On the last day of the last year back I got an wonderful opportunity to visit the Indian Botanic Garden ,Howrah situated by the banks of River Hooghly, opposite to Khidderpore dockyard and beside the famous Shibpur B.E. College.
Founded in 1787, the garden is most famous for it’s great Banyan tree. However the 273 acres garden consists of rich variety of palms, cactus, the famous Victoria Regia which can hold upto 80kgs of weight, the double coconut tree, the female one whose male plant is situated in Sri Lanka and other medicinal plants.
The garden was initially founded to grow plants of great market value, plants to decorate so that the English can export them to England where the cities and places had turned into a concrete jungle. However later it was found that many plants couldn’ t sustain the European weather.
The garden has a huge Herbarium which consists of about 20 lakhs samples. Presently they are being digitalize the samples some of which even dates back to 1790. The herbarium was established by Dr. Roxborough whose bunglow still remains inside the premises. The curator’s office is also one of the main attractions, which has an open dance floor. There is an underground pipe system which is still used to collect the river hooghly’s water. The pipe is so big that one person can walk inside it.
The garden also has it’s own jetty ghat however it was closed years back when the place became a place to smuggle and store stuff, with Khidderpore being the opposite ghat.
The place shouldn’t remain just a tourist spot but also a place of learning about the garden’s richness. The huge collection of herbarium should be made open to public however only after it has been digitalized. The place needs more staffs to maintain it and it’s to be upgraded to modern standards.
Only the ones who has visited the place and the ones who keeps interest in such stuff knows about it’s huge collection. The government of India should take the needful initiatives to promote the place and make people aware about our great biodiversity.