Reyansh’s mother carefully took out the thermometer from Reyansh’s mouth and tilted it to read it properly. With hopeful eyes, 6-year old Reyansh asked ‘Mom, do I still have fever?’. His mom replied with a smile across her face ‘No! You don’t have fever!’. Reyansh jumped up with joy and exclaimed ‘So, you are taking me to the Garden Festival, isn’t it?’. ‘Yes we are all going!’-his mom replied with a grin!
Reyansh had viral fever and had been bedridden for most part of the week. He would raise a hue and cry as soon as his would be given medicine so his mom told him that she would take him to the 3 day Garden Tourism festival if he would recover in time. A nature-lover and an obedient son that Reyansh was, he accepted his mom’s conditions and ate his medicines on time without any resistance. Finally, the day had come when he could get out of the bed and visit the 30th Annual Garden Tourism Festival, where he could see a lot of plants, some of which he had only heard about in his school lectures. As a hobby, he would help his grandfather water the plants and take special care of plants.
In the evening, Reyansh and his family went to Garden of Five senses where the Garden tourism festival was being hosted by Delhi Tourism. Ten minutes after entering the Festival, Reyansh was nowhere to be seen. His tense grandmother asked Reyansh’s mom about his whereabouts. To which Reyansh’s mom replied ‘Relax Mom, you know how much Reyansh loves plants? This festival is paradise for him. Don’t worry about him, he’ll be fine. Let us roam around in the mela and we’ll meet him somewhere along the way. Besides, he said he’ll come back to the entrance gate if he loses the way!’
The family strutted along looking at the marvelous collection of Potted plants, Foliage, medicinal & herbal plants, hanging baskets, bonsai, cactus and succulents, cut flower and vegetables. They kept clicking pics and selfies with the flowers and plants along the way! They saw Artemisia, a plant that utilizes its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to control the mosquito population and prevent the transmission of dengue, chikungunya and malaria. They also came across 100 varieties of cactus and 50 air purifying plants.
Soon, Reyansh came running towards them, ‘Come I’ll show you something interesting’ he held his mother and grandmother’s hands and took them to the replica of Arch of Labna. Built by Mayan civilization, Arch of Labna is situated in Mexico and dates back to 750 AD. The replica of Arch of Labna was installed in the Garden of Five senses in September 2013 in association with Mexican Government and INTACH. It is the expression of cultural similarity between India and Mexico.
Then, the family visited the Bonsai hut where various types of Bonsai were kept. Next, they visited the vegetable hut and the Zen garden which offered a unique showcase of global natural heritage. Zen garden is an apt place for meditation and yoga. Within a few minutes, the family had bought flowers, plants and other garden accessories from different stalls. They were hungry and ready to binge on the delicacies on offer. But that wasn’t going to happen soon!
‘Papa! It’s my favorite music band playing in the cultural festival! Come, let’s go!’ and the entire family rushed towards the Amphitheatre. After the musical extravaganza by a Delhi University band, the entire family gobbled up the momos’, biryani, kababs, noodles etc on offer in the mela. It was time for the family to leave the mela and take some rest back home but Reyansh wasn’t finished yet.
With a quint in his eyes, he asked his parents the permission to participate in ‘On the spot painting competition for children’ on 20th February 2016 and attend Magic Show on 20th and 21st February 2016. Reyansh’s father looked at his wife, who smiled at him. He lifted Reyansh in his arms and said “Ok champ but for that you gotta buy the water colors first”. Thus, the gleeful family rode back home with a few shopping bags and a day full of fond memories.
About the Garden Tourism Festival
Delhi is a metropolitan city and the capital of India. As is usual with all metropolitan cities all over the world, Delhi has its share of pollution, chaos and commotion. Thus, it becomes important for the citizens to take a break regularly and enjoy the gifts of nature! Keeping this in view, Garden Tourism festival was started in Delhi. Its venue was shifted to Garden of Five senses in 2004. It is organized by Delhi Tourism and promises a beautiful showcase of India’s natural and cultural heritage in the form of different forms of shrubs, flowers, plants, musical performances, and lip-smacking Indian cuisines.
In the words of Mr SP Singh, MD & CEO of Delhi Tourism and Transport Development “The festival is aimed at promoting gardening, landscaping and growing more plants to make the city greener”.
This year, there are more than 500 species of plants on offer with attractions like the court of palm, tree museum, topiary garden and butterfly zone. The festival is a hit with the young and old alike. It fascinates the foreigners visiting India as well as domestic tourists. It is a must visit for all nature lovers and the 3-day festival is ending today! So, get up and spend your Sunday in the midst of nature!
**This blog had been published earlier (Feb 2017) but due to server issues, the content was wiped out, so it is being published again