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This is a special walk to mark Gustav Krumbiegel's 150th birth anniversary as well as the Republic Day flower show. Visual artist, Suresh Jayaram, introduces us to `Urban Visionary’ Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel (1865-1956) a German horticulturist and one of the chief architects of Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, who was responsible for creating Bangalore’s Garden City identity.
The Mysore State was envisioning itself to be a model state and Mysore a royal city in India. The enlightened King Krishnarajendra Wodeyar and his Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail (from 1926 to 1941), were both great lovers of gardens and parks. Sir Mirza created gardens, parks and beautiful squares in towns and cities. The citizen was envisioned to be a disciplined, productive and progressive member of society. The city was supposed to be designed to enhance these visions.
Bangalore and Mysore during the colonial times were emerging as fertile labs to experiment with the harnessing of nature; trees and plants were imported, acclimatized and nurtured to become part of the local landscape. In the early 19th Century the German Horticulturist G.H.Krumbiegel, with his intimate knowledge of tree species and city planning, was articulating landscape design as an occupation in the larger public works department in the Mysore Kingdom. He was ahead of his time and set a trend in the Indian subcontinent, in the process creating an unsurpassed horticultural legacy. HC.Javaraya and Mari Gowda continued this legacy in their individual styles.
The G.H. Krumbiegel project was an archival exercise, an attempt to recall the legacy of Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel (1865-1956), a German horticulturist and one of the chief architects of the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore. He was responsible for creating Bangalore’s ‘Garden City’ identity. He introduced several exotic trees into the city and curated the planting of species that flowered serially (‘serial blossoming’, as it was called). The city is deeply indebted to him, but except for a road named after him there is no official public acknowledgement thereof.
Keen to recognize a German’s contribution to the state of Karnataka during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore,Suresh Jayaram curated a collection of essays and art exploring Krumbiegel’s legacy and other aspects of this visionary’s figure’s role in the history of the city was brought out in 2010, titled ‘G.H. Krumbiegel: "Whatever He Touched, He Adorned."
In tribute to Krumbiegel, and as a contemporary response to his work, a multimedia show curated by Suresh Jayaram was also organized the same year, bringing together the work of nine artists. Belonging to Bangalore, and being part of its changing landscape, they reflect a concern with the environment and the critical urban situation.
The curated walk will emphasize the environment and the making of the Garden City as a Utopia; a city envisioned as a planned landscape and explore the changing landscape of Lalbagh down the ages.
We are very obliged to Mr.Suresh Jayaram for once again "volunteering" to conduct this walk for us. For more details send an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Note: The walk fees of 600/- INR includes entrance to the gardens & breakfast too. There is also a 50% discount for senior citizens above 60 years and children in the age group of 9 to 16 years. The camera cost will have to be borne by the walkers on their own.