Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Lalbagh




The above are a couple of pictures of LALBAGH a very important and historic park of the city similar to MOGHAL gardens in many ways and old and historic in the heart of the city. Generally Lalbagh and Cubbon parks are termed as the two key parks of the city..Lalbagh styled on Moghal style  and the Cubbon park typically in the British style.

This park was conceived by Hyder Ali as a response to suggestions from many visitors who used to visit him the idea of creating a park on Moghal lines and this park appears to have been developed almost in tandem with the Summer Palace built by Hyder Ali near the present day city-market and Lalbagh would be five minutes drive in a horse driven chariot or on a horse back from the Summer palace. Hyder Ali drew inspiration from the Moghals who preceded him and built Palaces and parks on those lines. both the Bangalore Palace and Lalbagh was completed by his son but envisioned by Hyder Ali himself.

Note that the park is close to a hillock which acted as some kind of a watch tower for any troops possibly getting into Bangalore from madras and a olden travel conduit between Madras and Bangalore has become the  Hosur road to Madras. The hillock owes its significance to KEMPE GOWDA who was a chieftain of this place along with three other hillocks at various points of the city and these hillocks were some kind of a military watch tower and largely oriented themselves in directions of possible enemy onslaught and also served as corner stones.

The word lalbagh literally means the RED PARK possibly pointing to roses that formed a key component of Moghal gardens.Why did this location be considered for a park...the water that flowed down the hillock during rains were collected in a trough below forming a large pool which served the water needed to maintain the garden a handy system of those times.

Another striking feature within this park is the Glass House  which to me looks like a moghal like palace and the kings of these times had an idea of converting it into some kind of a full time palace within these gardens which the Moghals did at many places..enjoy moon-lit nights  amid roses. The events of these times in the Deccan became too chaotic that many of these fantasies could not bear fruition .However the Glass House is a British structure built on the lines of Crystal Palace in London in 1898 under instigation from legends and insights of yore.  It took some twelve years to build the Bangalore palace of Hyder Ali  seen near the modern City-Market..a small structure by modern standards and this palace bears striking resemblance to the styles of  Malabar. Transporting stones took a hell of time and effort delaying the activities of construction.

I can go on and on..The British continued to maintain this garden in my view point and had a fancy for it. The Cubbon Park takes shape much later around the house of the Regent the modern Raj Bhavan ..Sir Mark Cubbon wanted a British like park for the Europeans around this place to spend their mornings and evenings. Cubbon park is distinct in its vast array of well ordained trees..It is more of a British Wood than a park yet a wonderful and self sustaining flora.

Lalbagh for me simply is four things..the hillock...the pond...the glass house..and the vast expanse of flowers.Anyone aspiring to be at this place please ask for the Shanti Nagar bus stop and this place is just few yards from this point. The nearer locations would be DOUBLE ROAD or the K H ROAD and even the RICHMOND CIRCLE.

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