Lutyens Mughal Gardens

Posted: 19th February 2011 by Aditya Mahajan in Opinions, Reviews, Thoughts
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I had been long planning to visit the enigmatic Mughal gardens. The Mughal gardens are in the heart of New Delhi and adjoining the iconic Rashtrapati Bhavan. They open only for the month of Feb and March to the public. A few points that would be of concern to you are as follows: there is no entry fee , the parking is free, no mobile phones, no ladies purses, no water bottles, no pens and nothing electronic, the worst part is “No cameras allowed” (but this is unavoidable due to security reasons and preventing over crowding at one spot).

What we did was to park our vehicle in the Palika Parking at Connaught Place and take an Auto Rikshaw to the entrance of Mughal gardens. Delhi’s Autowalas have a habit of running without meters, so please be ready for some searching around. Once we reached there we were greeted by long queues, and the longest ones were for the Cloak room but we skipped those since we had left all electronics in the car itself. There was airport like security, you have to pass through two metal detectors and two physical frisking checks to get across. The path is then marked and you have to follow the marks and not stray anywhere you wish. You are not allowed to step on the grass and most of the flowers and trees are marked with their names.

Firstly, you enter the Herbal gardens which showcase the commonly used Indian medicinal herbs such as lemon grass and chamomile. From here on you enter the Bonsai garden where there are small sized big trees, as the name suggests. We had lots of rubber plants, banyan trees and pine trees here. The next step is the musical fountains where they were playing the patriotic songs and the fountains were totally out of sych from the music and probably needed some lubricating.

From here on the site shifts from mere gardens to the actual gardens touching the periphery of the Rashtrapati bhavan. The expanse and the size of the presidential house simple awes you and this is the closest you would probably get to the palatial house unless you do something heroic to receive the award of honor from the president or do something worse enough to go there to ask for amnesty or the rarest thing : That you become the President of India. The site changes to flowers of many colors, sizes, shapes and species. There are a lot of tulips (though they were all the same color), dahlias and pansies. There was a shortage of good roses though. A lot of fountains and neatly cut grass gardens lining the landscape, wehrever you see there is just different colors and beautiful smells greeting your senses. You get to see the rose gardens (though there were almost no good roses there), and then you get to see a cactus ensemble which is good and the last is the spiritual gardens containing trees of rudraksh, heena and all such trees that are probably used in some way in Indian spiritual celebrations.

There was a spot selling some souvenirs but not many people were interested in those and then you proceed to get out of the gardens and the process of bargaining with the auto drivers starts from the scratch and its amazing to see that the daring auto walas deny to go by the meter even from the prestigious Rashtrapati bhavan and ask for exhorbitant prices to ferry you to the place of your choice. The place where we went is India gate , strolled a bit and then headed to the Palika parking, took our car and back to home.The place is worth a visit but now that awesome that you would miss something in life if you do not visit it except the chance to closely observer the Rashtrapati bhawan.

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