In search of Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel
Cubbon Park has always been a city that brings the nature out of any person coming to or living in the city we all dearly call – the garden city. But how the city got its name is still a talk in the folklores. Many claim many stories, but the truth was realised in one of the marathon training session in the Cubbon Park. Gustav Krumbiegel, a name that is hardly known to any in the city, is the person who had the vision to make this city the garden city. He was a horticulturist by profession but more than that, he was the architect of many famous gardens in India namely Kamati Baug, Vadodara; The Govt. Botanical Garden, Ooty and our very own, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore. His association to this city is nothing sort of destiny. The folklore goes by the story that once the King of Mysore & the King of Vadodara were playing cards, and the King of Vadodara lost the game. Impressed by the Kamati baug of Vadodara, the king of Mysore asked for the services of Mr. Gustav as the prize for winning the game. He undertook the work of beautifying the province of Mysore which included Ooty & Bangalore. He joined Mysore State Service in 1908 as curator of the Botanical Gardens in Lalbagh. He planted various flowers in the garden serially so that the garden is always filled with flowers. For example, ‘tree of gold’ or Tabebuia Argentea, is one of the early bloomers coloring the city with its bright yellow flowers. Another brush of yellow comes from the yellow silk cotton or ‘arasinabooruga’. The Tabebuia Rosea and Queen’s Flower added a dash of pink and purple colour respectively. Later I came to know that this great man not only lived here, but also breathed his last here. I contacted Dr. KJS Chatrath, one of India’s leading experts on Colonial cemetery for the details regarding his cemetery so that I could atleast pay homage to the architect of the garden from which the garden city is named. With details regarding his cemetery in Hosur Road and with the help of the keeper of the cemetery, I finally found the grave of this great man whose efforts have led to many of us at peace & happiness during our visit to the garden. Finally, I could locate the great man’s grave buried under an African Tulip tree (his favourite) resting in peace and galore upon from the heaven to see the many happiness that the garden provides to its denizens. A few drops of the pearl from the eyes is the best I could pay homage to a man for whom we know this city as the “Garden City”.
Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel
born December 18, 1865 & died February 8, 1956
Text on the grave stone :The brave domb that did their deed and scorned to blot it with a name men of the plain heroic breed that loved heavens silence more than fame.
Grave location: Hosur road cemetery,gate 1, plot 6 ,row 7 ,grave 6
Dr. K.J.S Chatrath blog : http://gravematters.in/
“We will be known forever by the tracks that we leave”.- Native American Proverb