Cubbon Park, Bangalore

Apt to the title of Garden City, Bangalore boasts of a number of parks providing the lung space to the city dwellers amidst the chaos of traffic and pollution. One such park that sits right in the middle of the city is the Cubbon Park (Kannada: ?????? ?????? | Hindi: ????? ?????).

Officially known as Sri Chamarajendra Park, Cubbon Park was named after the 19th-century ruler of the state, Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar.

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History of Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park was established in the year of 1870 by the then British Chief Engineer of Mysore state, Major General Richard Sankey. With an initial spread of 100 acres, it was later expanded to 300 acres of land.

Since its establishment, the park has gone through several name changes. First it was named as Meade’s Park after Sir John Meade, the acting Commissioner of Mysuru in 1870. Later it was renamed as Cubbon Park in the honor of the longest-serving commissioner of the time, Sir Mark Cubbon.

Later, in the year of  1927, it was again renamed as Sri Chamarajendra Park to mark the Silver Jubilee of Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State. However, Cubbon Park is the most popular name associated with this park.

Cubbon park is under the maintenance of Horticulture Department of the Karnataka government. According to the Preservation Act passed by the state government in the year 1979, no constructions are allowed inside the Park nor any additional land can be granted for any further constructions.

Flora in Cubbon Park

The lush greenery of Cubbon Park provides a relaxing atmosphere to the nature lovers visiting the park. The park boasts of 6000 plants of 96 species belonging to around 68 categories. Some of the local species found in this park are artocarpus, cassia fistula, ficus, polyalthias etc.

The park is also home to exotic species such as araucaria, bamboo, castanospermum australe, grevillea robusta, millettia, peltophorum, schinus molle, swietenia mahagoni, tabebuia. sp etc.

Cubbon Park also comprises of ornamental trees such as Grevillea Robusta (silver oaks), the first one imported from Australia in the entire of Bangalore. Another ornamental tree that finds a place in this park is the tropical tree delonix, known more commonly as the gulmohar tree.

Architecture of Cubbon Park

Often compared to the Lodhi Garden of Delhi, Cubbon Park has been landscaped beautifully with natural rock outcrop, huge bamboo trees, lush green grass, historical monuments, large number of trees and flower beds lining its various avenues quite close to the administrative buildings located in the park.

Motorable roads are also laid inside the park that allow light motor vehicles to ply in and out of the park. However, no vehicles are allowed from 5:00 am to 8:00 am in the mornings. The well laid out walking path in the park makes it an ideal place for joggers who come in huge numbers to get some fresh air.

Cubbon Park is also home to many prominent buildings and monuments. Attara Kacheri, Iyer Hall,  Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library, Venkatappa Art Gallery, the Aquarium, YMCA, Yuvanika, Century Club, Press Club, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Tennis Pavilion, Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall and the Ottawa Chatter are some of the famous structures within and around its premises.

Statues in Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is adorned with marble statues of famous personalities adding to the magnificence of this place. The statue of Queen Victoria that stands near the Mahatma Gandhi Circle was installed in the year 1906.  The statue of King Edward VII was installed in 1919. The statue of Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar that was installed in 1927 is located right in the center of the park near the tennis pavilion.

The statues of Sir Mark Cubbon near the terrace garden and the statue of  Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer (installed in 1913) are some of the other statues worth admiring.

Major Attractions at Cubbon Park

1. Cubbon Park Aquarium

Located at the entrance of Cubbon Park, Bangalore aquarium greets its visitors with its exotic range of fishes. This second largest aquarium in India is administered by the Karnataka State Government Department of Fisheries.

Located at the entrance of Cubbon Park, Bangalore aquarium greets its visitors with its exotic range of fishes. This second largest aquarium in India is administered by the Karnataka State Government Department of Fisheries.

Also known as Government Aquarium and Bangalore Aquarium, it is built in an octagonal shape consisting of three floors. The ground floor is used for office and laboratory purpose. The first floor comprises of 14 large tanks while the second floor has two rows of around 69 tanks.

The aquarium is home to a large variety of fishes such as eels, angelfish, glowlight tetra, hockey stick tetra, red-tail shark, catla, Indian tiger barb, mahseer, freshwater prawns, blue gourami, pearl gourami, goldfish, moon tail, etc.

The aquarium at Cubbon Park is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on all days except Mondays and second Tuesdays of the month. A minimal entry fee of Rs. 15 per person is required to visit the aquarium. There is no entry fee for children below 12 years of age.

2. Cubbon Park Toy Train

A favorite among the children, Toy train ride in Cubbon Park should not be missed by anyone visiting the park. Named as Putani Express, it runs on bio fuel.

Painted in bright colors, the Putani express runs every 10-20 minutes. It takes around the park through the various structures and flora amidst the large buildings situated in the park.

Toy train timings are from 10:30 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening. It closed on Thursdays.

3. Attara Kacheri

Located opposite to Vidhan Soudha, Attara Kacheri – the high court of Karnataka is another important structure near Cubbon Park. Built in  Graeco-Roman style of architecture, this red colored two-storeyed building is worth visiting for its imposing architecture and proximity to other important structures.

Under the supervision of Rao Bahadur Arcot Narayanaswami Mudaliar, it took 4 years to complete the construction of the High Court, having started in the year 1864 and completed in 1868 at a cost of Rs. 4.5 lakhs.

Attara Kacheri was originally named as Old Public Offices. However, when the eighteen departments in the general and revenue secretariat of the Mysore Government were shifted from Tipu Sultan’s summer palace to this premises, it was christened as Attara Kacheri meaning Eighteen offices.

The High Court can be visited from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days of the week except Sundays. There is no entry fee to visit the premises.

4. Government Museum

Another place worth visiting on a trip to Cubbon Park is the State Archeological Museum that resides within the premises of the park. Built in 1876 by Colonel Sankey, it is one of the oldest buildings in India.

The museum boasts of  two exhibition floors consisting of 18 galleries belonging to different genres such as sculpture, natural history, geology, art, music and numismatics. The collection at the museum includes sculpture from the Hoysala, Gandhara and Nolamba periods, artifacts from Mohenjodaro, Halebid and Vijayanagar and rare paintings of Deccan, Mysore and Tanjore kingdoms.

Government Museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days of the week except Mondays. There is an entry fee of Rs. 20 for adults and Rs.10 for Children to visit the museum.

5. Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall

Amidst the lush green surroundings of Cubbon Park, stands an impressive red building – the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall. This structure was built in the year 1915 AD in the honour of the Dewan of Mysore State from 1883 to 1901, Sir K.Seshadri Iyer.

Built in European style architecture with Tuscan and Corinthian columns, this memorial building is a must visit place for book lovers as it houses the Seshadri Memorial library. A beautiful rose garden in the front side of the building makes it all the more alluring.

With an area of 300 sq. km and a collection of 2.65 lakh books including Braille section, the library is worth visiting for its vast collection of books. The library was recipient of  Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation Award for the best state central library in the year 2000 AD.

The Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall is open from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm on all days of the week except Mondays and 2nd Tuesdays of the month. There is no entry fee to visit the memorial hall.

6. Band Stand

Once a popular place for music concerts, Band Stand is an octagonal shaped structure made of cast-iron built in early 1900s. Before India got its independence, this place was used by British Royal Air Force to play western band music on Saturday evenings.

Recently, an NGO named Prakruti has started conducting musical concerts at the Bandstand to revive its old glory.

7. Jawahar Bal Bhavan

A visit to Cubbon park is incomplete without a trip to Jawahar Bal Bhavan, an amusement park as well as recreation center designed especially for children. Spread over 12.5 acres of land, Bal Bhavan includes a children’s play area with a variety of swings and slides.

One of the main attractions of Bal Bhavan is the toy train that runs around the Park. Doll museum which boasts of a rich collection of dolls and toys from around the world is another place worth visiting. Jawahar Bal Bhavan also offers boating facility to its visitors.

Along with the recreational activities, Bal Bhavan houses an amphitheatre where various film shows and theatre performances are conducted on a regular basis. Hobby classes such as painting, arts and crafts are also held at the park.

Jawahar Bal Bhavan Timings are from 10.00 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening. The entry fee is Rs.10 per person for kids above 10 years of age while the entry is free for kids below 10 years of age.

Entry Fee and Timings of Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is open from 6 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening on all days of the week except Mondays and second Tuesdays of the month. No vehicular movement is allowed from 5 am to 8 am to provide a peaceful environment for morning walkers.

There is no entry fee to visit the Cubbon Park.

How to reach Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is located at the heart of the city and is easily accessible from M.G. Road, Kasturba Road, Hudson Circle, and Ambedkar Veedhi. Visitors can either take a cab or a BMTC Bus / KSRTC Bus that is well connected to various parts of the city.

The park also has its own Metro Station which is about 100 meters away.

Parking at Cubbon Park

To facilitate the visitors coming to the park in their own vehicles, Cubbon Park provides ample parking space in its four major parking lots such as on the Queens Road side, from Bal Bhavan upto high court complex.

One of the top sightseeing places in Bangalore, Cubbon Park truly supports the title of Garden City of India associated with Bangalore. With its well maintained gardens, the historical buildings and Children play area, Cubbon Park offers something for everyone. A place worth visiting for anyone travelling to this city, Cubbon Park will surely leave plenty of memories worth cherishing for a lifetime.