Friday, November 28, 2014

Botanical Garden, Big Banyan Tree, Kolkata

Botanical Garden in Kolkata is a huge campus on the other side of Hoogley river. Full name is Acharya Jagadeesh Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, but it is simply known as Botanical garden. It was under maintenance when we visited and takes a few hours to walk one round in the park.

Little far from Esplanade- there is a bus, route no 55 which can take you to Botanical garden for about Rs 12 per person. But this route will take lots of time as it goes through Howrah, which is busy area. Because of this we took a taxi to go to Botanical Garden from where we were- Maidan area for about Rs 150 for 9 kms. (one of the few times we had to hire a taxi). Taxi took Vidyasagar Sethu, avoiding Howrah area, hence we reached there faster.

We bought the tickets and went in (Rs 40 for 2 people and one camera). Disposable water bottles are not allowed inside.

Once inside, there're 3 paths you can take. Left, straight and right. We took left,with an idea of walking around the park in a circle. If Big Banyan tree is your sole objective, go straight.

Park seemed to be under maintenance. Lots of road work and other works were in progress. As per the display board above, Botanical Garden has flora from several Indian states-Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarath etc but I found these specialties are difficult to locate as there're not much information on display and you can easily get lost in the vastness of the campus. There are some basic direction signs and maps though. We spent about 3 hours and could only cover half the garden. You should keep one full day if you wish to explore this campus in details or if botany interests you. We had to leave as closing time was near and our legs started complaining due to continuous walking.
 An abandoned house inside the botanical garden
Big Banyan Tree
Big Banyan tree is the main attraction of Botanical Garden in Kolkata. Display says this tree draws more visitors than rest of the attractions in the park. I think that is because Big Banyan tree is one of the few sensible things tourists can see and feel. Many other things like Cactus house etc were closed when we went and for rest of the flora, due to lack of information and directions, people often fail to notice anything exciting about them.

Big Banyan tree in Kolkata's botanical garden is several times bigger than one in Bengaluru outskirts.

Boating is allowed in one of the lakes in the garden
Cactus house and many other attractions were closed 
 A peek into a wooden log that had a hole
 Lotus flower

 Moths on leafs

 Another flower, closeup
 View of Hoogley river as seen from Botanical garden
 A walkway in the garden
One can find most of the benches occupied by young couples. We saw guards frequently patrolling the garden on cycles to keep a watchful eye.

I couldn't locate any interesting bird in the Botanical Garden. A temple, few government offices related to horticulture etc are located inside the garden. It was certainly worth the visit.

We took bus no 55 for the return journey which took us through the towns on the other western side of Hoogley river.

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Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of the place. I did not know about this.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, it was certainly worth the visit

Nisha said...

Greetings from Philippines!

I didn't visit this place. Next time.

I think they should mention at the time of buying tickets that certain things are closed for maintenance. Don't you agree?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I agree fully. This is the menace everywhere. Even amusement parks that charge Rs 300-500 per person will have many attractions closed. Toll collection on roads is not stopped even when road is full of pot holes.