The beautiful views and serene experience amidst flowers is incomparable to anything. This time as well, the calming ambience of Rashtrapati Bhavan's lush-green Mughal Gardens is all set to welcome the visitors to its 70 varieties of seasonal flowers. The distinctive variety of flowers include specially imported flowers from the Netherlands and Japan, from February 6 to March 10.
Set against the majestic backdrop of the presidential residence, designed by British architect Edward Lutyens, the 15-acre gardens will open as part of the annual 'Udayanotsav' a long-standing tradition of the Bhavan.
With this year's colour scheme of the ornamental flowers being white, yellow, red and orange, the President's Garden is blooming with 2019's special attractions: 10,000 tulips in vivid colours, seeds of which were obtained from the Netherlands, and Matthiola incana, a Japan-imported flower which blossoms into a beautiful white.
During a walk-through of the open space, P.N. Joshi, the garden's Superintendent since 30 years when R. Venkatraman was President, pointed to Rudraksha trees that were introduced by President Ram Nath Kovind.
"The Bhawan is constructed out of red stone, so we choose majority of whites and yellows to make the flower show stand out," Joshi, who has been responsible for designing and preparing the entire garden told IANS, adding that the garden has slowly moved on from planting just local flowers to more exotic varieties.
Usually hailed as a perfect day-out destination for visitors, especially children and nature lovers, the Mughal Gardens have around 137 varieties of roses on display, along with small patches of the Pasadena, Pansy, China Man, Marigold, Antigun, Pink Parfait, Dahlia, Zambra, and Laptosinia flower varieties, and creepers.
Floral carpets designed by over 40 gardeners will be on view. Apart from the flower gardens, a spiritual garden showcasing plants significant to all religions, a herbal garden with patches of Brahmi, Giloy and Ashwagandha plants among others, a Bonsai garden and a musical garden will be open to the public.
A beautified cactus corner with interesting varieties of cactus and succulents has been landscaped, along with showcasing of air purifying plants, and organic fresh vegetables and fruits grown in-house.
A ready relief from Delhi's choking pollution, the botanical treat will also be accessible to wheelchair-users. A tactile garden for visually impaired will be open on March 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan's representatives, over half a million (5.54 lakh) visitors enjoyed the garden visits over a month-long opening in February and March last year.
This year, a free online booking facility has been introduced at www.presidentofindia.gov.in. It is available seven days in advance and has been divided into seven hourly slots - starting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - in weekdays (Monday to Friday) and three hourly slots - 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. - on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and on holidays.
A maximum of 10 visitors can be booked in a single booking for weekday's visit while the number is five for weekends and holidays. Mobile number is mandatory for online booking. According to the representatives, priority will be given to the online applicants, who will also have a separate queue.
Visitors can also visit the adjoining Rashtrapati Museum and witness the Change of Guards ceremony. A special appeal from the organisers requests visitors to respect the heritage property and not indulge in "overzealous and irresponsible selfie-taking".
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