* Established in: 1838
* Located at: Near Race Course
* Daily footfalls: Over 550 visitors
The Empress Botanical Garden is amongst the most historic and botanically important gardens in Pune. Visible from the adjacent Pune-Solapur Road,the garden is spread over an area of 39 acres and is home to many rare species of trees and flowers.
The garden was initially known as Soldiers Garden and was managed by the agri-horticultural society of Western India since 1892. However,the land where the garden stands today,was initially the property of Sardar Vithalrao Purandhare.
In the year 1838,the ownership of the garden passed into the hands of the Government. In 1845,it further changed hands and came into the possession of Sir Charles Napier. Throughout his ownership,the garden was known as the Garden of Dr. Don. The name Empress Garden was given to the botanical park in honor of Queen Victoria,when she held the title of ‘Empress of India’. The then Bombay Government transferred it to the agri-horicultural society of western India in 1892,one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
The management organises annual flower shows and arranges various programs throughout the year to create environmental awareness among people. The famous Empress Garden Annual Flower Show which is held in January attracts thousand of participants and more than 25,000 visitors. The garden is also a yearly venue of the sufi and mystic music festival,Ruhaniyat.
Some of the facilities that the garden provides include a water fountain,snack joint,a mini ice cream parlour and rest rooms as well as a toy train,which is open for rides from 10 am to 6 pm,and charges 20 rupees for adults and children. The garden is open throughout the week from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm and the entry fee is Rs 5 per person.