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Lalbagh

The Lalbagh GateLalbagh garden has demonstrated a marvellous capacity for accepting, accommodating and sheltering its vast and varied collection of flora. They cover a broad spectrum of intercontinental plant wealth.

Lalbagh was established during the time of Hyder Ali on the model of the Mogul garden at Sira. His son Tipu Sultan, who enriched this garden later, enlarged it, by the addition of varieties of flowering plants by procuring seeds and plants from Kabul, Persia, Mauritius and Turkey. Sir Mark Cubbon who took over this garden in 1856 and Cleghorn elevated it to a Botanical Garden. The garden is now regarded as a guiding centre for research, extension and developmental activities in the entire state.

Lalbagh is the name by which the famous garden at Bangalore is now known. But Lalbagh is not the original name of the garden. There are no records to prove that it was called Lalbagh till 1856. In earlier records it was referred to as the Mango Tope and the Cypress Garden. The reason why people stated calling it Lalbagh was due to the fact that there was a beautiful garden called Lalbagh at Srirangapatna. It was grown by Hyder and Tipu. The Gumbaz containing tombs of Hyder and Tipu is situated at the centre of the ground that was once a beloved garden Lalbagh of Tipu.

Fountain Ater the death of Tipu Sultan, Lalbagh came into the possession of the East India Company. Major Waugh stocked the gardens with a variety of foreign fruit trees, useful vegetables and curious plants. In 1831, on the assumption of administration of Mysore by the British Company, the Lalbagh passed into the hands of the Chief Commissioner of Mysore. In 1836, Lalbagh was transferred to the Agri-Horticultural Society Branch at Bangalore. In 1856, the Lalbagh became a Government Botanical Garden, a Government controlled establishment.

At the Rendition in 1881, the garden again passed to the Government of the Maharaja of Mysore. From the original area of 40 acres, the garden size was more than doubled. By the turn of the century, the total area of the gardens was more than 120 acres.

The Glass House

Glass House

"In the necklace of Bangalore's parks, Lalbagh is the pendant. And set at the heart of this pendant is a diamond in the form of the Glass House.
Let the Glass House bring eternal joy to the people and may the Glass House celebrate not one but many centennial years in perpetuity.
Designed, originally, on the lines of the Crystal Palace in England, it was built with the specific objective of providing a sequestered locale for flower shows. But, over time, its scope has widened. The Glass House is now a national venue for conducting various meetings and public functions."

May 28, 1991
The former President of India, at the inaugural function of the Glass House in 1989.

R.Venkataraman

There is a stunning resemblance between the Glass House and the Crystal Palace of London. The Crystal Palace was constructed in the year 1851 at Hydepark, London, to house the world's first and greatest exhibition. After the exhibition was over, the glass conservatory was removed from the exhibition ground and refitted on top of the Sydenham Hill in South London. There it remained as an important centre for musical programmes, athletic activities and exhibitions it accidentally caught fire and was burnt down. It left behind only its model, the Glass House at Lalbagh, Bangalore.

Lalbagh has a history of over 200 years whereas the Glass House has a history of about a 100 and odd years. The idea of the Glass House emerged in the year 1888 by John Cameron for the main purposes of breeding plants and holding horticultural shows which were being held around the Bandstand in front of Glass House in earlier years. Originally there was the plan to accommodate an office room, library and herbarium in one of the wings of the Glass House, later it was decided to have only the exhibition main hall and side wings. The Prince of Wales, his Royal Highness, Albert Victor laid the foundation of the Glass House and it was named after him and was called the Albert Victor Conservatory.

 

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