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Bangalore: the Garden City of India

Bangalore has numerous nicknames, including the ‘Garden city of India’. According to tradition, the city owes this name to Krishna Raja Wodeyar, the 24th maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. In celebration of his silver anniversary, he embellished Bangalore with lavish gardens, parks and lakes. Since then, strolling and recreating in the local greenery has been a favourite pastime of residents.

The second largest city in India has a population of 12 million. Although Bangalore attracts fewer tourists than Mumbai and Delhi, it is perhaps the city with the highest quality of living in the country. Located at an elevation of 900 metres, the climate is pleasantly mild. Like other Asian megacities, Bangalore also suffers from overpopulation and air pollution, but the greenery of this Garden City makes up for much of this. The following three parks are very different in their own unique way. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city has never been so easy.

Cubbon Park is the green lung of Bangalore

Palms and palaces in Cubbon Park

The green lung of Bangalore – with deciduous trees, bamboo forests, footpaths, a lotus pond, lawns and flowerbeds – was created in 1870. Since 1927, the park was officially named after the former maharaja, but it is better known as Cubbon Park, named after the longest-serving British Commissioner. The park is full of statues of colonists and queens, in addition to Neoclassical government buildings like the state parliament, supreme court, central library and three museums. Kids can enjoy a duck pond, rowing lake and train.

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Sri Chamarajendra Park/Cubbon Park, Sampangi Rama Nagara, Bengaluru, Karnataka Google maps

Botanical gardens full of exotic flora

Lalbagh means ‘The Red Garden’ and for good reason. In 1760, Sultan Haider Ali commissioned the construction of the garden, which his son Tipu Sultan completed. The garden is home to 1,800 species of tropical and exotic plants and trees, including Papillionous flowers, Laburnum, Syzygium, talipot palms, cucumber trees and cannonball trees. The showpiece of the botanical gardens neither grows nor blossoms, but is a diamond-shaped greenhouse inspired by the Crystal Palace in London, which burned to the ground in 1936.

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The greenhouse is the crown jewel of Lalbagh

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Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Mavalli, Bangalore, Karnataka Google maps

White tigers in Bannerghatta National Park

National park full of exotic fauna

Bengalese and white tigers, lions, panthers, bears, bison, deer and elephants: there is no shortage of wild animals at the largest and most recent ‘green’ addition to the list. One hundred square kilometres in size, the Bannerghatta was declared a national park in 1974, four years after its establishment. It includes a zoo with butterfly enclosure, crocodile pond and snake park, rescue centre for circus animals and a safari park that can be explored by jeep. It is also possible to spend the night in the jungle camp in a cabin or safari tent.

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Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bannerghatta Road, Bannerughatta, Bengaluru, Karnataka Google maps