President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the annual Udyanotsav event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, February 4. The Mughal Gardens, contiguous to the main building of Rashtrapati Bhavan, is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. If the Rashtrapati Bhavan is a masterpiece of architecture, the 15-acre Mughal Gardens is considered its soul. Its beauty lies in its design and its flora, trees, bushes, vines, lawn grass and seasonal flowers.
It takes gardeners of Rashtrapati Bhawan to tend to the several varieties of flowers, bonsais and other plants in the Mughal Gardens. A small cactus corner also forms part of the display.
Laid out by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens are inspired by those built by the Mughals in Agra and Kashmir. They incorporate elements typically found in such gardens – geometric designs, intricate stonework and ample water bodies like dancing fountains, water channels, and pools.
It will remain open for the general public visit from February 6, 2019, to March 10, 2019 (except on Mondays which are maintenance days) between 0900 hrs to 1600 hrs. Apart from the famed garden, visitors will also be able to visit the Spiritual Garden, Herbal Garden, Bonsai Garden, and Musical Garden within the President’s Estate.
The main attraction of this year’s “Udyanotsav”, beside Tulips and Exotic flowers, are bulbous flowerings. Around 10,000 ‘Tulips’ specially cultivated in Mughal garden are expected to bloom in phases during February. They are in vivid colours of red, white, orange and yellow mixed with red and pink. Flower Carpets in magnificent designs will also be on display in the Central Lawns revealing the skill and craft of the gardeners of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The dominant colour scheme of this year’s ornamental flowers is white, yellow, red and orange.
As in previous years, a small beautified cactus corner with interesting varieties of cactus and succulents has been landscaped. Air purifying plants have been showcased in front of Gate No. 8.
This year, an exhibition stall will also showcase organic fresh vegetables and fruits grown in the President’s Estate Organic Farm.
March 11, 2019, is marked exclusively for special category visitors – farmers, differently-abled persons, defence/paramilitary forces and Delhi Police personnel – from 0900 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will also be through Gate No. 35.
The Tactile Garden will be open exclusively for visually impaired people on March 11, 2019, from 1100 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will be from Gate No. 12, situated on Church Road.
Online booking facility has been introduced from this year under which visitors can plan their visit to the Gardens well in advance as per Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué.
Online booking link is also available at https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx.
This booking facility – available seven days in advance – has been divided into seven hourly slots – starting from 9 am to 3 pm – on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and three hourly slots – 9 am, 10 am and 11 am – on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and on holidays. Each hourly slot on weekdays and weekends/holidays has a slot for 1000 and 2500 visitors respectively. A maximum of 10 visitors can be booked in a single booking for weekday’s visit while maximum 5 visitors can be booked in a single booking for visit during weekend and holidays. Mobile number is mandatory for online booking and only one booking is permitted from one mobile number. Entry and exit for all online/walk-in visitors will be from Gate No. 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan. There will be separate entry/queue for online visitors. It will be mandatory for them to adhere to their allotted time slots. However, in case a visitor arrives out of booked time slot, he/she would be requested to join the queue of “direct walk-in (offline)” visitors.
Apart from the annual opening of Mughal Gardens, throughout the year people can have tours of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum as well as witness Change of Guards Ceremony by booking online through the link http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/.
Visitors are not allowed to bring any water bottles, briefcases, handbags/ladies purses, cameras, radios/transistors, boxes, umbrellas, eatables etc. Such articles, if any, will have to be deposited at the entry point. Arrangements of drinking water, toilets, first aid / medical facility, restrooms for senior citizens, women and children are provided at various places along the public route.