Metrolife visited Lalbagh on Wednesday to check out the preparations for the Republic Day flower show, opening on January 18. It’s a floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi this year. The horticulture department of the Karnataka government is marking his 150th birth anniversary with themed displays at Lalbagh. At least 200 visitors were at the gardens on Wednesday, taking in the sights and sounds. School children coming in from outside Bengaluru, families and tourists are already thronging Lalbagh.
Over the past few weeks, workers have been busy arranging flowers in and around the Glass House. One of the major installations is a floral replica of the Sabarmati Ashram, using close to five lakh roses. A six-foot-tall statue of a meditating Gandhi is being decorated with 250 bundles of orchids, anthurium, carnation, dracaena leaves and chrysanthemum.
As Metrolife watched, Gandhi’s seat and charaka were carted in. Two millet-rich installations—a six-foot Gandhi statue and a child watching him—are coming up opposite the Glass House. Created by Shivalingappa Badiger from Hubbali, the installations are made of the ‘millets of the year’—sorghum, foxtail, barnyard and finger. Coming up on the right of the Glass House is a model of three monkeys to communicate Gandhi’s message of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.’
M Jagadeesh, joint director of the Horticulture Department, says, “The monkeys are four feet tall and are being created with plaster of Paris.” Lalbagh has been a plastic-free zone for months: it continues to be during the flower show as well. The hosts are requesting guests to keep the premises clean and use only eco-friendly products. Every year, the flower show is accompanied by a photo exhibition. The theme this year is Gandhi, from his childhood to his last days.
Pictures show Gandhi getting a civic reception at Lalbagh, and visiting Nandi Hills and the Dairy Research Institute in Adugodi. He also attended the Belagavi Congress session in Karnataka, and pictures from that city will also be on display. Modern misting equipment ensures the flowers last, and don’t fade away soon.
Metrolife impact: Cleaner show
The hosts are employing more workers to keep the premises clean. Last year, Metrolife had reported that post-lunch, the gardens were a mess. Designated food court areas serve visitors this time, and this could ensure a cleaner flower show, a top horticulture official says. More CCTV cameras will be installed to ensure safety and security.
Highlights this year
Flower show tickets are priced at Rs 70 for adults and Rs 20 for children. On January 26, school students get free entry. Tickets can be bought at the venue and online on BookMyShow.