Lalbagh has been conducting Flower Shows twice a year – during the period preceding Republic Day (26 January) and Independence Day (15 August) – for many decades now.
The theme for this year’s flower show is the Mahamastakabhisheha of Gomateshwara, an event that is held once every 12 years, and is scheduled to be held between 17 and 25 February this year at Shravanabelagola (http://mahamasthakabhisheka.com). The 57-feet tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali consecrated during the 10th century is considered one of the seven wonders of India.
In addition to a replica of the Gomata, the flower show also has simple tableaux that showcase the battle between the brothers Bharatha and Bahubali – sons of the first thirthankara of Jainism, Rishabhanatha. Paintings, flowers and quotes / snippets of information form part of the show. The fruit and vegetable carvings at the Band Stand too indicate the theme of the flower show.
An audio-visual presentation too was playing at the entrance – a bit of history and facts about the original Bahubali can be gotten if one took some time to listen to it.
And there are various types of flowers too – from orchids to roses to various other varieties.
Entry to the garden is priced at Rs. 60/- per person (adults). Given that in the past the footfall has been heavy during weekends, do plan to spend a couple of hours at least when you are there. The Buggy ride is a good option in case one wants to see a little of the garden beyond the glass house in the comfort of an electric vehicle that seats 11. This comfort comes comes at an extra cost of Rs. 100/- per person – tickets for this can be purchased at the East Gate near Double Road. Currently, the 1/2 hour ride concludes at the Glass House which houses the Flower Show.
A group of youngsters carrying placards about waste, plastic, etc. were seen wandering about near the Glass house spreading the message of saving our planet. Dustbins can be found at various places in the garden. One can only hope that people use them. It was heartening to see some waste composters too at a few places in the park – something that is essential given the extent of leaf waste that is generated across the park.
This year’s flower show has a bit of culture, mythology, archeology, art and literature, all rolled into one.