‘Amrit Udyan’

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    The Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan were renamed ‘Amrit Udyan’ in keeping with the theme of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

    A long history of Mughal Gardens in India

    • the Mughal Gardens (now erstwhile) draw inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu & Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal and miniature paintings of India and Persia.
    • The Mughals were known to appreciate gardens.
      • In Babur Nama, Babur says that his favourite kind of garden is the Persian char bagh style (literally, four gardens).
        • The char bagh structure was intended to create a representation of an earthly utopia – jannat – in which humans co-exist in perfect harmony with all elements of nature.
        • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan have a number of Mughal gardens.
    • Modern India:  Lutyens’ imprint: Edwin Lutyens had finalised the designs of the Mughal Gardens in 1917, but it was only during the year 1928-1929 that planting was done. 
      • Lutyens brought together two different horticulture traditions together for the gardens — the Mughal style and the English flower garden
    • Other Developments 
    • 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 R Venkatraman added a cactus garden (he just liked cacti) 
      • President APJ Abdul Kalam contributed to the making of Herbal Gardens, Tactile Gardens for the visually handicapped, and others.

    Do you Know?

    • Ancient Indian gardens followed four styles: udyan, paramadodvana, vrikshavatika, and nandanavana. 
      • Udyan were gardens where kings played chess and enjoyed the entertainment of dancers and jesters.
      •  Paramadodvanawere the gardens designated for royal couples to enjoy. Designed by royalty, 
      • Vrikshavatika were for the use of high-placed courtiers within the kingdom. And 
      • Nandanavana gardens were dedicated to Lord Krishna, a major deity in Hinduism who is the god of love, protection, and compassion.
    • Influence: Many of the gardens of Ancient India followed the influence of Ancient Persian gardens, particularly those designed during the Mughul reign from 1526 to 1720.
      • Some of the most famous classical gardens of India can be found at the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum in Agra commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
        •  It also contains the tomb of Shah Jahan himself.

    Source:IE