The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, popularly known as the Botanical Gardens, is a famous attraction full of greenery near Kolkata. It covers approximately 270 acres and is known for its stunning landscaped gardens and the Banyan Tree.
This is a good option for a short day trip from Kolkata, especially during the winter.
Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest attractions founded by the British East India Company. It is now under the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Botanical Gardens Kolkata,
- Entry fee
- How to reach
- Things to do
- The Great Banyan Tree
- Best time to visit
- Nearby attractions
- 1-Day trip
Let’s see each of these points in detail.
About Botanical Gardens Kolkata
|Name||AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden|
Botanical Gardens Kolkata Timings
|Timings||08:00 AM – 05:00 PM|
|Approx Time Required||2-3 hours|
Botanical Gardens Kolkata Entry Fee
|Indian Nationals||Rs. 10|
|Annual Membership Fee (for daily walkers)||Rs. 200|
How to reach Botanical Gardens Kolkata
|Address||Botanical Garden Rd, Howrah, West Bengal – 711103|
|Nearest Metro Station||Rabindra Sadan|
|Nearest Bus Stand||Botanical Garden|
|Nearest Railway Station||Shalimar|
Few buses go directly to botanical gardens like the Barasat – B Gardens and S-6. You can also get buses towards Satragachi or Andul and get down near Shibpur. Then you can take a Toto or Auto from there to reach.
To reach Botanical Gardens by car, you can cross the Hooghly River via the Vidyasagar Setu and take a left turn towards Andul road. It’s just a few kilometers from there.
You can take a train to Howrah Railway Station, Satragachi Station, or Shalimar station and take a Taxi, Toto, or Auto to reach Botanical Gardens.
History of the Indian Botanic Gardens
Colonel Robert Kyd founded the Calcutta Botanical Gardens in 1786 during the British East India Company’s efforts to develop strong economic ties in India.
It was utilized for recognizing and growing crops for trade. Some of the plants grown included teak and several different other spices. The arrival of the tea plant from China was a defining moment in the garden.
Many improvements to the original gardens were made during botanist William Roxburgh’s role as Supervisor. He imported plants from different countries and built a massive herbarium on the property.
Today, the Botanical Garden’s massive collection of dry plant samples from all over the world grew to over 2,500,000 items, all of which are situated on its grounds.
Previously, it was often known as the Company Garden during its development. It was dubbed the ‘Indian Botanic Garden’ after India’s independence. In honor of the famous scientist, the garden was named the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in 2009.
Attractions and natural ambiance
Expansive gardens, lakes, and lush foliage make up the Botanical Gardens.
The garden’s main feature is the massive Banyan Tree, which is over 250 years old and one of the largest in the world. Mentions of the tree can be found in nineteenth-century travel publications. Even though the tree’s primary stem was destroyed about 100 years ago, the tree continues to thrive. It possesses one of the world’s most extensive canopies.
The garden also contains about 12,000 plant species, including numerous rare orchids, palms, bougainvillea, bamboo, cacti, and pine trees.
The grounds contain around 20 lakes and water bodies. Some of them are adorned with giant lily pads, with numerous varieties of water lilies flowering alongside. Boating is also available at one of the lakes.
A visit to the Botanical Gardens’ library is a must if you want a more literary experience. Its enormous book collection will keep you intrigued for hours. You might also spend some time over the extensive collection of dried plant specimens here.
Things to do in Botanical Gardens Kolkata
- Take selfies and photographs of your dear ones under the dense canopies of the Banyan tree. Surprisingly one of the living entities that is mentioned in historical scriptures!
- Explore the Central National Herbarium housing almost 250000 dried plant specimens.
- Stroll around and look at the various plants like bamboo, pine, cacti, bougainvillea, and many more.
- Have a glimpse of wild creatures like jackals, mongooses, foxes, etc.
- Sit along the serene lake and waterbodies to feel the refreshing aura of the blooming water lilies.
- You can also enjoy boating in Serpentine lake.
- If you are a bookworm, don’t forget to visit the library encasing a wonderful collection of books.
The Great Banyan Tree
The Great Banyan Tree, nicknamed the “The Walking Tree,” is approximately 250 years old and spans 14,500 square meters. It is situated in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden near Kolkata and is the world’s most comprehensive tree.
Banyan is an Indian tree that is taxonomically called Ficus benghalensis L. The tree looks like a forest from a distance, but the aerial roots that resemble individual trees are part of the tree.
There is a 330-meter-long road that allows you to drive all the way around Great Banyan’s circumference, but the tree grows taller and broader every year. It has advanced over 450 meters thus far.
There are several other enormous banyan trees in India, such as the Big Banyan in Bangalore, the Gigantic Banyan Tree in Ranthambore National Park, and the Old Banyan in the Andhra Pradesh district of Anantapur, but this is the most notable.
This tree was also inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989 as the tree with the “greatest canopy” and the “longest span of area.”
It still holds this designation and has survived the upheavals of human history.
The Great Banyan Tree had survived two earlier supercyclones in the nineteenth century, 1864 and 1867, but was severely impacted in 2020. The original support roots have been severed, and Amfaan’s intensity has nearly destroyed the tree that stood as a canopy through previous cyclones such as Aila, Phani, and others.
Best time to visit Botanical Gardens Kolkata
The best time to visit Botanical Gardens is from October to March. You can get a variety of flowers that looks mesmerizing.
Try to visit it early in the day, as it takes time to explore the entire area.
Other attractions near Botanical Gardens Kolkata
|Attractions||Distance from Botanical Gardens|
|James Prinsep Ghat||7.4 km|
|Millenium Park||8 km|
|Victoria Memorial||7.2 km|
1-day trip to Botanical Gardens from Kolkata
Great men say, “Be the shelter like the banyan tree.” Needless to say that this tree is the king of the floral community. The name of the banyan tree, or the “Boto Brikkho” in Bengali, is intriguingly involved in many scriptures and mythological tales.
Today I will tell my experience of one such beautiful place in Kolkata, which shelters a vast banyan tree. Yes, I am talking about the Botanical Garden.
I live in Dumdum, and my cousins and I went there in my private car. For those willing to travel by public transport, there are plenty of buses available from Howrah, Rabindra Sadan (Exide), Esplanade, and many other significant road junctions in Kolkata. It took almost 45 minutes to get there. We reached there at around 10:00 AM. The warmth on a fine winter morning was the best feeling.
I was pretty excited to be there. After parking my car outside, we entered the garden.
It was quite an extended area, as far as my eyes could reach. After entering, we went through a long pathway surrounded by lush greenery. There are almost 14,000 species present in this vast acre of land. A variety of species of trees bordered the clean roadway.
My cousins did not spare a moment to get the best pictures in front of the natural canvas.
There were small and shallow water bodies entirely covered with algae. The emerald-green lakes looked quite attractive. Walking through the serene ambiance, we finally reached the magnificent Banyan tree encompassing a large area.
The 270 years old tree has demarcated its presence in its kingdom with numerous aerial roots and a wide girth. A fence was built circumscribing the banyan tree. Admirable! I took a few adorable pictures of the tree and the surrounding.
There are also different gardens full of beautiful roses and other shrubs. The well-manicured gardens were spectacular.
As the hours passed, the sun was shining brightly. We were warm and comfortable.
Next, we went to the Large palm house. There were different varieties of palm- Sago Palm, Date Palm, Fishtail, Betel, Royal Palm, etc.
After exploring the entire area, I felt very relaxed. It was a wonderful experience as it is one of the pristine natural areas near Kolkata. We could not visit the Giant Water Lily pond as it usually opens during the rainy season. Overall a fine day far away from the clutches of urban hassles.
We also spotted a group of school students who were there for an educational excursion.
After a long stroll, we all were quite hungry, so we came out of the garden and drove to Exide. Many momo stalls and cafes were selling delicious steamed momos, fried momos, and gravy momos at reasonable rates with impressive ambiance. So we had some of the tastiest momos.
After spending a wonderful day, we returned home safely at 04:00 PM.
These are some points you must know about the Botanical Gardens in Kolkata. Some plan a day trip to this beautiful green space located a few kilometers from Kolkata and rejuvenate.
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