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Lalbagh’s Christmas tree planted by Elizabeth II in the spotlight 

The tree has now grown beyond 70 feet and will soon carry her name

September 10, 2022 08:14 pm | Updated 08:35 pm IST - Bengaluru

Queen Elizabeth II planted a Christmas tree in Lalbagh during her visit to Bengaluru in 1961.

Queen Elizabeth II planted a Christmas tree in Lalbagh during her visit to Bengaluru in 1961. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The Lalbagh Botanical Garden is home to thousands of trees and plants and many have, hidden in their foliage, nuggets of history. One such has suddenly found itself in the spotlight following the death of Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-ruling monarch.

The Christmas tree planted by her during her visit to Bengaluru in February 1961 has now grown beyond 70 feet, according to Horticulture Department officials.

The tree is located behind the Bandstand, near the Glass House. “In Lalbagh, we have over 75 trees which were planted by VVIPs. One of them was by Elizabeth II. Just 20 feet away from the tree planted by her is another Christmas tree planted by Abdul Ghaffar Khan (well-known as Frontier Gandhi). Almost 50 feet away from those trees is an Ashoka (Saraca asoca) tree planted by the former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi,” explained M. Jagadeesh, Joint Director (Parks), Horticulture Department.

Video surfaces

A video dating back to the queen’s visit to the city in 1961 has surfaced on the internet after her demise. In the video, it can be seen that as soon as she landed in Bengaluru with her husband, Prince Philip, she was welcomed by the then Governor of the State and the erstwhile ruler of the Mysuru, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. It also shows huge crowds which had gathered on the streets to greet and catch a glimpse of the royal couple and the queen planting a sapling at Lalbagh.

Thanks to this video, for the last two days, department officials have received many enquiries regarding this hitherto little-known tree.

“There is a lot of curiosity among people about the tree. They are calling and asking us where the tree is located and its identification. So far, we have not put up any sign or information board, but in a few days, we will put up an information board and a picture of the queen near the tree,” Mr. Jagadeesh said.

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