No visit to
would be complete without walking around ’s most
famous botanical garden. But did you know that this was almost precisely the
same words that BL Rice (1837-1927) wrote when he visited Lalbagh,
India and wrote the gazetteer. Bangalore
Rice was in
to compile facts for his gazette.
He went around the city and he has given us a detailed description of Bangalore and its
He says horticulture in the State and
Bangalore in particular received a
boost with the establishment of the Agri-Horticultural society in in 1839. Bangalore
Horticulture received a further boost when Lalbagh was declared as a horticultural and botanical garden in 1856.
Rice says the Lalbagh helped growers and horticulturists of
make a profitable living. Bangalore
The Lalbagh inspired many Indian and European growers and farmers to take up horticulture and floriculture. Both the Lalbagh and growers imported seeds and plants directly from
and other places. England
Rice says Roses were the most favoured flowering plant to be imported into
. He says the authorities at Lalbagh
took care to grow 258 varieties of roses, 160 kinds of ferns, 122 varieties of
crotons and a large number of ornamental and flowering plants including orchids
and creepers. Bangalore
The Lalbagh thus took the initiative in introducing several new varieties of plants and fruit bearing trees in the State. Besides, it imported scores of species of plants and trees and encouraged the growth of horticultural crops.
Rice says Lalbagh imported from South America, varieties such as Achras Sapota (which is widely used in medicine), Eucharis Grandiflora, Allamanda Grandiflora and from
north America it imported
Magnolia Grandiflora, rubra, phlox paniculata.
Plants and tree such as AgapanthusUmbillatus, Mellanthus Major, Ganzia Splendens were imported from the Cape of Good Hope in
. South Africa
Lalbagh also imported from the South Sea islands, Acalypha tricolour and Crotons, while the Castanospermum funebris, Aslophila latebrosa and coccoloba plotyclada came from
The Cupressus funebris, farfugium grande, alternathera sessilis all came from
The Anagalis carrulea, viola odorata, myosotis arvenis came from
and from Mexico came Fuchsia
fulgens, ageratum mexicanum and agave . Americana
Rice found all these species growing in the Lalbagh. He says no account of
would be complete without a notice
of Lalbagh. “This beautiful garden, situated a mile to the east of the fort, appears
to have been first laid out in the time of Hyder Ali and enlarged in the time
of Tipu Sultan”. Bangalore
He then goes on to mention the description of Lalbagh in 1800 by Buchanan.
Rice says that Lalbagh has a rare and valuable collections of tropical, sub-tropical pants together with indigenous and foreign fruit bearing trees, He says this stock is constantly replenished by exchanges and donations. He says the Lalbagh was extended and it covered a little more than 100 acres.
He also mentions that a spacious glass house has been constructed. He then goes on to mention that a native artist has been hired to paint coloured drawing of all plants.
Thus, we see that Lalbagh even a century ago was the center of attraction and people visited it in large numbers even then. It was a cynosure of all eyes then and has continued to remain so even centuries later.By the way, all the shrubs, plants and trees mentioned by Rice still continue to flourish in Lalbagh. Care to take a look. Then head to Lalbagh.