Visitors at the Raj Bhavan gardens during the annual flower show on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The iron gates of the capital’s Raj Bhavan have opened to extend a hearty floral welcome not only to VIPs, but the aam aadmi.
The 10-day annual flower show, which started on Monday at the governor’s official residence, drew 2,848 persons on the inaugural day itself.
For next nine days, people can sit, click photographs and above all enjoy the beauty of the floral treat. The gardens will be open till February 12 from 10am to 3.30pm.
As the gates were opened to public, security tightened at the entry points.
According to guards at Raj Bhavan, they meticulously frisked all visitors at gate No. 2 from where the residents entered. “Going by the turnout on the first day, it looks like people were aware of the annual show. But we want to make people aware that no food is allowed inside Raj Bhavan, only water bottles are,” said a security guard.
Whatever were the restrictions, the residents did not complain.
“I am a resident of Garhwa and I have come here to attend my cousin’s wedding. When I asked my relatives to suggest a nearby tourist spot, they asked me to visit the Raj Bhavan gardens as they cannot be seen again till next year. I thank them heartily as it was worth visiting,” said visitor Nisha Tiwary, who had come with her family.
If it was Nisha’s first visit, Poonam and her band of four friends are regulars here.
“This is the third time we are coming together to appreciate flowers. If someone wants to get the best photographs with natural scenes, I believe, this is the ideal place in Ranchi,” said the post-graduate student of Ranchi University who was seen posing with her four friends.
Elderly denizens were also found to be very happy with an outing like this on a chilly morning. “Saal mei ek baar dus din ke liye kholte hain isilye logon mei is jagah ke liye itni shradhha hai. (They open the gardens for common masses only once a year and that too for just 10 days. That is why probably people have respect for this place.),” said a septuagenarian who came with her entire family.
But, what caught everyone’s attention was the cleanliness of the venue.
For Ranchi residents, who are used to seeing autos belching fumes and the blaring honks of the vehicles, the sprawling garden was a welcome green break.
The credit for this of course goes to the 45-od gardeners, who toil regularly to manicure the lawns and keep the garden looking its best always. The appreciation that they earn during the annual show is possibly the best way to honour their labour.
Last year, as many as six lakh guests visited the gardens to admire the beauty of the neatly manicured grass carpets, the clean pathways, the sparkling fountains and the colourful flowers.