Be in Bloom at the Rose Garden, Chandigarh
Chandigarh, famous for a laundry list of reasons but primarily for being the first modern planned city of India, has been voted the greenest city of the country. And the Rose Garden, the largest of its kind in Asia, is a big reason why. Expertly maintained walkways wind through tall shade trees and fountains interspersed among 1600 species of roses. Just like the organized flow of the city, flower beds are carved into the ground in a methodical pattern leaving ample room for picnics, yoga, and fitness. More than 47,000 plants call this tourist destination home. Timing is everything, especially when visiting the Rose Garden of Chandigarh, India. During my sunny October visit, the sprawling green space of nearly 42 acres was filled with pruned rose plants in the beginning stages of dormancy waiting for the upcoming winter season. Even without the flora in it’s full glory the garden was active. Local families were mulling about, joggers came and went, and workers were busy tending to the city’s precious assets.
Begun in 1967, Chandigarh’s first Chief Commissioner Dr. M S Randhawa was instrumental in the garden’s creation. His interest in horticulture not only help guide the landscape of Chandigarh, but he also played a pivotal role in establishing the Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana. Today the highlight of his work fully blossoms with the annual Rose Festival, a great celebration of Chandigarh attracting 20,000 visitors. This spectacular showing occurs around the end of February or early March, depending on the year.
Tourists can still appreciate a visit to the garden even when out of season. Also be sure to check out the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, which is always in “bloom”.