President Droupadi Murmu will grace the opening of the Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan for Udyan Utsav on Sunday. Earlier, known as the Mughal Gardens, it has been renamed as the Amrit Udyan by the President on the occasion of celebrations of 75 years of Independence as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Among several attractions, the Udyan Utsav will this year delight visitors with specially cultivated tulips of 12 unique varieties, which are expected to bloom in phases. The people can scan QR codes placed in the Gardens to get more information about any particular flower, plant or tree during their visit.
The Gardens including the Herbal Garden, Bonsai Garden, Central Lawn, Long Garden and Circular Garden will be open for about two months. They will open for the general public on 31 January and will remain open till 26 March, except on Mondays which are maintenance days and on 8 March on account of Holi.
Walk-in visitors can also get entry to the Gardens. However, they will have to register themselves at the facilitation counters as well as at the Self Service Kiosk near Gate No. 12 of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Rashtrapati Bhavan has advised the public to book a slot online in advance to avoid rush and save time.
Entry and exit for all visitors will be from Gate No. 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan.
From 28 to 31 March, the Gardens will be open for special categories on the following days: for farmers on 28 March; for differently abled persons on 29 March; for personnel of Defence Forces, Paramilitary Forces and Police on 30 March and for women including tribal women’s SHGs on 31 March.
Another step towards making Rashtrapati Bhavan accessible to more and more people is through increase in capacity of each hourly slot. The visitors will be allowed to visit in six hourly slots between 1000 hrs and 1600 hrs.
The capacity for the two forenoon slots (1000 hrs to 1200 hrs) will be 7,500 visitors during weekdays and 10,000 visitors in each slot on weekends. The capacity for the four afternoon slots (1200 hrs to 1600 hrs) will be 5,000 visitors in each slot during weekdays and 7,500 visitors on weekends.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is home to a rich variety of gardens. Originally, they included East Lawn, Central Lawn, Long Garden and Circular Garden. During the terms of former Presidents Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and Ram Nath Kovind, more gardens were developed, namely, Herbal-I, Herbal-II, Tactile Garden, Bonsai Garden and Arogya Vanam.