Bengaluru may be a city of multiple malls and coffee shops, but good ol’ Lalbagh has not quite lost its charm as a holiday destination, testifies a recent study.
The spacious Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is the most preferred recreation destination for families and youth, and nearly three-fourth of visitors (72.5 per cent) are university degree-holders, reveals a study conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC).
The study was carried out with the aim of conserving the urban ecosystem that includes parks, water bodies, green spaces and other natural resources.
Affordable and safe Lalbagh is spread over 240 acres. It’s the most affordable and safe tourist destination for families. Being an enclosed area, it ensures security to visitors’ family members, according to a study on the socio-economic profile of visitors.
The study was conducted by M. Balasubramanian, assistant professor, ISEC. It revealed that 56 per cent of married and 35 per cent of single people generally hang out in Lalbagh with friends. About 35 per cent families spend over two hours in the park, while 20 per cent families spend nearly five hours during a visit.
Among the visitors, 48.5 per cent of respondents lived less than five km from Lalbagh and 13.5 per cent lived at a distance of 6-10 km. About 19 per cent of visitors were from distant places or outstation. Most of the visitors are Bengalureans (61 per cent).
Good facilities The park provides ‘very good recreational facilities’ to visitors with 14 per cent of the respondents expressing ‘extreme happiness’ and rating the quality of recreational benefits inside the park as ‘excellent’ while 40 per cent rating them as ‘good’ and 29 per cent terming them ‘fair enough’.
The survey said 68.5 per cent of visitors were satisfied with the recreational benefits. However, they said there was scope for improvement such as in sight-seeing, bird watching, relaxation and walking tracks. Nearly 30 per cent want improvement in sight-seeing facilities.
The survey said improvement in road conditions, traffic and parking facility would attract more visitors. There were suggestions for improvements in waste disposal, lavatories, food and beverage services.
Around 36 per cent suggested increasing the entry fee and 55.5 per cent recommended raising the government budget. More than 70 per cent of visitors are willing to pay a higher entry fee for improved facilities.
Professionals and the well-heeled families big fan of the park The study by ISEC noted that ‘a majority of the people visiting the garden are well-educated’.
Interestingly, 44.5 per cent of households with income more than Rs. 50,000 a month visit the park as compared to those having income in the Rs. 5,000-Rs. 10,000 range (9.5 per cent). It said 27 per cent of people in the 23-28 age group and 23 per cent in the 29-34 age group visit Lalbagh on holidays and weekends.
On the mode of transport used to reach Lalbagh, 38.5 per cent used private transport and 14 per cent public transport. Only 5.5 per cent visit the park by bicycle and 13 per cent used motorcycles.