Amid the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that marks 75 years of India’s independence, the world-famous Mughal Garden of the Rashtrapati Bhavan has been rechristened ‘Amrit Udyan’ on Saturday. The move comes months after the Centre renamed Rajpath to ‘Kartavya Path’.
The President’s Estate is home to a rich variety of gardens, which is spread over 15 acres, and owned more than 150 varieties of roses, daffodils, Asiatic lilies, Tulips, and other ornamental flowers.
Also Read: Mughal Gardens now Amrit Udyan! Roses, tulips, other seasonal flowers beautify the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan – See Beautiful Photos
Originally, the President’s House was built as Viceroy’s House after the shifting of the imperial capital from Calcutta to Delhi. However, after India gained its Independence on August 15, 1947, the Viceroy House became the Rashtrapati Bhavan (during the term of Dr. Rajendra Prasad), and the Kingsway was renamed to Rajpath which again changes to Kartavya Path.
History and Design of ‘Mughal Garden’
The history of the iconic gardens of the Estate is as rich as its scented stocks of flowers. The garden draws its inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal, and even miniature paintings of India and Persia. The design of the garden was finalized in 1917 by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, and plantings were done in the year 1928-29.
The gardens have two different traditions of horticulture – the Mughal style and the English flower garden. The flowering shrubs, terraces, and Mughal canals are beautifully blended with European flowerbeds, lawns, and private hedges.
In the book, ‘The Life of Sir Edwin Lutyens’, authored by Christopher Hussey, Sir Lutyens’ wife has called the garden a ‘paradise’. flowers are set in such masses, producing a riot of colour and scents, that, when, with the fountains playing continually, there is not the least sense of stiffness. The round garden beyond beats everything for sheer beauty and is beyond words,” she wrote.
Also Read: Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Mughal Gardens renamed ‘Amrit Udyan’, to open for public from January 31
Rose – A key feature of gardens
The famed garden has 159 varieties of roses which include: Adora, Mrinalini, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Modern Art, Scentimental, Oklahoma (also called black rose), Belami, Black Lady, Paradise, Blue Moon, and Lady X. The roses are also named after people of national and international fame like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Queen Elizabeth, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, Mother Teresa, etc.
There are more than 70 varieties of seasonal flowers in the garden. Some of them are tulips, Asiatic lilies, daffodils, hyacinths, etc.
The ‘Doob grass’ covers the garden of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was brought from Calcutta (now Kolkata) when the Mughal Gardens were being planted.
Apart from these, the garden has shrubs, vines, and around 50 varieties of trees which includes: the Moulsiri tree, Golden Rain tree, flower-bearing Torch Tree, and many other.
In August 2012, on the initiative of then-President Pranab Mukherjee, the garden was opened to the public. During his presidency, nearly 2000 different varieties of trees were planted on the Estate.