Nearly two years after it was razed to the ground, work on the construction of the Krumbiegel memorial, inside the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, has finally begun.
The reconstruction of the historical monument began in the second week of July, even though the Horticulture Department had initially said that it would begin early this year.
“One of the reasons for the delay is that we wanted to ensure that the reconstruction was true to the original structure in all aspects including dimensions and the colour of the facade,” said department officials.
The original 100-year-old Krumbiegel Lecture Hall was demolished after a portion of it collapsed during the rains in 2017.
At the time, the department was severely criticised for failing to protect an important part of Bengaluru’s history, after which officials decided to erect a memorial to G.H. Krumbiegel.
The new structure is coming up at an estimated cost of ₹98 lakh and is expected to be completed in 11 months.
Keeping the old design in mind, the Archaeology Department said the new structure will be identical to the old Krumbeigel Hall.
It will host a 100-seat amphitheatre and a virtual museum with audio-visual aides for visitors.
“A 20-minute short film on the history, horticultural richness, and the importance of Lalbagh, in both Kannada and English, will be screened for visitors at the amphitheatre,” said M. Jagadeesh, Joint Director (Parks and Gardens), Lalbagh.
Mr. Krumbiegel contributed immensely to the development of Lalbagh when he was the superintendent of the botanical park. He is also credited with developing and planning various other avenues in the city.
He had also left his mark as the curator of botanical gardens in other cities of the country including Mysuru, Ooty, and Baroda. He was intricately connected to the lecture hall, which then became a gardeners’ training institute. It became vacant after the new building was constructed for the institute, and over the years gave way to neglect.
The new virtual museum will feature the life, works, and achievements of G.H. Krumbeigel, Mr. Jagadeesh added.
Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel, the great granddaughter of Mr. Krumbeigel, will be visiting Lalbagh in the first week of August and take stock of the construction work.
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