Oh! What a Feeling

Soft Diplomacy

The Mela celebrates the unique diversity of Indian traditions and culture in a ambience, created to represent the ethos of rural India. Surajkund International Crafts Mela showcases some of the most exquisite handlooms and handicrafts of India. Handmade fabrics soaked in ethnic colours make an eye catching display for the visitors.

Come February, every year, for me a visit to the world’s famous Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan is more than a ritual to walk down the memory lane. The nature in harmony with the birds, full bloom flowers in the bed is virtually a feast to the eyes. Walk down a little further, the creepers, dangling roses, tulips in different colours are visual delight. The bountiful nature is at its best. A visit to the Spiritual Garden, Herbal Garden, Bonsai Garden and Musical Garden make you utter at once Wow!

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (opening of Mughal Gardens) on February 11, 2016. The Mughal Gardens will remain open for general public from February 12 - March 19, 2016 (except on Mondays which are maintenance days) between 0930 hrs to 1600 hrs.

Mughal architecture is a synthesis between Islamic and Hindu architectural styles prevalent in the Indian sub-continent. Mughal architecture in India needs no preliminary introduction with regards to its grandeur, magnificence, and lavishness. It is colossal in every attempt, monumental in proportions and meticulous in every work of art ever chiselled upon any Indian monument. The Mughal period beginning from Babur and his advent from Persia, with the near culmination during the times of Aurangzeb, indeed had been splendid and resplendent in every attempt they had made in relation to administration and its associated elements.

Mughal garden design derives primarily from the medieval Islamic Garden, although there are nomadic influences that come from the Mughals’ Turkish-Mongolian ancestry. It’s essential features include running water (perhaps the most important element) and a pool to reflect the beauties of sky and garden; trees of various sorts, some to provide shade merely, and others to produce fruits; flowers, colourful and sweet-smelling; grass, usually growing wild under the trees; birds to fill the garden with song cooled by a pleasant breeze.

All the presidents who have stayed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan have taken keen interest in the maintenance and upkeep of the Mughal Gardens. All have contributed in their own way. The underlying themes, however, have remained unaltered.

The list speaks for itself:

Bird of Paradise – Mauritius
Tulips - Netherlands
Orchids - Brazil
Olive - France
Water Lily - China
Cherry Blossom - Japan
Assorted Seasonals - Japan
Rose (Konrad Adeneour) - Germany

Within the Country:

Bouganinvillea - Khajuraho(M.P.)
Heliconia - Kerala, Hyderabad, Chennai, Goa
Alpinia - Goa
Spathodia Campanuleta - Chennai
Peltoforum - Chennai
Lichi - Dehra Dun
Assorted Jasmines - Chennai, Hubli
Canna, Water Lily - Mumbai
Amhersita Nobilis - Goa

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.