Lalbagh Botanical Garden

The first acknowledgeable credit for initiation of cultivation of Horticulture crops in the state undoubtedly goes to Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. At about 1760, Hyder Ali started a small royal orchard near Bangalore Fort, which was called by the name Lalbagh. After him, Tipu Sultan improved this garden by making systematic layouts and undertaking comprehensive planting programme. He collected several important native and exotic species of flowers, fruits, vegetables and other plants, obtained from several far off places such as Malacca, Isle of France, Oman, Arabia, Persia, Turkey, Zanzibar, France and other European countries.After the fall of Tipu Sultan in the year 1799, the Lalbagh was taken over by the English and as far as can be traced, it was owned by a military botanist, Major Waugh and remained in his possession until 1819. Then he gifted this garden to the Marques Warren Hastings, the Governor General of the East India Company, who in turn appointbannerghattaed Dr.Wallich, the Superintendent of the Royal Botanical Garden, Calcutta, as the in charge Deputy Superintendent of the Lalbagh Botanical gardens. This arrangement continued till 1831.On the British usurpation of the province of Mysore in 1831, Lalbagh passed into the hands of Sir Mark Cubbon, the Chief Commissioner of Mysore. In 1839, the affairs of the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens were transferred to the Agri-Horticultural Society, Calcutta. The Society ceased to exist in 1842 and the Garden once again came under the management of the Chief Commissioner until 1856.

In August 1856, Lalbagh was made the Government Botanical Garden, becoming entirely a government establishment. A committee with the Secretary to the Commissioner, the Superintendent, Bangalore Division and Dr. Kirkpatrick, was set up to take measures to preserve all the interesting botanical species; and to make the garden attractive. Much work was done in the next two years. After a lapse of two years, in 1858, Sir William Hooker, Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, selected Mr. William New, as the Superintendent of the Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

The real developmental works in Lalbagh started from the year 1874, when John Cameron took charge of the garden. Vigorous and systematic introduction and expansion of the garden took place during his tenure. From original area of 45 acres, Lalbagh was expanded to 100 acres by the turn of the 19th century. The renowned Glass House was constructed his period in 1889. The credit of starting commercial cultivation of several fruits, vegetables and plantation crops, undoubtedly goes to John Cameron. His long term of office from 1874 to 1908, is regarded as the ‘Golden Period’ of plant introductions at Lalbagh.bannerghatta

G.H. Krumbiegal assumed the charge of Lalbagh in 1908. He did memorable works in Lalbagh, as well as Mysore State. Like his predecessor, he also introduced several plant species, including Rome Beauty Apple. He beautified Lalbagh with large number of native and exotic specie and gave special impetus to the creation of Park and Gardens in Bangalore and Mysore cities, including the famous Brindavan Gardens at Krishnarajasagara reservoir, near Mysore. He also started the Mysore Horticulture Society, in 1912 and through this Society, started regular Flower Shows at Lalbagh during Republic and Independence day.


When Dr.M.H Marigowda took the charge of the post of the Superintendent of Horticulture in Mysore, in 1951, the developmental works in the state started with an unprecedented pace. During his term, he took the Horticulture to the rural areas and to the common man. He set into implementation of an unique pattern of Horticulture development i.e, “4-Limbed Model of Horticulture”. bannerghattaTo suit to this, he established the Horticulture Produce Co-operative Marketing Society and the Nurserymen’s Co-operative Society at Bangalore. He started as many as 357 farms and nurseries all over the state. His visualization of the farms and nurseries was in developing them as progeny orchards, nursery centers and places of demonstration of new crops and technology to the farmers. Seed testing, soil testing and plant protection laboratories were started at Lalbagh by him. Several park and gardens were laid out in different cities and towns of the state. The area of Lalbagh Botanical Garden was expanded to 240 acres and planted with additional native and exotic species of plants during his period. Thus, through multifarious achievements and feats, the state of Karnataka became the “Horticultural State of India”, and Dr. Marigowda’s name became immortal in the annals of Horticulture development in Karnataka.

Click here to watch a video of Lalbagh Flower Show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aWjiHmPtGo

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