Riot of colours at Mughal Gardens

Riot of colours at Mughal Gardens

Flower power

Riot of colours at Mughal Gardens

The Mughal Gardens have always been an irresistible attraction for Delhiites and tourists alike. The onset of spring, in February-March, provides once-in-a-year oppurtunity to witness a riot of colours – so bright that they actually can dazzle you.

The gardens which are tended lovingly through the year offer some real exotic blooms, besides the usual varieties, adding to their magnificence. From tulips to lilies, narcissus, hyacinths and daffodils, all are grown by more than 150 gardeners to entice lakhs who visit these enviable lawns at Rashtrapati Bhavan each year.

The beauty of these gardens which cover over 154 hectares or 380 acres in the heart of President’s Estate, lies in its design and rare flora, comprising varieties of trees, bushes, vines and seasonal flowers.

Historically, the gardens are inspired from the gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal, as also Persian and miniature paintings. They also include many elements of British garden art, courtesy Edwin Lutyens, the architect of
Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The space is divided into three different sections – the Central Park, the Rose Lawn and the Circular Garden. This year, the Central Park has 55 varieties of seasonal flowers including pansies, alyssums, lilies, violas, calendula, gerbera, linaria, carnations and larkspur to name just some. Interestingly, they are grouped in colour combinations to give a spectacular effect.

Prakash Nigam, OSD, Horticulture, at the Gardens says, “The existing grass is around 60 years old and was grown at the time when the gardens were being laid out. It was specially brought from Kolkata and has been maintained till date.”

The grass may be vintage value but its the roses that steal the show and add to the fame. The gardens offer more than 120 varieties, include special ones like the green rose, Oklahoma or black rose and Angelique. There are also 40 varieties of fragrant ones including Belami, Blue Moon, Double Delight, Eiffel Tower, Granada, Double Delight, Jadis and Sadabahar among others.

Interestingly, these roses have been named after well-known personalities like Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth, Lincoln, Christian Dior; mythological heroes like Arjun and Bheem and also monuments like the Jantar Mantar. Then there is Iceberg, First Prize and Granada too!

What completes the grandeur is the Circular Garden. It has fragrant varieties of flocks in different colours - marigolds, violas and pansies, sweet williums and allisums. A fountain in the middle of this garden is surrounded by colourful layers of flowers and lush grass which enhances the landscaped splendor.

“There are a total of 30 varieties of seasonal flowers in this garden,” informs Prakash.  
“We have marigolds near the fountain, then jaffori (marigolds in rust tones) followed by sweet williums, scarlet flex, gypsophila and snapdragon,” he says explaining the pattern.
However, the peculiarity of the Circular Garden lies in sheer numbers of single dahlias in bright tones of reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, violets and even whites which are about eight ft high and have been planted along its entire wall.
Another major attraction in the past have been tulips. But unfortunately this year the garden has lost out on them, given the poor weather conditions in the last few days. “The blooming season of tulips is January 14 to February 15 but owing to erratic rains they are yet to bloom,” informs Prakash.

The garden has not only blooming flowers  but around 33 medicinal and aromatic plants like jatropha, stevia, ashwagandha, brahmi, mint, tulsi, geranium also. Besides this, the Bonsai Garden was also set up in 2010 with more than 250 varieties of bonsai. A Spiritual Garden has important trees like the rudraksha, chandan, kadamb, anjeer, date palm, paras peepal and more.

As one strolls around, soaking in the beauty of the verdant natural spread, the strains of shehnai add to the magical atmosphere. A short walk towards the direction of the sound leads one to a musical fountain which is creating water patterns in sync with the music. If there is heaven on earth, it is here?

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