Presidential gardens

We’d seen many photos of the gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, so when we found that we had a uncommitted morning in Delhi that was one place that immediately came to mind. A search told us that there were seven hourly slots for entry, each accommodating a hundred people. Since people rarely spend more than two hours in the garden, one should expect about two hundred people at a time. A friend had told The Family about the tulips in bloom in the gardens, so she was keen on it. Even though only phone photography was allowed in the gardens, it seemed like a place where I could get some decent macros. We made our online bookings for a Friday morning.

What we’d not known was that school children are allowed a free visit on Fridays, so an enormous number of schools plan a trip to the gardens. We were waist deep in about ten thousand children. It was hard to get lines of sight which did not involve throngs of children being hurried about by the security, while their teachers ran ragged trying to get their bunch to keep together. I was happy to get the usual calendar shot of a rose in the foreground of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Maybe I shouldn’t say usual, because the calendars I’ve seen frame the rose more carefully. Here I found that I couldn’t budge because of the press of children around me.

In spite of all the jostling, I did get the rose in the foreground. I was happier with the photo of the tree with the guard in the background. The tulips? They were far from the path that visitors had to keep to. It was impossible to get a photo using my phone camera. I could have done with a better zoom.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has been occupied by the titular head of India since the capital shifted to Delhi from Kolkata in 1912. The gardens were laid out first a year later by William Robert Mustoe, and have been changed many times later. Our path was lined with these interesting chest-high water spouts, each sporting a globe of spilling water. As I framed the two gardeners at rest behind it, I became the center of a curious bubble of school children. Their minders kept them moving, but there was always a bubble around me. Somewhat like the water bubble around the central unmoving spout, I thought.


By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. And thus, I finally learned that India has a president.
    Shame on me! :/

    Although many people don’t know that fact about Germany, either.
    And our respective electoral colleges for that election are even quite similar in composition, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

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