It is a carbonized trunk of a 20 million year old coniferous found between the band stand and topiary garden.
Right at the entrance of the main gate is a beautiful Floral Clock. Kids would love the characters form Snow White sculpted around the clock. With a large expanse of lawns, Lalbagh is always a favorite for kids among places to visit in Bangalore.
At the west gate is the Guard Room, an interesting granite structure in the shape of a lantern with glass windows and ventilators.
Right in the center of Lalbagh is a 30 acre Lake which is home to ducks, herons, egrets and pelicans. The Lalbagh Lake is surrounded by several trees hundreds of years old. The greenery and the bird life at Lalbagh offers repute from the urban chaos prevalent in most other places to visit in Bangalore.
The Band stand built by British in 1870 is another notable attraction of Lalbagh which shouldn't be missed among places to visit in Bangalore.
Pigeon House is a small structure built in 19th century and can hold 100 pairs of the birds!
The Lalbagh Flower Show is organised twice a year in January and August, to commemorate Republic Day and Independence Day of India. It is among the most popular places to visit in Bangalore. More than a million visitors come to Lalbagh during the Flower Show. Each year, there is a special theme for the Lalbagh Flower Show. The first Lalbagh Flower Show was held in 1912 and organised by Superintendent of Lalbagh G H Krumbiegal. Mysore Horticultural Society has been organising these shows for the last hundred years.
Right next to the main gate of Lalbagh Botanical Garden is MTR or Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, the legendary restaurant, easily one of the best restaurants in Bangalore. The ritual is to burn the calories bu running around Lalbagh at dawn and then make up for the lost calories at MTR! The best of south indian breakfast is available here in the form of idli, dosa, masala dosa, khara bath, kesari bath, kesari bath and filter coffee. MTR at Lalbagh opens at 630 am and it is better to be one of the early birds as in no time serpentine queues form up especially on weekends. Contact number for MTR in Lalbagh is 080-22230471.
It is said that not visiting MTR in Bangalore is akin to not visiting The Taj while in Agra!
Lalbagh Lake has seen polluted over the years due to untreated sewage water being dumped into it. Recently there has been an initiative to grow Vetiveria Zizanioide commonly called Khus Grass around the Lake as it has a property of absorbing toxins.
For my travelogues on weekend destinations around Bangalore, visit Great Weekend Ideas from Bangalore.