New Delhi: To mark the occasion of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, President Droupadi Murmu has given a common name to the gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as ‘Amrit Udyan’. Previously called the Mughal Garden, is now named the Amrit Udyan. Deputy Press Secretary to President, Navika Gupta, also said in the statement that the gardens will be open from January 31 onwards for public viewing.
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Spread over 15 acres, the Amrit Udyan is known as the ‘Soul of Presidential Palace’. It draws inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal and miniature paintings of India and Persia.
Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the gardens in 1917 while the planting was done in 1928-29. The garden portrays the Mughals and the English style of architecture.
The gardens have 159 celebrated varieties of roses, even named after famous personalities such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mother Teresa, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Christian Dior and others. Tulips, Asiatic lilies, and daffodils are among more than 70 varieties of seasonal flowers grown in the Amrit Udyan.
Over time, Presidents have contributed to the gardens in their own ways for social or developmental works. C. Rajagopalachari, the first Indian resident of Rashtrapati Bhavan, used a portion to cultivate wheat, President APJ Abdul Kalam contributed to the making of Herbal Gardens, Tactile Gardens for the visually handicapped, and others.
Amrit Udyan’s large geometrical designs include Rectangular Garden, Long Garden and Circular Garden.
Rectangular, Long and Circular Gardens
The Rectangular Garden has two parallel channels running north and south intersected with two running from east to west. East Lawn and the Central Lawn are the two main gardens here and the Central Lawn is the place to host the annual ‘At Home’ ceremonies by the President on Republic Day and Independence Day.
Long Garden is mainly a rose garden containing 16 rose beds. This garden is enclosed by 12 feet high walls, which gives it the name of the Purdha garden.
The farthest garden is the Circular Garden, also called the Sunken Garden or Pearl Garden. Apart from 30 varieties of seasonal flowers, it has a bubble fountain in a circular pond with lotus flowers.