5 books on trees and the natural history of Bengaluru
Lalbagh of Bangalore: a chronicle of the garden and the city
Art historian Suresh Jayaram brings together memories of visiting Lalbagh’s botanical garden as a child, stories of fellow Bengalis, and information gathered from public and private collections in this book published by Visual Arts Collective and Press Work last year. It explores the centrality of Lalbagh in the history of the city, through the eras of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan to the State of Mysore and the colonizers. It also pays homage to the communities of gardeners who keep it green. His first book was about the life of German horticulturalist GH Krumbiegel, one of Lalbagh’s main architects.
Get on Amazon.in for Rs 800.
Nature in the city: Bengaluru in the past, present and future
Harini Nagendra’s book explores Bengaluru through the prism of its famous nickname, The Garden City, and how unbridled urbanization threatens its environment. An environmentalist, Harini argues in the book that our parks, gardens and lakes were not the heritage of the British, but part of a much older, local philosophy that values nature. It traces the ecological history of Bengaluru from the beginning of the 6th century to the present day. It was published by Oxford University Press India in 2016.
Buy on Amazon.in for Rs 450.
This is not a book but a technical report written by experts at the Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc. It offers an excellent overview of the natural history of Bengaluru, from its evolution from a plateau overgrown with thorn forests in the 17th century to its greening under the reigns of Hyder Ali and, later, the British. Bengaluru had an estimate of 14.78,412 trees in 2014 when this report was released. Of which, you can find a glossary of 50 important trees here, appended with details such as their scientific and common names, flowering season and locations.
Look for the report at wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in.
Heritage trees in and around Bangalore
This book is a snapshot of what its author Vijay Thiruvady likes to call “the fabulous tree wealth of Bangalore”. At least 140 trees are described. Some have botanical significance, others are culturally relevant. These can be found in Bengaluru and the outskirts, such as the 400-year-old Dodda Alada Mara banyan tree in Tavarekere. Vijay is an engineer turned naturalist and administrator of the Bangalore Environment Trust, also publisher of the book.
Email [email protected] to purchase a copy for Rs 500.
Discover Avenue Trees: A Pocket Guide
As the title suggests, the book will help you identify the trees that dot the city streets. Written by naturalist Karthikeyan S and published by EcoEdu in 2014, it features images of 50 species of avenue trees, from yellow Indian laburnum to purple jacaranda, along with details of their flowering season, leaves, seeds, their country of origin and their birds. and butterflies calling them home.
Available on ecoedu.in for Rs 210.