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Artist Suresh Jayaram’s book on Lalbagh hits stands

It combines personal observations with historical material collated from various sources
Last Updated : 26 August 2021, 06:43 IST
Last Updated : 26 August 2021, 06:43 IST
Last Updated : 26 August 2021, 06:43 IST
Last Updated : 26 August 2021, 06:43 IST

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A new book documents how Lalbagh, Bengaluru’s famous botanical garden, has evolved over the centuries.

In ‘Bangalore’s Lalbagh: A Chronicle of the Garden and the City’, artist and historian Suresh Jayaram provides “a historical chronicle of the garden and an anecdotal narrative about Lalbagh and Bengaluru.” The former principal of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath has been visiting Lalbagh religiously for 50 years. “I have seen it grow and change and I have also seen the city around it develop,” he told Metrolife.

Hailing from a family of gardeners and botanists, he is a gardening enthusiast himself. “I feel there is a surprise waiting every time I visit Lalbagh. Either new trees are introduced or new flowers are blooming,” he says.

The garden, which dates back approximately 261 years to Hyder Ali’s time, has featured in paintings and postcards, and Suresh makes a brief reference to them as well. He has also put together Lalbagh photographs from family albums. “It gives you a sense of how much the city of Bengaluru has changed, while so much of it still remains the same. I feel this book will help Bengalureans rediscover the city,” he says.

The book took three years to complete. “I spent a lot of time studying archival documents, historical data, previously published books on the garden, and every possible material I could lay my hands on,” he says.

Suresh’s previous book ‘G H Krumbiegal – Whatever He Touched He Adorned’ appeared in 2010. It encouraged him to begin documentation of Lalbagh. Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel is a German botanist who nurtured Lalbagh with his genius.

“As clichéd as it sounds, irrespective of urbanism and modernity, Lalbagh and Cubbon Park will continue to be the two lungs of the city,” Suresh says.

‘Bangalore’s Lalbagh: A Chronicle of the Garden and the City,’ published by Visual Arts Collective, in association with Press Works, is available on Amazon and retails at Rs 1,000.

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Published 24 August 2021, 18:06 IST

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