I visited the Mughal Gardens in New Delhi today with my sister and a friend.
The Mughal Gardens in New Delhi is one of the places you could take time out for while visiting Delhi in early Spring, when Delhi is just about getting warm. The Gardens are a part of the Indian President’s residence, the Rashtrapti Bhavan. On a usual day, one can visit the Rashtrapti Bhavan from the main road on Raisina Hills only, but the Gardens allow access a little further, closer to the magnificent and historical residence.
The Mughal Gardens are open only for a month, usually from 15th Feb to 15th March from 10am-6pm. You will have to stop at Gate 12 and walk towards security check-ins and cloakrooms for the main entry from Gate 35.
There are a variety of plant beds growing herbs, medicines, trees and plants, bonsai trees and flowers, making the display give you the feel of a lively open museum.
We walked through a path lined with Gerberas and common Chamomiles, to reach the main entrance. There are provisions for drinking water, police and medical assistance along the way.
The fountains dance to Hindi music while entering the main courtyard from the Bonsai garden, refreshing the warmth that you will have started feeling by now.
Similar to most other gardens built during the Mughals’ rule, the Mughal Garrdens is also of a Persian architectural form with pools, fountains, charbagh style (four-side layout NEWS), gardens and water canals. It is said that Edwin Lutyens, the architect who designed Rashtrapati Bhavan, may have chosen the Gardens to take the Mughal architectural style.
I was familiar of quite a few of the plants and most of the flowers, since I grew up watching my mother keen in her gardening. So, most of the display was of common variety I could say, but the garden layouts were indeed pretty with their colours and varying blooms to entice all to pose for photographs. Cameras- oh here you should note that all electronics, food, drinks, bags are banned entry. Only your purse and mobile is allowed with you, and I’m not sure how that makes much sense since we all took pictures with our smartphones. Smart or not so smart?
There are flowers like the common rose, varieties of Rose- I learnt some new names: Mother Teresa, Aishwarya, Angelique, Iceberg, Queen Elizabeth, Damasks, Japanese Okhlahoma, Granada, lovely colourful Tulips, Lilies, Dahlias, Cyclamens, Iceplants, Pansies, Marigolds, Calendulas, Petunias, Poppies and many more which looked familiar too. The variety of flowers of course also depends on the season and month of blooms, and I think we were a little early in February to view the full blooms of the entire Garden.
The spiritual garden has trees and plants that have been mentioned in the Hindu spiritual books, such as Fig (anjeer), kaner, hibiscus, neem, champa, sandalwood, etc. but the main views of the Gardens remain the Rose Garden on the west with its line of young Japanese orange trees along the walls, and the Circular Butterfly Garden which is a huge circle with a fountain in the middle, surrounded and walled with varieties of flowers. It is the final garden on your way out and provides a last perfect view of the garden with the Residence at its backdrop.
If you are lucky, you will see some birds and small animals; I saw some deer 🙂
I’d love to visit the Shalimar Bagh in Jammu & Kashmir, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore too some day…