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Escape to the Serene Empress Botanical Garden in Pune

Nestled in the bustling city of Pune is a hidden gem - the lush and vibrant Empress Botanical Garden. Spread across 39 acres near the Pune Race Course, this 182-year-old garden is a perfect respite from the concrete jungle. Its rich history and rare collection of flora make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pune.

empress garden in pune

A Royal History

The garden was originally built in 1841 by the British for recreational purposes and was known as the Soldiers' Garden. In 1845, it was renamed Garden of Dr Don after the then Secretary of the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India, Dr Alexander Hunter Don. The garden was eventually renamed the Empress Botanical Garden to honor Queen Victoria, the Empress of India at that time.

A Green Paradise

Stepping into the Empress Garden is like entering an oasis of greens. Lush trees and tropical foliage engulf you as you explore its many delights. The garden houses over 1,000 species of plants including palms, conifers, deciduous trees and various shrubs.

Empress Botanical Garden in Pune

The Palm section is especially noteworthy, with around 125 rare local species. Other attractions include the Lotus Pond, the Play Area for kids, the Zoo Section and sprawling lawns for sports and yoga. During summers, the shade from the dense trees provide much-needed respite from the heat.

Seasonal Flower Shows

The garden hosts the annual "Buds and Blooms" flower show every winter. It is a visual treat for any nature lover, with gorgeous displays of seasonal flowers, creepers, climbers and bonsai plants from all over India and abroad.

Empress Botanical Garden in Pune

The placards next to each species provide useful information like botanical names and ideal growing conditions. Aspiring gardeners can pick up saplings to start their home garden as well!

Visit with the Family

With play areas and indoor game zones, Empress Garden is an ideal spot for families. Kids can have fun at the playgrounds while parents relax under the trees. The small zoo section also keeps little ones entertained for hours. Numerous benches are dotted throughout for resting weary feet after long nature walks.

Best Time to Visit

Pune has a relatively pleasant climate all year round. However, the winter months from November to February are the best time to visit Empress Garden. Temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C, making outdoor sightseeing quite comfortable. The winter air and floral blossoms create a truly magical atmosphere.

Mornings are especially lovely for photography when golden sunrays filter through the trees. Be sure to carry your camera to capture the beauty of the gardens.

How to Reach

Empress Garden is located near Ghorpadi, around 3 km from Pune Railway Station. It is right opposite the Pune Race Course, next to the Southern Command Headquarters.

You can easily reach the gardens by booking an Uber or Ola cab from anywhere in the city. Tuk-tuks and auto-rickshaws also regularly ply on this route.

There is paid parking available for cars and buses inside the garden premises. If traveling by public transport, the closest bus stop is Garware College stop on Ghorpadi Road. From here, it is just 500m further up the road.

Entry Fees and Timings

  • 20 per person (above 3 yrs)

  • 10 for Two Wheeler Parking

  • 20 for Car Parking

  • 50 for Bus Parking

It is open from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. Last tickets are sold 30 minutes before closing time.

Plan a Visit on your Pune Tour

No trip to Pune is complete without a stroll through Empress Garden, marveling at rare tropical trees and vibrant flowers. The gardens offer a refreshing change from the usual sightseeing attractions.

Escape from the city and rush into this hidden green paradise. Let your senses feast upon the natural beauty and immerse yourself in tranquil surroundings. Shed your worries as you unwind along the walking trails lined with vibrant blossoms.

So next time you plan a Pune vacation, be sure to include the spectacular Empress Botanical Garden in your itinerary for a rejuvenating experience.


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