(Last Updated on : 16-08-2014)
Agro- Horticultural Gardens is located in Alipur Road, Kolkata. It is approachable from the nearest railway station Howrah, apart from the public buses and taxis that ply. The place is adjacent to the Esplanade metro station, which makes it more convenient to reach from almost anywhere in Kolkata within a very short period of time.
The garden was the brainchild of a devout Danish Baptist Missionary - William Carey, who set it up in the year 1820. William Carey had been very much instrumental in giving a beautiful shape to the garden, by showcasing the rich wildlife and flora in a compact way. He was always captivated by the richness of Bengali culture and hence set up a garden whose plan was finally sanctioned by the East India Company granting him 63 bighas of land for his project which was brilliantly executed and still remains a s a specimen of the British period and a very important center of tourist attraction.
The garden abounds in many rare species of trees apart from varieties of tress and plants. Some of the important rare trees are Amherstia Nobiles, Monodora Grandiflora, Saraca Thaipingensis and Pterygota alta Diversifolia among many others. The plants are not just showy and elegant but some also have many medicinal properties. Their aroma fills the atmosphere, which is utterly refreshing in the mornings. Different varieties of climbers, cactus, shrubs, garden plants and aromatic plants can be traced in the garden, which is located in the sprawling 63 bighas of land. The garden, apart from the flower garden, also constitutes of green houses, a library, Tissue Culture Laboratory, training center, nurseries and hostel facilities for students of the Cary Institute, research laboratory, along with an Administrative office and Secreterial Residential complex. The Research center is highly developed and embraces high quality technology that makes the garden stand apart as a wonderful recreational and educational spot worthy of a visit. The Green House was donated by the royal family of Darbhanga and therefore named Darbhanga House.
The Garden apart from being a visual treat is also enlightening to all who visit it. At various intervals there are various courses of gardening and cultivation of certain species, which are imparted to the general public. Annual shows are conducted which attracts a large number of tourists not only from outside but also localites. These courses are conducted by the Society, which include home gardening, one-year course on horticulture and bonsai and mushroom production.
As a whole the garden seems to be bright with colourful flowers and fruits. There is also a natural fountain that can be spotted around the southwestern side of the garden gate. This adds a special aura to the place, which is not only enjoyable for the elders but also to the children. The garden during picnic seasons and holidays remains packed with people. Events keep on happening, among which the Summer Garden Competition in the month of June and the Foliage Plant Show in the month of September are the important ones that can provide for ultimate excitement and pleasure for flora lovers. The garden is open from 7 Am in the morning till 10AM and again from 2PM to 6 PM in the evening. There is no entrance fee charged and also no charges for photography and other recording devices.
The garden also has a florist shop, which is worth a visit, lending a colourful hue with freshly plucked flowers. The nearest tourist attraction is the Alipur zoo and contains many other shopping areas and eating joints. All this makes a trip to the Agro Horticultural Gardens a wonderful experience not only for kids but also adults.