Why the risk of earthquake in Bengaluru could be rising

The answer to why Bengaluru has so far been quake-proof is clear in Lalbagh Botanical Garden. Photos: Naveen Ammembala

In Delhi-NCR, the done-to-death joke about earthquakes is that when people feel the tremors with their beds, ceiling fans and chandeliers shaking, they quickly log in to Twitter to confirm if people have begun posting with the hashtag earthquake instead of rushing out to ‘save themselves’. But thousands of kilometres away in Bengaluru, one actually has to step out to see why beds, fans and chandeliers rarely shake like they do in the National Capital Region.

The answer to why Bengaluru is quake-proof is most visibly clear in Lalbagh Botanical Garden, which flaunts a rich collection of tropical and subtropical plants, including several centuries-old trees. The sprawling park, spread over an area of 240 acres in the heart of the city, has a beautiful glasshouse surrounding a sprawling lake.

Visitors to the Garden are offered a visual and historical treat of a Bonsai Garden, Kempe Gowda Watch Tower, Hibiscus Garden and Big Rock. It is the Big Rock that ensures Bengaluru is safe from earthquakes as the region rests on this rock showing up a glimpse in Lalbagh Garden.

There is no historical proof suggesting Kempe Gowda, a chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire, knew about the importance of the rock, but some say he built the Kempe Gowda Tower so that his guards could keep an eye on the rock and protect it from encroachments. The more popular theory however is that the tower was built for military reasons.

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