President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the annual “Udyanotsav” annual event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday, February 4.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, an English architect, in 1917 during British rule, the Mughal Gardens at the backyard of the sprawling main building of Rashtrapati Bhavan is one of the most beautiful gardens of the world and is open for public viewing from 5 February. Inspired by the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the garden around the Taj Mahal, as well as Persian and Indian miniature paintings, the Mughal Gardens includes many elements of British garden art.
Like the Rashtrapati Bhavan Palace, which incorporates both Western and Indian architecture, the garden combines both Mughal and English styles along with beautiful terraces, lawns, and flowerbeds. It also has over 250 celebrated varieties of roses, making it one of the best rose gardens in the world.
Aside from roses, the 15-acre garden features exotic flowers and plants, including tulips, hyacinth, bulbous, Asiatic lilies, daffodils, and many others.
Long rows of dark pink “Modern Art” roses juxtaposed with white, full-bodied “Ice Berg”, patches of daisies, tulips and lilies mark the onset of the spring ahead of the annual “Udyanotsav” at the historical Mughal Gardens. It takes gardeners of Rashtrapati Bhawan to tend to the several varieties of flowers, bonsais and other plants in the Mughal Gardens.
The main attraction of this year’s “Udyanotsav”, besides Tulips and Exotic flowers, are bulbous flowerings. Around 10,000 Tulips specially cultivated in Mughal Gardens are expected to bloom in phases during February. They are in vivid colours of red, white, orange and yellow mixed with red and pink. The teacup-shaped Tulips are another attraction at the Mughal Gardens, especially “Jammu Pink” Tulip, which stands low yet distinguished with its rich pink petals edged with white, giving it a shiny texture. The garden is also covered by a variety of bulbous flowers like “Narcissus”, “Dahlia”, “Sparaxis”, “Ranunculus”, “Hyacinth” and “Asiatic Lily”.
Flower Carpets in magnificent designs is also on display in the Central Lawns revealing the skill and craft of the gardeners of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Covered by “doob” grass, which was originally brought from the Belvedere Estate, Kolkata, the lawn is abundantly covered by the shade of neatly trimmed trees like Moulsari, Cypress and China Orange.
Air purifying plants have been showcased. An Exhibition Stall showcases organic fresh vegetables and fruits grown in the President’s Estate Organic Farm. A beautiful combination of flowering and other house plants on a sustainable vertical green wall is also on display.
The visitors will be able to access all three parts of the garden – rectangular, long and circular – apart from the spiritual garden, herbal garden and bonsai garden.
The iconic garden at the heart of the President’s Estate will remain open for the general public from February 5, 2020 to March 08, 2020 (except on Mondays which are maintenance days) between 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs.
Unlike previous years visitors can plan their visit to the Gardens well in advance through online booking facility in addition to the direct walk-in entry. Online Booking can be done by visiting https://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in and following ‘Explore and Tour’ link. Online Booking link is also available at https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx. Both direct walk-in entry and online booking are free of cost.
Mobile number is mandatory for online booking and only one booking is permitted from one mobile number. Visitors who have booked online need to carry visitor entry pass (paper print or mobile pass) along with identity card.
Entry and exit for all online/walk-in visitors will be from Gate No. 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan. However, there will be a separate entry/queue for online visitors. It will be mandatory for them to adhere to their allotted time slots. In case a visitor arrives out of the booked time slot, he/she would be requested to join the queue of “direct walk-in (offline)” visitors.
Visitors are not allowed to bring any water bottles, briefcases, handbags/ladies purses, cameras, radios/transistors, boxes, umbrellas, eatables etc. Such articles, if any, will have to be deposited at the entry point. Arrangements of drinking water, toilets, first aid / medical facility, restrooms for senior citizens, women and children are provided at various places along the public route.
The Mughal Gardens will be open on March 11, 2020 exclusively for special category visitors – farmers, differently-abled persons, defence/paramilitary forces and Delhi Police personnel – from 1000 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will also be through Gate No. 35.
The Herbal Garden (Tactile Garden) will be open exclusively for visually impaired people on March 11, 2020 from 1100 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will be from Gate No. 12, situated on Church Road (next to the North Avenue).
Apart from the annual opening of Mughal Gardens, throughout the year people can have tours of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum as well as witness Change of Guards Ceremony by booking online through the link http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/.
Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex – an event based storytelling Museum showcasing the exquisite and invaluable artefacts symbolizing art, culture, heritage and history – is open for public on all days except Mondays and government holidays from 0900 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Visitors can book their tour online at https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx.