A Day at the Garden (s?)
First on our agenda for Bangalore- visiting the Lalbagh Gardens. It turns out that there is bit of history in its development:
Hyder Ali was the sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Best known for his military skills, he was frequently at war with the neighboring territories. In his second war with the Marathas in the 1760s he overtook Bangalore in trying to invade Seringapatam.
Around this time ,Hyder Ali commissioned the building of this private garden in response to the popularity of Mughal Gardens of the time. His son, Tipu Sultan, later completed it with subsequent help of British horticulturists. Lalbagh was given the status of a Government Botanical Garden in 1856 and is open to the public on a daily basis. It is internationally renowned for its flower shows and exhibits annually and its diverse species of plants.
The garden was originally 45 acres but now covers 240 acres. It contains almost 2,000 species of flora, trees that are hundreds of years old.
It also contains one of four Kempe gowda towers. The founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda, built these towers to mark the boundaries of the city- north, south, east, and west.
Clearly, it is a vast garden. We spent a few hours simply walking around and taking in the beautiful nature. Here are some of our discoveries (I apoligize for my lack of knowledge on what these plants are called/where they are from):
The entrance to Lalbagh, lined with flora.
Tree climbing with Earl!
This tree reminded me of Rafiki’s tree in The Lion King. Yes, I did proceed to blast “Circle of Life” from my iPod. 🙂
Neat palm-like tree.
These are a type of bush-tree. They only came up to my waist.
Bamboo leaning trees…interesting.
Walkway; reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. (It seems that my whole view on life revolves around Disney!)
Another gorgeously huge tree!
These flowers have thick prickly stems.
Look at the way these stems are twisting!
So that was our walk through the garden! By this time we were ready for some lunch and a rest off our feet. We found a side street lined with whole-in-the-wall cafes. We stopped at every place looking for a new food option, but it seemed to be daal day. Though menus boasted of dosa, parathas, or veg curries, one Tali tray was the only option when we inquired. We finally sat down at a place. The steel plate consisted of moong daal, tendli curry, rice, yogurt, papad and roti.
The tendli was my favorite as I have never had it before. It seems to be a type of ivy gourd but at first glance it looks like pieces of green jalepenos. It has a very mild taste with the addition of spices. The daal was hot, the rice was perfectly steamed, but the breads were stale and the yogurt was all liquid with chunks in it. So mediocre lunch off the streets of India. Just goes to show that every hole-in-the-wall place is not fantastic. 🙂
Craving something fresh, we walked across the street for freshly squeezed pineapple juice. Wow was that refreshing and delicious!
With a second wind, we decided to simply walk around and explore the streets. Seeing a street sign reading “Wilson Garden,” we decided to head in that direction. We were ready to sit in a nice park and see some more trees or something. Well, we walked a kilometer or two before reaching a T in the road…no garden. Haha- I guess we walked down Wilson Garden Road. Continuing to the left we found a few cemeteries to roam through.
It was low key, and there is much more to see in Bangalore, but we were very content with exploring our own and enjoying our time in the city!