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For the locality in Mangaloremarker, see Lalbagh, Mangalore.
For the Mughal fort in Dhakamarker, Bangladeshmarker. see Lalbagh Fortmarker.


The Lalbagh Glasshouse at night
Lal Bagh (Kannada: ಲಾಲ್ ಬಾಗ್) or Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is a well known botanical garden in Bangaloremarker, Indiamarker The garden was commissioned by the ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali. It has a famous glass house which hosts yearly flower show. It also has an aquarium and a lake, and is one of the tourist attractions in Bangalore.

Background

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden


Hyder Ali commissioned the building of this garden in 1760 but his son, Tipu Sultan, completed it. Lal Bagh is a 240 acre (971,000 sq.m. - almost 1 km².) garden and is located on the southern part of Bangaloremarker. It holds a number of flower shows, especially on the Republic Day (26th January). The garden has over 1,000 species of flora. The Glass House, modeled on London'smarker Crystal Palacemarker (now re-modelled with a different layout), is the center of attraction. Hyder Ali laid out these famous botanical gardens and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants from several countries. The Lal Bagh Gardens were commissioned by the 18th century and over the years it acquired India's first lawn-clock and the subcontinent's largest collection of rare plants. The garden also has trees that are over 100 years old.

The Glass House at Lal Bagh
The garden surrounds one of the towers erected by the founder of Bangaloremarker, Kempe Gowda. Hyder Ali decided to create this garden on the lines of the Mughal Gardens that were gaining popularity during his time. The park has some rare species of plants brought from Persiamarker, Afghanistanmarker and Francemarker. With an intricate watering system for irrigation, this garden is aesthetically designed, with lawns, flowerbeds, lotus pools and fountains. Most of the centuries old trees are labeled for easy identification. The Lal Bagh Rock, one of the oldest rock formations on earth, dating back to 3000 million years, is another attraction that brings the crowds.

Basis for modeling of Lal Bagh Gardens:
The Lal Bagh Gardens are based on the design of the Mughal Gardens that once stood at Siramarker, at a distance of 120 km from Bangalore on the main NH4 at Tumkur District in Karnataka. This is amply supported by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and other historical records. At that time, Sira was the head-quarters / capital of the strategically important southernmost Mughal "suba" (province) of the Deccan before the British Raj.

Tourism and eco-development

View of lake in Lal Bagh.
Lal Bagh remains open daily from 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. throughout the year. For the benefit of joggers, tourists and fitness enthusiasts, entry is free from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. At other times, a fee of Rs.10/- is charged. Entry for school children and the disabled is free all day.

Flower shows are conducted every year to educate people about the variety of flora and develop public interest in plant conservation and cultivation..

The Government of Karnataka organizes "Janapada Jaatre" in Lal Bagh on the second and fourth weekends (both Saturday and Sunday) of every month. Janapada Jaatre, which translates to Folk Fair, features Folk Dance, Music and Plays performed by troupes from all parts of Karnataka. The show mainly depicts the cultural folklore of Karnataka, the traditional costumes and musical instruments.


A Geological Monument for the Peninsular Gneissmarker formation is also a tourist attraction at the gardens. This monument has been designated by the Geological Survey of India on the Lal Bagh hill which is made up of 3000 million year old Peninsular Gneissic rocks. One of the four cardinal towers erected by Kemepgowda II, also a major tourist attraction, is seen above this hillock. This tower gives the full view of Bangalore from the top. .

Save Lal Bagh Protests

As part of the ongoing development of the Bangalore metro rail, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) has acquired a section of Lal Bagh of around 1,135 m2 where tree felling is taking place. On April 13 and 14, 2009, 500 feet of Lalbagh's wall was broken down and a number of eucalyptus trees were cut.

Citizens protests started almost immediately and have been continuing on a weekly basis.Protests are being made against illegal tree felling and land acquisition by the government without paying heed to various Acts put into place to protect Bangalore's greenery and public park spaces.

References

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