Explained: Reason behind naming "Mughal Garden" in Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, Feb 04: The heart of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the iconic Mughal Garden will be opened to the public from Wednesday.
The garden will be open for the general public between 10 am to 4 pm till March 8.
On March 11, the garden will be open exclusively for farmers, differently-abled persons, defence and paramilitary forces, and Delhi police personnel.
Mughal Garden witnesses 3-6 lakh visitors every year and more than 5 lakh visitors in the last year alone.
With 138 types of roses, Over 10,000 Tulip bulbs and 70 different kinds of about 5,000 seasonal flowers Mughal garden boasts the color of Delhi.
Who built the Mughal Garden
Known as 'the first garden of Republic' was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, English architect who was famous for versatility and range of invention along traditional lines in the 1920s and 1930s as part of the Viceroy's Estate.
Lutyens, who also designed the Viceroy's Estate or the Rashtrapati Bhavan on a 330-acre property with a house over five acres, bought both English and Mughal style in architectural and horticultural traditions.
Why the name is after Mughal
Delhi is the place where the Mughal emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq laid out 1,200 gardens with the touch of mughal traditions.
The mughal gardens of Delhi depict the era and culture of the mughal reign for decades. Later the British mingled the traditions with English aesthetics.
The gardens like Shalimar Bagh, Sahibabad or Begum Bagh with showcasing flora also personify power and domination.
Sir Edward Lutyens assimilated British prowess with the Islamic heritage while designing the majestic garden.
The design of Mughal Garden was inspired by the gardens of Taj Mahal, the gardens in Jammu and Kashmir, and miniature paintings of India and Persia.
Wheat cultivation in Mughal Garden?
in 1928-29, two years before the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, moved in the estate, Sir Edward Lutyens carried out the plantings in the self-designed garden.
The first Governor-General of India C Rajagopalachari was at first reluctant to live at the 330-acre estate, that represented British legacy.
However, he eventually shifted into the estate, and in solidarity with his fellow countrymen and as a symbolic gesture to address the food shortage, the nation was facing, Rajagopalachari started to use a section of the garden to grow wheat during his tenure.
This practice was continued by his successor and the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, till 1962.
Modern history of Mughal Garden
The presidents of India showcased the garden as mark of self-sustainability and innovation.
In 1998, the Centre for Science and Environment installed a system to capture rainwater for recharging groundwater in the estate at the request of K R Narayanan.
In 2002, Abdul Kalam made the formal gardens joint with herb gardens displaying indigenous plants used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine.
In 2008, Pratibha Singh Patil started a project named Roshni, that made the Estate a model for urban ecological sustainability.
In 2015, Pranab Mukherjee installed a sewage treatment plant to supply recycled water for gardening.
Renaming Mughal Garden
In the recent months, the Hindu Mahasabha has demanded a change of name of the Mughal Garden to Rajendra Prasad Udyan, after the name of the first president of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Also, the social media was flooded urging for the renaming.
But let us not trapped in the game of naming rather be elated the scenic beauty of the garden and innovations by our fellow presidents.