On 7th March 2018, I got the opportunity to visit Mughal Garden, the soul of President House. Mughal Garden is situated near North Avenue on Church Road.I had to pass through two security checks of President House from Gate No. 35. After entering Rashtrapati Bhavan, I had to deposit my camera and other little things like bag purse and eatables because those things(bag, purse, camera, lunchbox) were not allowed inside Mughal Garden. So it’s better not to carry them.
Mughal Garden of Rashtrapati Bhavan is the most beautiful garden in the world. It is considered the soul of the Rashtrapati Bhavan as this is the masterpiece of horticulture. Mughal Garden is located inside Rashtrapati Bhavan complex. Mughal Garden is designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Lady Harding. The Mughal garden design was finalized in 1917 but plantings were done 1928-1929. Mughal garden is spread over a huge area of 15 acres. Like the architecture of President house combines two architectural styles Indian and western, Sir Edwin Lutyens combined together two horticulture traditions Mughal style and European garden style. Flowing water canals at different levels, terraces, flower shrubs magnificently combined with European flower beds, hedges, and lawns. Originally garden is divided into four parts 1 Main Mughal Garden 2.Terrace Garden 3.Long garden 4. Pearl or Butterfly garden. But now in 2018 Garden is divided into Ten Parts.
As springs sets in and blossoms are at the glory, Mughal Garden opens to the public during Udyanoutsav which held in February to March. Honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the udyanoutsav festival of 2018 on 5th February 2018.
Special attraction of 2018:
10000 tulips bulbs in eight varieties and different colors imported from the Netherlands which were the main attraction of the garden this year.
After entering I passed from this way as you can see in the pic below.I saw Pranab Mukherji Public Library, and Kids garden on my way to Herbal Garden.
First of all, I entered into Herbal Garden. Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam has the vision to promote natural remedies that is the reason behind the establishment of Herbal Garden.I saw around 33 medicinal and aromatic plants in the garden. Benefits of these plants depicted next to plants in the garden. These herbal plants include ashwagandha, Tulsi, Isabgul (Plantago), Damask Rose, Brahmi, Mints, bhumi Amalaki, citronella, geranium, Evening Primrose, Ghritakumari, Giloy, Kalmegh, Lemon Grass, Menthol, Milk thistle, peppermint, Khas, sadabahar, Vetiver, Vach, spearmint, Shatavari, Qinghaosu. This herbal garden established with the help of Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP).
The second phase of the herbal garden set up with the help of National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the National Medicinal Plants Board. In this trees and seasonal and perennial plants are grown like Bel trees, Jamun trees, Harra and Baheda trees, Chandan, Amla, Neem, Tejpatta, Kapoor, Hadjod, Datura, Laung, and Dalchini.
The bio-diversity park has peacocks, deer, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowls, turtles, parakeets, rabbits and migratory birds. There are big cages of parakeets which are most popular with kids group. People stand near to their cages excitingly pointing towards them. One can spot the national bird peocock enjoying in this garden.
The Bonsai garden was set up by President Pratibha Patil in 2010 with 250 plants of bonsai. The varieties include those in upright, slanting, cascade and semi-cascade forms. the collection of bonsai includes Ficus Infactoria, Ficus Panda China Orange, Malpighia, Casuarina, Bougainvilleas, Pinus, Mimusops Elengi.
The musical garden was an initiative of President APJ Abdul Kalam.The Musical garden surrounded by Herbal garden, bio-diversity park bonsai garden and tennis court. He was a great scientist. He combined science with music and this magic happened in the form of Musical Garden. Three fountains in musical garden demonstrate digital electronics, electromagnetism, hydrodynamics, and hydrostatics. Musical fountain perfectly synchronizes with the classic tunes of shehnai veena and Vande Mataram.The fountain has colored lights which synchronize with the changing music. The musical garden provides liveliness to the area by breaking its calmness, and silence.
Main Garden or rectangular Garden:
This garden is closet to President House or Rashtrapati Bhavan main building. Two water channels running North to South and two running East to west intersect each other and divide the garden into the grid of squares. At the intersection sandstone shape water fountain inspired by victoria lily has water jets up to 12 feet high. There are two lawns central which is square shaped with 45 meters side and East which is adjacent to the main building. the lawns are covered with doob grass brought from Kolkatta. Thegarden derivess its green texture from Moulsri, Putranjiva Roxburgi, Cypress, Thuja Orientalis and China Orange trees, rose shrubs and a variety of climbers.
There are two longitudinal gardens at the higher level on both sides of the main garden. Same plants are grown in the terrace garden as the main garden. President Abdul Kalam established a fragrant rosary in one of the three terrace gardens.
Long Garden :
After the exit from Main Mughal garden, I entered into the Long garden which is called Pudah garden. Length of the long garden is 430 feet and it is enclosed by walls which are about 12 feet height so it is called purdah garden. This is predominantly rose garden containing 16 rose beds. Popular varieties of roses are Ice Berg, Rose Summer Snow, Rose Oklahoma, Rose Lousiana. Walls of the long garden covered with creepers like a flame vine, trumpet vine, Lassan bel and Jasmine which give fragrance to the garden. Elephants trucks of sandstone on both side of pergola shows the impact of Indian Architecture.
Circular Garden or Sunken Garden Or Pearl Garden or Butterfly Garden:
After the exit from the long garden, I entered into the circular garden or Pearl Garden or Butterfly garden. This is so called because of its shape. Rings of flower beds are planted in an amphitheater-like structure.Fragrant varieties of stock, phlox, and pansies of different colors, marigold, viola, alyssum and many more are planted to give a stunning view to behold. there is bubble fountain concealed in the pool in the center. the pond has lotus flower and edged with calendula and marigold.
This is the unique creation of APJ Abdul Kalam In the spiritual garden, I got to see more than 40 plants and trees important to different religions. They grow harmoniously and conveys the message of coexistence despite differences in religion and culture and show tolerance towards each other. Rudraksha tree planted by Devi Singh Shekhawat welcomes every visitor which enters the spiritual garden. the spiritual garden has more than 40 trees of special importance to every religion like Khair, Bamboo, Sandalwood, Heena, Sita Ashoka, Butter Tree, Temple Tree, Kadamb Tree, Paras Peepal, Fig, Date palms, Krishna Burgad, Jasmine, Reetha, Mango. A pond with varieties of lotus and water lily added to the spiritual garden during 2015.
The cactus garden added during 2003 in president estate. The collection has about 80 varieties of grafted cactus. During my visit, I spotted one corner in the main Mughal garden for cactus check the pic below
In the Mughal garden, I saw vegetables grown without chemicals and oils made from herbs of herbal garden.
A distillation unit is also installed next to the Circular garden for distillation of essential oils of aromatic and herbal plants from the Rashtrapati Bhavan Gardens. Demonstrations are also given to farmers during the annual Udyanotsav festival. I saw this distillation unit which all of you can see in the pic below
Nakshatra garden was set up in president estate during the year 2006. 27 different varieties of trees which are associated with 27 stars in the sky were planted these trees have the healthy physical mental effect on people mediating near them. These trees have very medicinal, social, aesthetic and economic importance.
The tactile garden was inaugurated in 2004 for visually challenged people.this garden is having plants with special texture and fragrance which can be identified by visually impaired people. The tactile garden was opened exclusively on 9th March this year for these people. Entry and exit were from gate no 12 on church road.
Additions and Innovations:
All the Presidents have taken the keen interest in the maintenance and upkeep of the Mughal Gardens. Every President who resided in the President house left their green footprints on the garden in different ways and contributed.
First governor C Rajgopalacharya planted wheat among daffodils to represent India food shortage.
India’s third President left his imprints in the form of roses still blooming in the garden.
President K. R. Narayanan installed rainwater catchment and groundwater refilling systems.
President APJ Abdul Kalam gifted unique Herbal Garden, Musical Garden, Spiritual Garden, Cactus Garden, Nakshatra Garden, Tactile Garden.
President Pratibha Patil established Bonsai garden
President Pranab Mukherji established sewage treatment plant that recycles water for gardening.The garden currently having ISO certification for solar lighting, vermicomposting and waste management.
After watching the Absolute beauty and grandeur of this magnificent garden I was left speechless.This is not the only masterpiece of horticulture and soul of Rashtrapati Bhavan but also the masterpiece of ancient Indian herbal and spiritual tradition. Herbal garden of Mughal garden gives the message of healthy India to all visitors. This gives the message of unity in diversity in the form of the spiritual garden. Time to time Every President left their imprints on the precious Mughal garden.
Mughal Garden Entry Timings, Fee, Address, Official Website:
Mughal Garden Address: Gate No. 35, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Near North Avenue, New Delhi, Delhi – 110004
Entry fee: Free entry
Timings: Timing 9.30 AM to 4.00 PM February 6th, 2018 to March 9th, 2018 During Udyanotsav flower festival (Proper time announced every year)
Inauguration 2018: President Ram Nath Kovind February 4th, 2018
Phone Number: +91-11-23365358 , +91-11-24698431 , +91-11-23320342
Closing day: Monday
Photography:: allowed but by phone, Camera not allowed
Time Required to visit: approx 2 to 4 hours
Nearest Metro station: Central Secretariat
Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station