As sweet floral scents permeated the air, shutterbugs went on a clicking frenzy over the profusion of vibrant hued flora at the famous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in the city.
In its 100th edition, the biannual flower show at Lalbagh added special fervour to the Independence Day celebrations held in the city. An aura of cheer intermingled with the heady awe of visitors as the flower show surpassed expectations with a mind-boggling display of flowers.
Visitors to the show were treated to a replica (20 feet high and 30 feet wide) of the serene Baha’i temple of Delhi Lotus temple at the Glass House. “We chose the Baha’i temple for its beauty and simplicity. The temple is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and we thought we could highlight it by building a replica in the flower show,” says H M Krishnappa, Deputy Director of Horticulture at Lalbagh. The massive spectacle required 175000 white carnations and 85000 white roses along with the rarely used tube roses which were progressively replaced by several thousand white orchids.
The Glass House also displayed a number of temperate flowers brought in especially from Ooty including agapanthus, lily, alstroemeria, prenula and cyclamen as well as 15 varieties of anthurium from Coorg. “The flower show was a big success with a footfall of over 8 lakh including students which is almost 2 lakh more people as compared to the show held earlier this year in January,” said Krishnappa. Stalls set up on the premises sold everything from flower seeds to jewellery, attracting a large number of people. Along with the flower show, the Horticulture Society also organizes a number of competitions where individuals and companies display their green thumb with gusto. While 72 prizes were given out in the individual category, the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) walked away with a number of prizes in the ornamental garden, kitchen garden and landscaping competitions organized for companies.
The foundations for the Gardens were laid by the ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali and were later expanded by his son, Tipu Sultan. Saplings were imported from Cape Town, Mauritius, Turkey, Afghanistan and Persia to add to the beauty of the Gardens. Today, the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens are spread over 240 acres in the heart of Bangalore city and are home to over 1000 species of exotic trees, shrubs and plants. While the garden was in the care of the East India Company, a Glass house was constructed remodelled after the Crystal Palace in London. It is here in this glass house that a garden show is held twice a year on the occasion of Independence and Republic day.
“Our theme this year was well-liked. We are now pondering over the theme to be used in next year’s flower show,” said Krishnappa. Although appreciating the skill involved in portraying Delhi’s Lotus Temple, visitors to the show felt that the theme should highlight Bangalore’s magnificent legacy.
- Raintree Media Features