From the Mughal Garden in Delhi that opens up for public just for counted days every year to Kashmir’s Tulip Garden that flaunts rows of the classic Dutch flower in a variety of warm colours—there’s a manicured, landscaped garden to suit every taste and season in India. Read on to find out about the five most iconic gardens in India and why to visit them. By Sushmita Srivastav

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Srinagar

 

Come spring, the 80-acre area of Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar turns into a spitting image of a typical Dutch farm—thanks to rows after rows of long, straight blooming tulips in different warm colours that take over the place every year. Set against the foothills of the Zabarwan range on the banks of Kashmir‘s precious Dal Lake, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden hosts the famous eponymous festival that showcases over a million of these ever-charming bulbs in 60 varieties and other spring blooms including roses, daffodils, irises, and more.

Brivandan Gardens, Mysore

Terraced boulevards, musical fountains, botanical lawns, and ponds lined with trimmed trees—the Brindavan Gardens in Mysore, Karnataka, reigns over the kingdom of gardens in India. Built in 1932 by Sir Mirza Ismail, the then diwan of Mysore state, this expansive ornamental space has been the backdrop to many a shimmying musical number in Bollywood flicks. Known for its symmetric design, the 60-acre garden is flooded with lights and its fountains start dancing to filmy tunes at 06:30 pm every evening!

Mughal Garden, Delhi

Having gained (and rightly so) the sobriquet of ‘the soul of the President Palace’, the Mughal Garden in Delhi has had its design finalised by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1917. It took years and over 419 gardeners employed by India’s last British viceroy, Louis Mountbatten, to take shape and was built in a combination of Mughal and English flower garden styles. Today, dancing fountains, tall cypress, blooming bougainvillaea, climbing roses, symmetrical lawns, and wandering peacocks together make it a sight to behold. The scenic garden opens once a year from February to March and lets visitors see over 70 varieties of seasonal flowers in full bloom.

Nek Chand Rock Garden, Chandigarh

If you wish to drift from the flower-laden paths and explore a garden that comes in an absolutely different package, the Rock Garden in Chandigarh is where you should be headed to. A wonderland with over 2,000 sculptures built entirely out of industrial and home waste, laid out in mosaic courtyards linked by gorges and human-made waterfalls, this is heaven to the ones who’d love to stroll in a garden of art! What amazes the most is the fact that the Nek Chand Rock Garden was built by the eponymous self-taught artist in over 20 years!

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bengaluru

Talking of extraordinary gardens sprawling with abundant natural and man-made beauty, Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is a 240-acre escape from the bustling IT capital of the country. Laid out as his personal garden by Nawab Haider Ali Khan in 1760 and later, opened for the general public by the British, the ‘Red Garden’ is built with over 1,000 species of plants and has a beautiful glasshouse to explore. Add to it centuries-old trees, including bonsai, and Japanese lawns. Wake up before the dawn breaks and arrive early to enjoy a walk amidst a variety of birdsongs.

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