Lal Bagh Flower Show – August 2017

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After a gap of two years, I visited an edition of the famous Lal Bagh Flower Show on the inaugural day. Although, it may not sound a good idea to visit any event on the inaugural day, there are certain factors on the first day of this show that weighs in its favour. For one, the flowers are very fresh. Also, a visit by a VIP (read as the Chief Guest and his coterie) drives the organisers to take extra care with the arrangements. Not a single stone will be left unturned by the people behind the show who I am sure work round the clock as the big day approaches. I also noticed that on the inaugural day of the floral soiree, a lot of flowering plants are kept surrounding The Glass House, the central venue of the show. On the remaining days, these plants are pushed to other parts of the gardens. In other words, a greater visual treat awaits visitors on Day 1.

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I was happy that I got the whole day for myself this time unlike during the Republic Day show where I had only half a day and had to rush to office in the second half. The Chief Guest for this show was the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala. I arrived much before the Governor and utilised the time in exploring all the floral beauty that was there to see around The Glass House.

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A peep into The Glass House revealed portions of the special attraction of the show, a gorgeous replica of the house of Kannada poet laureate Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa simply called KuVemPu. A whopping 3.5 lakh roses went into decorating the 21-feet replica.

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A restless crowd waited with bated breath to be let in to The Glass House. The police kept pushing them away as the Chief Guest had to first inaugurate and finish his round of the show before they could be allowed. When the guest arrived in a high-end SUV, many rushed toward it to have a look at the VIP. I stood on my toes and strained my neck to have a look too but I couldn’t catch a glimpse of him.

There were too many security personnel around him but yes I had a good look at the sleek car and its chauffer who was definitely on cloud nine what with so many people gazing at him.

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The replica of the final resting place of the poet.

 

 

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The Governor finished his walk through the show very quickly and in no time I was inside The Glass House. Needless to say, the floral replica of Kuvempu’s house looked stunning. In front of the house seated on a chair was a life-size sculpture of the poet. The depiction was nothing short of perfect. A lot of his works adorned the venue and also scenes from many of his plays. There was also a stone-like representation of his final resting place. Selfie enthusiasts were having a field day and every now and then I had to dodge past visitors, photographers, cops and selfie lovers.

 

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Replica of the Jog Falls

 

Among the attractions was a re-creation of the Jog Falls.

 

Vying for attention with the many attractions were the umpteen varieties of flowers. Phlox were there all over and many varieties of them. Roses of course were the show stealers. The colours were a treat to the eyes.

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There were a lot of colourful displays outside the Glass House too like this cute doll house.

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An ornate state government stall which looked so much like Tipu’s Summer Palace had been put up not far away from The Glass House and was attracting a fair number of visitors. At the centre of the stall was a replica of the watch tower with Kempegowda’s statue in front of it. On entering it, I noticed a man entertaining children with a kaleidoscope. The model of the palace in turn had other models showcased in it, among them were a farmer with a pair of oxen, a family having food, and a school.

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I ended my day with a stroll around the many stalls selling myriad things like flowering plants, seeds, bags, condiments, toys, fruits, books, garden utilities, apparel and more. And yes, I went in and out of the many temporary nurseries that had mushroomed around the gardens just for the flower show.

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Lal Bagh Flower Show – January 2017

I seem to be running out of luck when it comes to taking leave in 2017. After having missed getting one for the Avarekai Mela, I thought I would definitely get an off for the flower show but that was not to be (sob sob!). Mercifully, I managed to get a half day leave on 24 January. That meant I had to be quick with the pictures in the short time I had because I had to be in office post lunch or before it.

I started my day pretty early and full of enthusiasm. Shooting flowers is one of favourite pastimes. The colours make me feel very happy and transport me to a fairy tale world. In the midst of flowers I am lost.

I took a rickshaw and reached the gardens in half an hour. Because it was a working day getting tickets wasn’t a hassle, moreover there was more than one counter.

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As I approached the Glass House, the central venue of the show, I noticed there weren’t many visitors. There were school children trooping around with their teachers.

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The prime attraction at this edition of the flower show, a floral replica of the Gol Gumbaz, looked stunning and stood out from afar.

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When I entered the Glass House, to my disappointment, the flowers were arranged far away from the barricades making it difficult to take pictures. My first reaction on seeing this significant change in the arrangement was “What!”

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Pictures of the floral beds were all I could take. The bed of cymbidium orchids from Sikkim was my first capture followed by the dahlias and asters.

An attractive hut covered in greenery served as a showcase for vertical gardening, the new talk of the town.

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Like always, there were selfie enthusiasts galore and like always they had a tough time getting that one perfect shot.

Unlike in the previous editions of the flower show, when I would spend hours inside the Glass House clicking pictures, I finished quickly this time, because as I mentioned earlier the flowers were way too far away to take good pictures.

Outside the Glass House, there were quite a few exhibits too. Among them was a model tribal village. There was a barricade around it which again made taking pictures difficult. I asked one of the security guards if I could go in and take pictures and to my surprise he readily agreed. I walked in even as the growls of big cats and hoots of owls were playing from a speaker somewhere in the midst of the village. The tribal folks inside were unmoved as I took pictures.

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There were many floral waterfalls too and an attractive bird among the floral exhibits around the central venue.

 

The many makeshift stalls and nurseries selling seeds and plants as part of the show offered me some photo opportunities which I didn’t get inside the Glass House. In a way these photo-ops were a consolation.

I left Lal Bagh after a round of quick shopping at the stalls. Among my picks was a large watering can. Thankfully, there was enough time to drop it at home before proceeding to office because I didn’t want to walk in to work with a watering can in hand.

And on that note, I ended a very different kind of sojourn at a Lal Bagh Flower show. Hopefully, the flowers are not kept so far away at the next edition.

Late Post – A Friday well spent – 1

At times, there are so many events happening in town at the same time that it becomes difficult to decide which one to attend. I was faced with that dilemma in January with the Lal Bagh Flower Show and the Avarekai Mela happening during the same time frame. Attending the events during weekends was not a good idea because the two places have been known to attract huge crowds and photographing flowers and foods would be impossible. So I was left with only one option that of taking leave, crazy as it might sound.
I chose to take off one Friday (Jan 22) in spite of the weatherman’s predictions that there may be showers. As Lal Bagh and Sajjan Rao circle (the venue of the Avarekai Mela) are close by I decided to go to the two events on the same day. Also, I had to hurry up because the two events were drawing to a close in a couple of days.
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It must have been half past ten in the morning when I reached Lal Bagh. Although it was a working day, there were lots of visitors.The motley crowds consisted of holiday makers like me, college students, groups of friends, kindergarten school-children, senior citizens and many men and women who were wheel-chair bound. The love for the flowers had a bee-like effect on so many.

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On entering the Glass House I realised that this show was so unlike the earlier ones. A major change and a good one indeed was that tiny flower pots were the main elements of decoration; there were hardly any cut flowers. And the focus was more on the special attractions than on flower displays. Also the barricades were placed quite a distance from the flowers making it difficult to take pictures with a 55mm lens.
This edition of what I would call an avant-garde flower show was dedicated to the great horticulturist GH Krumbiegel this year being his 150th birth anniversary. A huge bust of Krumbeigel at the entrance of the show with the entire expanse of flowers and greenery behind it was a fitting tribute to the great soul whose green initiative had given rise to a green revolution in the city. It was his idea to plant flowering trees along the city’s roads. Different species were planted on different roads and lanes to ensure that at any given time there were blooms in some part of the city. Unfortunately, much of his legacy has been destroyed with the advent of large-scale industrialization.
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A replica of Krumbiegel’s house in Dresden, Germany done in green and vivid hues caught visitor’s eyes as they entered the
Glass House. I simply loved the pots painted in baby pink that bordered the display.
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This large black face seemed intriguing.
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There were lots of novel displays on the outside of the Glass House like this man on the boat.
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The flower cart looked pretty …
… and all over there were plenty of flower beds dotting the lush green lawns.

The hanging pots made for a pretty picture.

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The tilting flower basket was hard to miss.
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There were lots of stalls selling anything from plants to seeds to masks, bags, gardening implements pots and what not.
The Tabebuia impetiginosa trees were in full bloom everywhere and were an added attraction to the flower show. No one would have been more delighted to see the purple beauties than GH Krumbiegel himself.
I had spent close to three and a half hours at Lal Bagh. It was close to 2pm and I was hungry. As decided earlier, I headed off to the Avarekai Mela to pig in on the choicest grub.

Lal Bagh Flower Show – Jan 2015

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A mammoth floral replica of Delhi’s Red Fort greets visitors at this year’s Republic Day Flower Show at Lal Bagh. Made with more than 3 lakh roses and standing 28 feet high, the floral re-creation of the famous monument has several thousands of visitors thronging to the Glass House, the venue of the show. In spite of it being a Tuesday, I was quite taken aback seeing the crowds. Luckily, there was enough room to take pictures. Close to the Red Fort is an attractive floral replica of the India Gate.

Unlike in previous editions of the show that I have been to, at this edition the flowers look jaded. Petals of many seem to have either fallen off or got plucked. A lot of petals have holes possibly because of a pest attack. There are a variety of flowers. The emphasis this time seems to be on the smaller flowers like phlox, heliotropium, and cineraria. There are lots of them.

Roses are few and some of them have lost a lot of petals. The dahlias were conspicuous by their absence.

Other attractions at the show are a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice. The white statues though not made from flowers stand out with the Red Fort in the background and the multitude of colourful flower beds. The idea of having the Statue of Liberty at the show is to commemorate the visit of US Prez Barack Obama at the Republic Day celebrations in the capital.

The selfie craze seems to have taken this edition of the flower show by storm especially with youngsters. Gangs of collegians were having a whale of a time striking a plethora of poses. A lot of visitors were having group photos taken too though umpteen obstructions (with visitors constantly walking into the frame) were driving photographers to their wits’ end.

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A lot of children were seen tampering with flowers and breaking stems much to the dismay of parents and bystanders. The cops as usual were having a tough time managing the crowds and shooing off the little brats.

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The flower show extends beyond the Glass House. The idea of vertical gardens seems to be catching on. There is one on the way to the Glass House. The Band Stand looks vibrant with floral replicas of a Veena, Guitar, Piano, Ice Cream, and Mridangams adding to the colour of the surroundings.

After an hour at the Glass House and another quarter near the Band Stand I headed to the stalls for a round of window shopping. There are numerous stalls selling anything from seeds to plants to gardening equipment to jute bags, cane baskets and more. The smaller plants seemed to be vanishing fast not surprising since they are easy to carry. At one end of the stalls, a mini horticulture exhibition is turning out to be a learning experience for many.

It feels good being at Lal Bagh especially during the flower shows. Ample number of benches make your experience that much more better. After resting my weary feet on one of the benches it was time to head off. It won’t be long before I come back here again because February is blooming time for a lot of trees 🙂 . I just can’t wait!

The Flower Show is on till 26 January.

Lal Bagh Flower Show – Aug 2014

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Like last year I made it to the Independence Day Flower Show on the inaugural day. The time was 11.30 am, and the CM of Karnataka Siddaramaiah had just arrived to cut the ribbon. Once the CM entered the gates, the guards were instructed to not let anyone enter till the VIP left.  So that left me along with many others to bake in the sun. Even a noisy group of Congress party supporters weren’t let in. If only I had been a little early I wouldn’t have had to face this ordeal.  A lot of those waiting outside left the place out of frustration.  A couple of kids started wailing. The Congress supporters most of whom were sporting Siddaramaiah masks started getting restless. Somewhere a band started playing. The crowds started swelling and that left me wondering whether to wait or leave. I finally decided to wait; after all I had travelled a long way. The wait ended after a quarter past noon. There was another wait though a smaller one outside the ticket counters. Apparently, the tickets hadn’t arrived at all the counters. And at the only counter that was functional, an old man was training a nervous newbie. The old man was getting irritated as much as the newbie was getting confused. I was feeling amused and at the same time sorry for both of them.

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When I reached the Glass House, the venue of the show, the sight of the floral replica of the Mysore Palace made me forget all the happenings of the last one hour. To say that I was mesmerised would be an understatement. And there was a Dasara procession too complete with caparisoned elephants. My jaws dropped. The floral representation was as beautiful as the original palace. Kudos to the makers!

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Like always the flowers looked awesome and without doubt the roses were the show stealers. A huge floral replica of a pineapple was a favourite with children. Have a look at the pretty flowers:

The show is on till the 17th of August. Don’t miss!

Lal Bagh Flower Show – Jan 2014

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Cute floral replicas of veggies and fruits greet visitors to the Republic Day Flower Show at the Glass House in Lal Bagh. They are a hit with children!

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I just loved Miss Garlic with her blue-tinted, pink-rimmed glasses and pink-shaded lips. If there was a prize for the best-looking gal at the Flower Show I am sure Miss Garlic would be the runaway winner.

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A close second in a medley of colours is pretty Miss Pineapple. And she has her hands spread as if to say, “Gimme a hug :)”. Awww! If it weren’t for the fence I am sure she would have got a zillion hugs.

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Miss Banana in her yellow robe looks cool and is drawing a lot of attention too!

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Miss Carrot is overwhelmed with all the attention she is receiving!

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Watch out! Naughty boy Coconut is at his mischievous best.

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Songstress Miss Mango seems to be singing, “When you are happy and you know it clap your hands…”

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And dancing to Miss Mango’s tunes is Miss Pomegranate. “Oh la la….”

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Poor Mr Cashew Apple looks all lost!

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The rabbit looks oh-so-cute with her cart of fruits and vegetables.

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Standing tall amongst all fruits and veggies is this majestic floral tower.

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A picture of poise are the floral mushrooms.

These are floral depictions of Amorphophallus Titanum, the largest flower in the world (left), and the carnivorous plant Nepenthes Lowii (right).

Visitors to the flower show coming from the Double Road gate of Lal Bagh would have first been greeted by the farmer and his wife with a lot of produce in their hands.

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A lovely kitchen garden outside the Glass House is among this year’s special attractions.

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This huge floral vase in the Bonsai Garden looks striking.

Like always the roses are the cynosure of all attention. There are so many of them in vivid colours and you can smell them from afar.

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The yellow marigolds looked dazzling as they bathed in bright sunlight.

And there are a lot of other flowers too! I was lost amidst all this floral grandeur! I am sure you will be too when you visit this spectacular extravaganza. The show is on till 26 January. Do not miss!