Kolkata Botanic Garden
By Aashima Chowdhry
‘The Great Banyan at the Howrah Botanical Gardens in Calcutta. Photo by Francis Frith, 1850-1870.’ – Rachel King
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanic Garden dates centuries back. It is popularly known as the Kolkata Botanic Garden and has been a symbol of pride for the city.
With the idea of enabling trade of teak and other spices, Colonel Robert Kyd laid the foundation stone of the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanic Garden in 1787. Just years later, in 1793, the garden found itself serving an even larger purpose by becoming the Central National Herbarium of Botanical Survey of India through the efforts of the botanist and then superintendent, William Roxburgh.
Since then, the botanic garden has been home to a varied collection of rare species of plants, animals, insects and birds that attracts tourists, photographers, researchers and academicians from across the globe.
Trees like mahogany, mango, Sicily coconut along with a range of orchids, aquatic plants, ferns, water lilies are found in this garden. Some rare varieties like the Shivalinga tree, Bread Fruit tree, Double coconut tree are also preserved here. The garden is also the abode of animals like the Indian mongoose, Rooftop Turtles, Indian Fox and a wide variety of birds and snakes.