I’m kicking off my three part special on Lalbagh. On Sunday the 21st of December at about 6am I set off for Lalbagh. I rode bus 402 till majestic & then a bus going to Jaynagar (must be about 15 buses on this route).
Lalbagh, encompassing 40 acres of land in the heart of the city, commissioned by Haider Ali in 1760 &. . . . . . . . . . . . . .ok, enough wiki facts.
This was my first visit to Lalbagh ever, a place I refer to as one of the city’s green lungs. I couldn’t help but stoke the fire of Cubbon Park v/s Lalbagh, a topic many enjoy arguing over. I did develop an opinion on the subject, but I’ll dispense it a little later.
I entered from the north gate at around 7 & began snapping away. I was carrying a borrowed Cannon SX10 for its zoom range, but by the time you read this my DSLR would have arrived.
This place had its own unique feel to it. Its Heritage imbibed on all who enter. On Sunday morning one can see a considerable number of people walking along long sprawling roads. Unfortunately there aren’t many dirt trails.
Maps at every landmark are the hallmark of this place. And there are landmarks aplenty, each worth checking out. Features that caught my notice were:
The Pine trees: These things are huge & pretty ancient by the look of them. Observe carefully and you will see the beautiful speckled light they filter onto the ground and providing a home to numerous critters and a unique setting for a photographer.
The lake: The west end of the lake hosts a patch of lilies which in-turn is habitat for birds, amphibians, fish; snakes (actually saw 2 Rat Snakes but couldn’t get a decent shot). The rest of lake isn’t bad either; it’s the best maintained one I’ve seen in this city. Home to a handful of water-birds, Pelicans being the most notable (again I failed to get a decent shot). Also if you are nimble and adventurous you can jump the fencing and head off to walk a thin path to an island like structure in the middle of the lake.
Kempe Gowda Tower: The structure itself is not worth a mention but the hillock it is located on provides a great vantage point to the rest of the park and adjoining concrete jungle. Also I’d say check out the steep end of the hillock, the landscape is very contrasting to the rest of the park.
Other places of interest were the rose garden, cacti garden, Japanese gate, and glass house (a huge tourist attraction during events or in the evenings but seems a little bland during daytimes).
Overall I’d say it’s a great place to spend a lazy weekend with family, the benches, play parks, fountains, canopy structures & other novelties are testimony to that. But as a runner I’d say this place lacks energy. Why? Is it the design, is it the people? I can’t say, but this is what gives Cubbon Park the edge.
A Squirrel on one of the pines. Took this one early in the day.
A view of the lake.
A Cormorant preening itself by the lakeside.
A view of Kempa Gowda tower from the base of the hillock.
The Lalbagh Glasshouse.
geographical coordinates: 12° 56′ 58″ North, 77° 35′ 11″ East
This is just the start, lot more stories and great photos from Lalbagh will be up soon. That’s part 2 & 3. A small hint, Part 2 will feature my ‘Strides of Hope’ shift.