Somewhere between the humdrum of the IT hub in Hyderabad, is a 120 acre world of green, a world of trees, flowers, birds and fresh air ! We pass by it almost everyday but never really stop by to smell the flowers. When the drudgery of daily life got to us and a long distance trip wasn’t feasible, we turned to it for a breath of fresh air – we stepped into the Hyderabad Botanical Gardens, one Saturday morning in September.
4 kms from Hitech City, Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy Botanical Gardens is a sharp contrast to the concrete jungle just outside its gate. It is a part of the Kothaguda Reserve Forest, interesting that there is a reserve forest in the heart of the city, just like how the KBR National Park is also located in the middle of the most happening place in the city. Actually, the forests and national parks have always been there, we have pushed them off to the corner and built our homes and offices around them, thankfully, they have not been gobbled up entirely by urbanization.
Green is good for you !
As soon as you enter, you feel like you have left the noise of the city life at the gate. It was all calm and quiet in the gardens, surprising how the trees seem to shut out the noise and green colour seems to soothe your mind.
At 6.30 AM when we went inside, morning walkers were already up and going about their regime. Pleasant sights greeted us as we ambled in, a small lotus pond with bridges over it and flowers around, more like those locations for film songs of the 1960s !
A little further, a giant tortoise was staring back at us ! A green house shaped like a tortoise, that is.
There is a path way for walkers that goes around the entire area, though the whole park is open for walkers. We started off on the pathway, spotted a peacock nearby and lost track of the pathway. We lost the peacock too !
Walking towards the main garden area, we came across a cactus garden.
Wide range of plants and tree line the walkway, all trees and plant are labelled, so you can learn a little bit of Botany !
Further up, there is a nice play area for kids. We found a few families and kids having fun on the swings, all bright and active at 7 AM ! No wonder they say greenery is good for the mind, body and soul !
Just behind the play area, on a electricity tower, we spotted another peacock. This one was marching on tower, we crept up slowly, without disturbing him and managed to click a picture before he flew away !
The picture does not show it but the peacock is one hell of a beautiful bird !
Time to go click, click !
When you are in a garden full of pretty flowers, you have to give your camera something to do and so we practiced some close up photography. Here are the results !
Can anyone help us in identifying this flower?
We walked some more before our path merged into the walker’s path. The entire stretch of 3 kms is surrounded by thick vegetation, trees, bushes, plants, part of the forest area, we suppose. Pretty flowers like these show up every now and then. Again, we need help identifying these flowers.
Then, we spotted this angry little guy, busy scanning the leaves, you almost thought he was reading the morning newspaper !
When we zoomed the lens, he actually turned his head towards us and gave us an annoyed look, we are sure he shouted out his choicest expletives at us !
This guy, probably the first one’s friend, was nicer. He didn’t bother to look at us and let us click his pictures while he was busy holding conversations with this twig !
The early morning dew had not dried up yet and the sun shone through the drops, making them sparkle like diamonds. Go, get your solitaire !
Along the path, there are Ecalyptus trees too. You don’t need Amrutanjan, just walk here, the smell will take your headaches away !
Towards the end of the walkway, the trees become thicker, it’s like you are walking in the jungle, a beautiful sight with the sunlight streaming in !
Did you know?
After close to an hour of walking, we were back at the main garden area. There is a section called Ornamental Garden, the landscape and plants here are very pretty. We also found this board listing State Trees and Flowers of Indian states. We never knew that Indian states had State Trees !
Our school GK only taught us National Flower, we didn’t even know that India’s national tree was the Banyan tree !
Want to relax? Go Green !
We had been walking for more than 2 hours, so we sat down on the benches overlooking the gardens and spent some time just taking in the fresh air and the greenery. The best stress buster !
The Botanical Gardens has a spot for some adventure games like the Burma Bridge.
There is a rose garden too but it looked a little neglected.
Shelters like these are great places for a family picnic.
It was 9 AM when we finally left the Botanical Gardens, we couldn’t believe we spent close to 3 hours !
We headed straight to our favorite eatery in the bye-lanes of Madhapur for a breakfast of Idly, Pongal and Vada. Our day was made !
Sometime back there was a proposal to start an eco-tourism project and commercial activities in the Botanical Gardens, thanks to citizens’ protests, the idea was dropped. The city needs its green cover intact, with the growing chaos, people need these green hubs to keep their sanity, which like the decreasing green cover, seems to be decreasing by the day !
– The Botanical Gardens are officially open from 9 AM to 8 PM but the walker’s path is open from 6 AM. There is an entrance fee of Rs.15/- for adults and Rs.5/- for children. If you take a camera along, then there is an additional charge of Rs.10/-.
– Botanical Gardens is a perfect place for family and school picnics. If you carry food from outside, there is a charge of Rs.10/- per ticket. We didn’t find any shops selling food items inside.
– We read that there are tents for overnight stays but we are not sure if that facility is available.
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