Mumbai: Flower power to dazzle tourists at Gandhi Tekdi

A bougainvillea garden will be raised as the prime tourist attraction of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, expected to flower by the year-end

Scouting for a chic location for a wedding shoot? Skip the exotic locales and head for Gandhi Tekdi at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivli. By this year-end, the most popular tourist attraction at SGNP will be covered by a canopy of a 100 bougainvillea species.

Visitors to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park take a break at Gandhi Tekdi on Wednesday. Pic/Prabhanjan Dhanu
Visitors to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park take a break at Gandhi Tekdi on Wednesday. Pic/Prabhanjan Dhanu

The bougainvillea garden is part of the facelift planned for Gandhi Tekdi, which is a hit with visitors for its exhaustive view of the SGNP and provides ample space for relaxation.

SGNP authorities have zeroed in on bougainvillea as it flowers for almost nine months a year and requires minimal water, said horticulturist Suhas Joshi, who has been tasked with developing the garden. They hope that the garden will be a hit with photographers, especially those dealing with weddings, for one-of-a-kind shoots, besides the hordes of tourists.

A plot near Gandhi Tekdi has been selected for the garden and the plants will be set off in a contrast pattern, depending on the colour of the flowers. The name of each of the 100 species and their discoverer will be displayed near the plants.

Gandhi Tekdi already has a garden, but many of its plants were eaten by spotted deer as they grazed. Spotted deer have no appetite for the bougainvillea.

Rajendra Pawar, range forest officer, said if everything goes as per the plan, tourists would be greeted to a visual treat by the year-end.

Fighting infections
The bougainvillea garden will be developed on 1-1.5 acres of land. Another USP of growing these plants is that they are fungal infection and disease-resistant. Eva, HC buck, pink supreme, cherry blossom and Blondies are some of the species of bougainvillea that would be planted. The SGNP is already popular with wedding photographers. The garden is expected to be the hotspot of such activities.

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