Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore: Part 1: Ancient Watch Tower and Organic Cultivation

Date of visit: 11/08/2008

The Lalbagh Gardens are based on the design of the Mughal Gardens that once stood at Sira, at a distance of 120 km from Bangalore on the main NH4 at Tumkur District in Karnataka. Lalbagh was established during the time of Hyder Ali in 1760 but it was later enlarged by his son Tipu Sultan, who enriched this garden by the addition of varieties of flower plants by procuring seeds and plants from Kabul, Persia, Mauritius and Turkey. Lalbagh is currently under the aegis of the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka. The Directorate is housed amidst the splendid environs of the botanical garden. Lalbagh was given the status of a Government Botanical Garden in 1856, and since then, it has been an internationally renowned center for scientific study of plants and botanical artwork and also conservation of plants. Lalbagh remains open daily from 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. throughout the year. Biannual flower shows are organized every year in January and August on the occasion of the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations respectively. Lalbagh Botanical Garden is considered to be one of the most diverse botanical garden in South Asia. It is located in the southern part of Bangalore and has four approach gates. The main gate is at the North facing towards Subbaiah circle, the West gate is towards Basavanagudi, the South gate is towards Jayanagar and the East gate is towards the Double Road.
Lalbagh Botanical Garden

I have visited Lalbagh many times during my 7 years stay in Bangalore. Amazingly, I have passed through the gate innumerable times but never written about it yet. This I wanted to do from a long time but I wanted to visit on the occasion of Flower show. The flower show in Lalbagh happens biannually in January and August on the occasion of the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. Every time some or the other work used to pop up and I couldn’t visit the garden. Well, this time I was free, so I took my camera and bike and went to the garden. Lalbagh is just 6-7 kms. from my place and I reached there in few minutes. There was an entry ticket of Rs. 30 for the 4th National Flower show 2008 and I paid Rs. 5 for the bike parking. There was rush as you can expect because of the flower show. I climbed the Lalbagh rock to see the ancient watch tower. This is one of the four watch towers said to have been built by the famous Kempe Gowda of Magadi(1521-1569) and marks the limits to which it was predicted that the town of Bangalore would extend:

Watch Tower

There is a very interesting thing about this rock written on a board over there with the title Geological Survey of India: National Geological Monument: This monument is over a typical exposure of peninsular gneiss, a geological term for complex mixture of granitic rocks extensively developed in peninsular India. The term was coined by Dr. W.F. Smeeth of Mysore geological department in 1916. The peninsular gneiss is among the oldest rocks of the earth dating back to 3000 million years. The antiquity of these rocks has attracted geologists all over the world and has given rise to erudite scientific papers on the evolution of the earth by the pioneers of the Mysore geological department, geological survey of India and scholars from the academy. Stone quarry of this gneiss still continues to be an endless source material for research in the various branches of earth science.

Lalbagh Rock

After taking shots I went inside the garden. To my left side I saw the Cacti house but it was locked. I moved further and found pandals on the other side. Inside, there were stone sculptures along with some nice decoration with the flowers:

Decoration with flowers

There was a huge sculpture of Ugra Narasimha. It is 6.7 meters tall monolithic made from a single boulder in 1528 during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya:

Ugra Narasimha

Also, the sculpture of Lord Ganesh was amazing:

Lord Ganesh

Then, I saw something very interesting, Lord Ganesh made from fruits and vegetables:

Lord Ganesh made from fruits and vegetables

After that I went to the other side, which was dedicated to organic cultivation. I took some shots, which will be quite helpful if you are interested in organic cultivation. Okay so here we go:

  1. Vermicomppost:
  2. Uses:

    • Rapid decomposition of organic waste.
    • Increase humus in soil.
    • Increased microbial growth.

    Inputs:

    • Organic waste.
    • Cow dung.
    • Earth worms.
  3. Biodigester:
  4. Uses:

    • Increased microbial growth.
    • Increase immunity in plant system.
    • Nutritional management.

    Inputs:

    • 100 parts Cow dung.
    • 50 parts Cow urine.
    • 250 parts water.
    • 1 part organic waste.

    Biodigester and Vermicomppost

  5. Jeevamritha:
  6. Uses:

    • Increased microbial growth.
    • Increase humus in soil.
    • Rapid decomposition of organic waste.

    Inputs:

    • 10 parts Cow dung.
    • 10 parts Cow urine.
    • 2 parts any pulse floor.
    • 1 part farm soil.
    • 200 parts water.

    Jeevamritha

  7. Azolla: provides nitrogen to the plants. (0.2 to 0.3 % nitrogen)
  8. Azolla

These are the raw materials for garlic-based pesticides:

garlic-based pesticides

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38 Comments

  1. Richard McLaughlin:

    Linked to in my blog carnival at http://richardmclaughlin.biz/brevity/ and stumbled.

  2. Rosemary:

    Linked to my blog carnival at http://mydiyhometips.com/2008/09/09/blog-carnival-edition-no-6/

  3. Helene:

    Thanks for your contribution to my “Take Charge of Your Health Care Carnival.” It looks like a very peaceful place, and relaxation is so important to good health. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photographs.

  4. TravellersDiary:

    Great photographs, I must say. I’ve been to Lalbagh recently and couldn’t help but notice how so many ‘newcomers’ to Bangalore don’t visit this place, but the tourists make it a point to come here. The walk beside the Lake periphery, morning jog, watching the birds do their usual chore and having roasted corn while watching all these was an excellent experience. Next time Flower show happens, I’ll make it a point to visit there.

  5. Art:

    Lord Ganesh made out of fruit and vegetables is interesting. Whatever works I guess.

  6. anisha:

    i will make it a point to visit lalbagh now. been here in bangalore for a year now, a ‘newcomer’…
    thanks for the photo peep.

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    @ Anisha. You are welcome!

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    i will make it a point to visit lalbagh now. been here in bangalore for a year now, a ‘newcomer’…
    thanks for the photo peep.

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