A treasure trove of knowledge for botanists

One of the oldest libraries in Bangalore, Dr. M.H. Mari Gowda National Horticulture Library offers a wealth of information to botanists and horticulturists.

It was in 1856 that the Agri Horticulture Society launched the library with a small collection of books. Since then, it houses among its shelves over 30,000 books, including 1,500 historical volumes, some dating back to the 18 {+t} {+h} Century.

In more than 150 years of its existence, it has grown into a vast treasure trove of knowledge, mainly owing to the interest taken by curators and superintendents of Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

John Cameron, Director of Horticulture between 1874 and 1908, added books of botanical and horticultural importance, sourcing them from Bombay, Madras and the Central province.

G.H. Krumbiegal, who succeeded Mr. Cameron, made qualitative and quantitative improvements, while Dr. Mari Gowda added contemporary books and subscribed to journals.

Among the oldest books include ‘Kingdom of Mysore' Forty Drawings by James Hunter, which details some important buildings and Lalbagh, and was published in 1805.

The Government, identifying the importance of the treasures within, shifted the library to Lalbagh House, which was the Horticulture Director's official residence, in 1988.

Sharath S. Srivatsa

This 150-year-old library is located on the sprawling Lalbagh grounds

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