Lloyd Botanical Garden

By Katyayini Kesharwani

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After women, flowers are the most divine creations. – Christian Dior

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”Lloyd’s Botanical Garden is a ‘one of its kinds’ botanical garden spread in about 40 acres of land. This botanical garden shelters several endangered and exotic species of fauna. The aim of Lloyd’s Botanical Garden is to preserve the native floral species of Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Sikkim and its neighbouring regions. It is also a home to several exotic varieties of flora.
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The wondrous walking trails within the garden provide one with an ambience of the unique symphony of nature.
The varieties of flora in Lloyd’s Botanical Garden are a naturalist’s delight. Anyone who is a nature lover will certainly fall in love with this place. Its collection boasts of alpine plants, arum lilies, geraniums, spectacular azaleas, tree ferns and conifers from Europe, apart from hawthorn, blackberry, broom, horse, chestnut, ash, birch and lilac from China and Japan. The cryptomerias, plums, cherries, magnolias and maples weeping willows and deodars from Africa and Bulbon plants and cypress from America are other attractive varieties here. The Botanical Gardens of Darjeeling is located just below the Eden Sanatorium and one can approach it through the Victoria Road as well.
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The flora of Darjeeling in the most authentic sense can be experienced all under one roof at the Lloyd Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden is named after William Lloyd, the owner of the Lloyd’s Bank during the British India days. He gifted this sprawling 40 acres of area on an open hill slope to Sir Ashley Eden, the secretary to the Government of Bengal. The hospital ‘Eden Sanatorium’ is named after him which is located just above the garden. The Botanical Garden was laid out under the supervision of the superintendent of the garden, Sir George King. It was designed in three sections. The upper section consists of the various indigenous Himalayan plantations. The garden started from here to study the flora of Darjeeling Himalayan region.
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Cymbidium tracyanum, or Tracy’s cymbidium, is a species of orchid. It can withstand near-freezing temperatures.
The Middle section has a large variety of fern and conifer trees along with Alpine. There is a separate greenhouse here that shelters varieties of Cactus displaying some 150 species. Another point of attraction here is the Orchidarium that has about 2,500 orchids on display showcasing around 50 varieties. There is also a Rock Garden in the Lloyd’s Botanical Garden of Darjeeling.
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The Lloyd botanical Garden is a must visit during your stay at Darjeeling for all lovers of Mother Nature and to experience in the real sense the flora that attracts visitors to the city every year.
The lower section is filled with colourful exotic plants that were brought from various countries across the globe. One of the most striking of all is the Weeping Willow which is named because of its drooping branches and leaves that gives a ‘falling’ or a ‘weeping’ impression. Another unique attraction here is the living fossil trees that have been brought from China. It has a Student’s Section which has Sikkim Himalayan plantation and a Medicinal Garden. In this region, different types of medicinal plants collected from the Eastern Himalayan Region can be seen.
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This wonderful plant is an orchid belonging to the subfamily Cypripediodeae, which is also known as “Lady slipper” subfamily because the shape of its flowers is just like ladies’ slippers.
Filled with variety of blooms, Lloyd Botanical Garden is a 5-minute trip from The Elgin, Darjeeling and can be entered through any of its resplendent four gates.

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