Karnataka is the first state in the entire country to have a separate Horticulture Department, and many other states, at later years, followed the example of Karnataka. Because of this, the state could achieve remarkable progress in many fronts of Horticulture, whether Fruits or Vegetables or Flowers or Plantation crops.
The growth of Horticulture in the state has a thrilling historical background, which reveals several interesting facts, milestones of achievements and pride legacies.
Although some Horticulture crops were grown in the state since time immemorial, their cultivation on commercial scale started just two and a half century before. The first acknowledgeable credit for initiation of cultivation of Horticulture crops in the state undoubtedly goes to Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. At about 1760, Hyder Ali started a small royal orchard near Bangalore Fort, which was called by the name Lalbagh. After him, Tipu Sultan improved this garden by making systematic layouts and undertaking comprehensive planting programme. He collected several important native and exotic species of flowers, fruits, vegetables and other plants, obtained from several far off places such as Malacca, Isle of France, Oman, Arabia, Persia, Turkey, Zanzibar, France and other European countries. At Srirangapatna, his capital, he had established another garden of fame by the same name as Lalbagh, in which also he had introduced several ornamental and horticulture plants. At Ganjam, near Srirangapatna, he had developed a vast Fig orchard. Several of the fruits species, which Tipu Sultan had introduced then, eventually became the commercial crops of the then Mysore province, and to quote a few are: Fig, Mulberry (for Sericulture), Grapes, Pomegranates, Rose, several European vegetable crops etc.