President Pranab Mukherjee opens Mughal Gardens to the public

NEW DELHI(PTI): Udyanotsav is a month long festival from February 14-March 15, 2015 wherein public is allowed to visit mughal gardens when the flowers are their best. The floral event is extremely popular and had recorded 5.84 lakh footfall in one month in 2014.
PTI

Tulips, an inseparable part of Kashmir’s beauty, are a favourite of President Pranab Mukherjee who came out to Mughal Gardens for the first time this season today to witness the manicured lawns which will open for public from tomorrow. “I have started to like tulips. They are in full bloom,” he said when asked about his favourite flower as he inaugurated ‘Udyanotsav-2015’ here today.

The President said he has come to the Mughal Gardens after two months as he was confined to his study by the doctors because of his illness. “That (the day he was advised to rest) was December 13, 2014. Today it is February 13, 2015. So it is exactly two months after which I have come to Mughal Gardens. That was Saturday. Today is Friday,” said a smiling Mukherjee.

Wearing shades, the President took special interest in tulips, about 10,000 of which in vivid hues of red, yellow, pink, orange mixed with purple and white have given a taste of Kashmir to iconic Mughal Gardens this season. Thanks to the favourable weather.

“This year we have doubled the tulips seeing their success last year. We took special care to ensure that tulips, which are extremely sensitive to weather conditions, are planted in such a way that they are at their peak when gardens open for public. Weather also supported our efforts,” UD Kukreti, OSD Horticulture at Rashtrapati Bhavan, told reporters.

People can get some of the feel of the famous tulip gardens of the Kashmir Valley when they visit the Mughal Gardens during next 20 days, Upreti said.”Main attraction of Udyanotsav-2015 are tulips which have been in bloom since last week of January, 2015. They are about to bloom in phases upto March 10, 2015,” he said.

Besides tulips, it is for the first time that special pond has been created for lotus in the spiritual gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mukherjee, who took a stroll in the gardens, was enamoured by roses which are also a key attraction of the lawns which has 120 varieties of the flower. “These rose beds look wonderful,” he said stopping at Pasadena Rose, looking spectacular in bright red.

The special roses include Green Rose and Angelique. Nearly 40 fragrant varieties include Belami, Black Lady, Double Delight, Eiffel Tower, Granada, Jadis, Mr Lincoln, Sadabahar and Taj Mahal. The Gardens include roses named Mother Teresa, Arjun, Bhim, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Jawahar and Dr BP Pal besides those christened after international celebrities like John F Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, Mr Lincoln and Montezuma.

The 139-hectare area of mughal gardens will showcase 120 varieties of roses, 70 varieties of seasonal flowers, 2,500 dahlias, 250 bonsai plants, 80 varieties of cactus along withflowers like Calendula, Gerbera, Linaria, Larkspur, Gaznia, Verbena, Viola, Pansy Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Marigold and Salvia which line the symmetric pavements of the gardens.

Besides flowers, skill and craft of Rashtrapati Bhavan gardeners will be on display in the form of floral carpets in magnificent designs. “The dominant colour scheme of this year’s ornamental flowers is yellow, red and orange,” Upreti said.

Udyanotsav is a month long festival from February 14-March 15, 2015 wherein public is allowed to visit mughal gardens when the flowers are their best. The floral event is extremely popular and had recorded 5.84 lakh footfall in one month in 2014.

The entry and exit for the general public will be from Gate No 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Besides appreciating the floral extravaganza, people can purchase vegetables and fruits grown in the President Estate Organic Farm also known as “Dalikhana” to take care of their kitchen needs after a picnic.

People can visit the gardens from tomorrow onwards till March 15 barring Monday when maintenance of the garden will be carried out. Public will also be able to visit the Spiritual Garden, Herbal Garden, Bonsai Garden and Bio-diversity Park within the Estate.