The Lalbagh Heritage Walk, organized by INTACH and Max Mueller Bhavan, 290309

On the 29th of March, I went to


to join the joint Max Mueller Bhavan /  Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) -organized Heritage Walk. Having taken many people around Lalbagh, I wanted to know if there was anything I had missed learning about….here’s some of what I saw.

We all met at the 3-billion-year-old (give or take a few hundreds!) sheet rock on which one of Kempe Gowda’s towers stands, and marvelled at the range of pre-history to history; we then walked towards the Glass House, where the Lions of the Ashoka Pillar are etched into the glass:

290309 lalbagh ashoka lions


On top of the building was this beautiful weather vane:

weathervane lalbagh 290309

The artist, Suresh Jayaram, whose creation of the unique art gallery, One Shanthi Road, I have written about in Citizen Matters, was one of the guides. With him was Mr Krishanama Raju, Senior Conservator, Lalbagh.

290309 suresh jayaram and Krishnamaraju

Here’s a three-in-one heritage site view: you are looking through the Glass House to the lovely old fountain, and behind it, the Bandstand.

fountain and bandstand through glass house lalbagh

The pillars in the Glass House bear the stamp of the Scots iron foundry that made the pillars:

macfarlane and co on glass house pillar

Here’s one of the conservatories, Nanjappa Hall:

nanjappa hall lalbagh 290309

It’s difficult to believe, but this ornate structure was a watchman’s tower!

watchmans tower lalbagh 290309

This building, designed like a Greek temple was a lecture hall in the British days:

greek temple lecture hall lalbagh

The statue of Jaya Chamarendra Wodeyar is so beautifully executed in its detail…just look at the netting behind the saddle!

290309 jayachamarendra stature lalbagh

Under the statue, on one side, is the figure of Justice:

justice jc statue lalbagh 290309

And on the other, the figure representing Knowledge:

knowledge jc statue lalbagh 290309

It turned out, after all, that I did know more than I realized about the one of two major public gardens of my city. And…I don’t concentrate on just heritage, or history, or trees, or birds, during my walk…everything that catches my eye is interesting to me, and so, to my fellow-walkers!

At the end of the walk, I rushed out of the West Gate to catch this lovely signboard :

310309 anything signboard lalbagh

Where else would you find "anything" advertised at "reasonable rates"? This darshini has been one where we have had many a snack and coffee….

For all my other posts about Lalbagh, you can

…providing you have patience and leisure to go through them all!


  1. raj chandra.r says:

    The Author says:

    The statue of Jaya Chamarendra Wodeyar is so beautifully executed in its detail…just look at the netting behind the saddle!

    Actually it is the statue of H.H. Sri. Chamaraja Wadiyar, Maharaja of Mysore( 1881-1894)- Father of H.H. Sri. Nalvadi Krishna Raja Wadiyar, Maharaja of Mysore(1902-1940) and Grand father of H.H. Sri. Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar, Maharaja of Mysore(1940-1950). This statue was was originally erected at Mysore’s Curzon Park, but was moved to Lalbagh later.

  2. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    Yes, it is the statue of Chamaraja Wodeyar. However, one is not sure of the two other statues of ladies. As a school kid I remember having heard stories of the king’s untimely death (it seems he was poisoned in Calcutta). We were also told that the statue is of a lady weighing the amount of poison. I request the writer to shed light on this topic

  3. raj chandra.r says:

    Yes, it is true the Late Maharaja died in Calcutta, while on a tour along with his wife, Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana and children and the rest of the entourage consisting of Diwan Seshadri Iyer and famous composer Mysore Vasudevacharya among others. But it is a malicious lie to say he was poisoned ! He died after a week long bout of diphtheria and was treated by well known British Doctors in the then capital of British India. He died on 28-12-1894. The Times, London dated 29-12-1894 reported thus:

    A Reuter Telegram from Calcutta states that the Maharaja of Mysore died there on Friday Morning of diphtheria….

    He was cremated at Kali Ghat and a memorial was erected in his memory at that Place. During the take over of the Palace managed Temples in 1974 by the Karnataka state government, even this place was annexed! No one knows the state of this edifice and what the state is doing about it !

  4. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    Raj Chandra, Thank you for your clarification. There was no malice intended. I did try to do some search but was not successful . The information I got was not very helpful

  5. raj chandra.r says:

    Sorry Mr. Palahalli, i did not intend to be offensive either !!

    For the information of the readers, there is one more statue of H.H. Chamaraja Wadiyar. This one is situated inside the Cubbon Park. As a matter of fact the official name of the park is Chamarajendra Park. Both Lal Bagh (including the Glass House) the and Cubbon park was improved/enlarged during his reign. The famous statue with the golden canopy in front of the Mysore Palace is again that of the Maharaja. He was very fond of Horses and is said to have fallen sick after he had gone to inspect Horses in a calcutta stables. He was the founder of Horse Racing in Mysore as a sport and Mysore Race club has erected one bust inside the paddock and another full sized statue at the entrance of the club.

    Except for an obscure statue (a private initiative of the Temple authorities near by) near the Kalasi Palya Bus stand there are no statue of the Last Maharaja of Mysore Late H.H. Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar anywhere in Karnataka (There may be one small bust in Davanagere).

  6. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    It would be nice to have some references. Thanks for all the info. I am surprised that Sri Jayachamaraja Wodeyar does not have a statue. He was a very well respected person.

  7. raj chandra.r says:

    Dear Sri.Palahalli, i wrote largely without referring to any sources ! But if you are looking for few references on H.H. Chamaraja Wadiyar, then you should try if you can lay your hand on some of these:

    1. shrImannmahArAjAdhirAja shrI cAmarAjEMdra oDeyara caritre by M.Singraiya

    2. Modern Mysore (Vol-II) by M.Shama Rao.

    3. History of Mysore and Yadava Dynasty By G.R. Joyser.

    4. nenapugaLu by Sri. K. vAsudEvAcArya.

    5. vAggEyakAra vAsudevAcArya by S.Krishna Murthy.

    Last two books are easily available in any Kannada Book Store.

  8. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    Sri Raj Chndra. Thanks a lot. I think I have seen the Joyser book once.

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