Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata Entry Fee
- 10 per person for Indians
- 100 per person for Foreign Tourists
- 20 for Camera
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata Phone
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Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata Address: Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal, 711103, India
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Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata Timings
|Monday||Closed / Holiday|
|Tuesday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Wedesday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Thursday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Friday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Saturday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Sunday||10:00 am – 5:00 pm|
Commonly known as Indian Botanical Garden, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden is a colossal garden spread across a total area of 273 acres (109 hectares) in Shibpur, Howrah. The garden is situated towards the west end of Kolkata City Centre.
The AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden was originally founded in 1786 by Colonel Kyd. What started off as a garden to grow commercial plants and trees that would help mint out money, went on to become the oldest and largest Botanical Gardens in the entire South East Asia utilized for botanical research studies. As a matter of fact, the tea grown in Assam and Darjeeling were first grown and developed in this garden.
The garden is presently under the patronage of Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The garden is landscaped and manicured in such a way that it appears to be the most vibrant and stunning in the entire country along with beautiful artificial lakes. The set up of the garden lends a peaceful vibe to every visitor and everyone can spend a quiet and peaceful time amongst nature.
The major attraction of the garden however remains the world- famous great Banyan tree.
The botanical garden strictly maintains the policy of zero plastic and zero littering as the entire premises is a no-plastic zone.
Location of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical garden is located in Shibpur, Howrah. The location is on the west bank of the Hooghly River, opposite to Kolkata City Centre.
History of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden was established by an army officer of British East India Company, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kyd in 1787 and was called East India Company Bagan. It was later renamed quite a few times to Royal Botanic Garden and Calcutta or Indian Botanic Garden until it got its current name.
Robert Kyd’s primary idea to set up the garden was to grow and develop plants and trees of commercial value like teak and spices like cinnamon, cloves and pepper for carrying out trade. The East India Company agreed to go ahead with Kyd’s ideation in pursuit of tapping into the spices trade against the Dutch who ruled the spice trade at the time. As Kyd was made superintendent of the garden project, he procured the land that was located at the southern part of his house in Shalimar.
Robert Kyd tried growing a wide variety of spices from nutmeg to clove to pepper vine however; that led to a failure. Later, Kyd went on to procure tropical fruits as well as teak plantations without any great success in getting desired results. By the end of his tenure, though there were around 300 different varieties of plants in the garden, it could not quite become the commercial hotspot that Robert Kyd had envisioned.
When it comes to designing and landscaping the botanical garden, the design was proposed by Colonel Kyd to Lord Cornwallis, the then Governor General of British India. The designs did go through several major changes and overhauls, and went on to be known as the best landscaped gardens.
Robert Kyd was succeeded by William Roxburgh, surgeon and botanist, and the first paid superintendent of the botanical garden. He proposed significant changes to the way the garden should be developed. The very first thing he proposed was to fetch plants from all over the country as well as from South East Asia and the Far East to set up an herbarium. Unlike his predecessor, Colonel Kyd, who looked out to commercialize, Roxburg focused on scientific studies and eventually introduced exotic plants to the garden. Roxburg also imported mahogany, tea, rubber and cinchona.
Today, the herbarium is named as Central National Herbarium and is one of the oldest and most extensive in the entire world including 2.5 million specimens of dried plants and is maintained by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
Dutch surgeon Nathaniel Wallich went on to become the fifth superintendent of the botanical garden. It is he who succeeded in maintaining a perfect balance between science and commerce, thereby making the East India Company officials happy. Whereas the Botanists sought to improve the conditions of Indian agriculture by introducing new crops, the development of commercial crops like cotton and tea went on to become fundamental in getting trade going with higher profit margins for the East India Company.
After India’s independence, the garden was renamed as ‘Indian Botanic Garden’ during 1950. However, on 25th June 2009, it was once again renamed after the great Indian scientist, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and has been known as “Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden” ever since.
Attractions and Collections at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
Being an oldest one of its kind botanical garden in the whole of South Asia, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden boasts of being the repository for a humongous collection of native as well as exotic plants along with curious, rare and endangered species, namely of bamboos, screw pines, palms, jasmine, bougainvillea, legumes, water lilies, orchids, citrus succulents, medicinal plants, pandanus, Palmae, etc. to list a few.
The Botanical gardens has over 14,000 trees, shrubs and climbers segregated under 1400 species along with the large range of herbaceous ones. The entire collection of the flora is conserved into 25 major divisions, glass houses, green houses, and conservatories.
The rarest of the rare species housed in the garden here were brought in from countries across the world which included, Java, Penang, Malaysia, Brazil, Sumatra, Nepal, and Sicily, to name a few. The few out of several collections include Mahogany trees, Cuban Palms, Tamarind trees, Mango trees, multi-hued bamboo trees, Coconut trees from Sicily, the mad tree Branching Palm trees from Brazil, etc.
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden has a very large collection of palms with 153 species under 53 genera and 8 subfamilies, one of the largest in SouthEast Asia. The collection of palm trees alone is incredible to watch for wherein, there are ornamental palms and also palms that are of horticultural importance.
The garden houses a rare water lily namely Victoria Amazonica along with other rare exotic collection including bread fruit tree, Krishnabot, the Shivalinga tree, double coconut.
The Botanical garden also houses 24 artificial lakes that are interconnected via underground pipes and are collectively connected to the river for regular outlet and inlet of the water as and when required. The underground pipes are connected with the river through sluice gates. The most famous among the 24 lakes is the serpentine lake which is used by tourists and visitors for boating.
Since the garden is rich in floral population, the advantage of it also goes to the diverse fauna that prospers here, making the garden their habitat. There are birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles, amphibians and a few mammals that have made the garden their dwelling place. Hence, AJC Bose Botanical garden is now a hotspot for birders too, along with nature enthusiasts.
There is an in-house library inside the Botanical Garden premises which has an impressive collection of books for the visitors to have complete information about the flora and fauna of the gardens along with its rich history.
Image Gallery of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
The Great Banyan Tree at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
One of the most famous highlights of the AJC Bose Botanical Garden is the massive Banyan tree that is believed to be 250 years old forming the largest canopy in the world. The tree is commonly called the Great Banyan Tree and finds mention in several travel books. Visitors from across the world visit the Botanical Gardens specially just to have a look at the Great Banyan Tree. The exact date or time of planting of the tree is not noted anywhere and is a matter of speculation. However; it is claimed to be 250 years as it finds mention in travel books that date back to the 19th century.
The main trunk of the Banyan Tree had started to decay after being hit by two major cyclones in 1864 and 1867 respectively. To avoid the entire tree being infected by the fungal disease, the main trunk was amputated in 1925. Thus, what remains of the tree is a clonal colony and it keeps growing and spreading with time and appears to be a dense forest more than a single tree.
There is a small monument erected at the place where the main trunk of the tree was located. However, due to the huge area that the tree occupies, visitors prefer not to venture far into the dense areas and stick to its periphery.
The Great Banyan is spread across an area of 1.89 hectares (around 4.67 acres) wherein, the crown of the tree has a circumference of 486 metres with 3772 aerial roots with the highest branch rising to 24.5 metres. It is said that the height of the tree matches the height of the Gateway of India monument. The colossal tree has also found its mention in the Guinness Book of World Records too.
Timings and Entry Fee at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
The timings for the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days of the week except on Mondays.
The entry fee to visit Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden for Indian Nationals is Rs. 10 where as for Foreign Nationals, it is Rs. 100. One can take Camera along with them for Rs. 20.
Best Time to Visit the AJC Bose Botanical Garden
The winter months are the most ideal time to visit the botanical gardens as one gets to see various migratory birds along with local fauna as well as the attractive flora.
How to Reach Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
Since it is located on the Howrah end of the River Hooghly, one can reach the gardens by hiring yellow taxis or rent a cab from top car rental companies in Kolkata. Hiring cabs and taxis are the best way to reach the Botanical gardens due to its location.
City buses also have a stop at AJC Bose Botanical Garden gate. One needs to board the buses that say ‘B Garden’ on them. They drop visitors at the entrance of the garden.
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest Railway Station is Shalimar Railway Station. However; the disadvantage of this station is that it is not connected to suburban local train stations. The only suburban station that’s connected to Shalimar is Santragachi, which is at quite a distance.
There aren’t any metro stations near the Botanical Gardens.
Places to visit near Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata
Mullick Ghat Flower Market, Howrah Bridge, BBD Bagh, Princep Ghat, Fort William and Rail Museum are located nearby.
Kolkata has a lot of must visit tourist attractions and to help you plan your Kolkata tour in a better way, we at Kolkata Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA offer all-inclusive Kolkata Tour packages at affordable rates. Please fill the Contact Us form for further details.