President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the annual Udyanotsav of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The yearly event held at Mughal Gardens will be open to the public from February 12, 2022 to March 16, 2022. Variety of Tulips, roses, lilies and many other flowers are in full bloom at the Mughal Gardens.
Mughal Gardens, spread over a vast expanse of 15 acres, it has often been portrayed, and deservedly so, as the soul of the Presidential Palace. The Mughal Gardens draw its inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal and even miniature paintings of India and Persia.
Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan
Sir Edwin Lutyens had finalized the designs of the Mughal Gardens as early as 1917, however, it was only during the year 1928-1929 that plantings were done. His collaborator for the gardens was Director of Horticulture, William Mustoe. Like the building of Rashtrapati Bhavan have two different styles of architecture, Indian and western, similarly, Sir Lutyens brought together two different horticulture traditions together for the gardens, the Mughal style and the English flower garden. Mughal canals, terraces and flowering shrubs are beautifully blended with European flowerbeds, lawns and private hedges.
In Christopher Hussey’s The Life of Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Lutyens’ wife has written that the garden was a “paradise.” She added, “…flowers are set in such masses, producing a riot of colour and scents, that, when, with the fountains playing continually, there is not the least sense of stiffness. The round garden beyond beats everything for sheer beauty and is beyond words.”
The Mughal Gardens had up till now been opened for the public only during the annual festival, Udyanotsav, held in the months of February-March but Mughal Gardens, which forms the third Circuit of Rashtrapati Bhavan tour, will now be open for the public from August till March.
Main attraction of Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rose remains a key feature of the Mughal Gardens even today. The Gardens boasts of growing 159 celebrated varieties of roses which blossom primarily in the month of February and March. They include, Adora, Mrinalini, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Modern Art, Scentimental, Oklahoma (also called black rose), Belami, Black Lady, Paradise, Blue Moon and Lady X. The Mughal Gardens also include roses named after people of national and international fame such as Mother Teresa, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mr. Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Jawahar, Queen Elizabeth, Christian Dior amongst others. Arjun and Bhim, from the Mahabharata, also find place in the presidential palace.
Apart from roses, tulips, Asiatic lilies, daffodils, hyacinth and other seasonal flowers beautify the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan. There are more than seventy varieties of seasonal flowers including exotic bulbous and winter flowering plants. The garden also grows 60 of the 101 known types of bougainvilleas. Edging and flowering of flower beds is done with alyssum, daisy, pansy etc. The grass that covers the garden is the doob grass, which was originally brought from Calcutta (now Kolkata) when the Mughal Gardens was being planted. The Gardens has almost 50 varieties of trees, shrubs and vines including Moulsiri tree, Golden Rain tree, flower bearing Torch Tree and many more. At present over three hundred permanent and casual employees are deployed for the development and maintenance of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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