The Butterfly Park Chandigarh was inaugurated on 21st March 2012 and is located in Sector-26 (View location on map). The park is spread over an area of 7 acres. The park is full of vegetation and consists of a large variety of trees and shrubs. The park is designed in a way such as to create a good habitat for Butterflies.
At the entrance is a small visitor center where there are multiple informative boards depicting the introduction & behavior of butterflies including the complete life cycle of a butterfly from egg to an adult. Also there are two boards listing the Butterflies which can be seen in this park along with their host plants for easy identification.
A Nature Trail is provided in the entire park which the visitors can follow for exploring the entire park. The surface of the trail is covered with moisture rich silt/earth to ensure adequate availability of moisture for the butterflies. The entire nature trail is lined with beautiful flowering plants on both sides which provide food for the butterflies.
Host & Nectar Plants
The life cycle of a Butterfly consists of four stages – egg, larva, pupa and adult. Each stage of the butterfly requires a specific plant known as the Host Plant. In this park there is a wide variety of host plants like – Ashoka, Palm, Mango, Citrus etc. which help in breeding of the butterflies. Each host plant has an identification board in front of it for the visitors which also provides the butterfly species which can be found on the same.
Butterflies mainly feed on nectar from flowers. To ensure availability of food for the butterflies a wide variety of nectar plants like – Marigold, Petunia, Dahlia etc. have been planted in the park. The nectar plants have been planted on both sides of the nature trail and the host plants are planted in the area beyond the nectar plants.
The Lotus Pond
There is a beautiful pond in the middle of the Butterfly Park which is filled with beautiful Lotus plants & flowers and is a host to many water birds.
There are certain areas in the park which are left undisturbed and wild. This is to ensure wilderness in the Butterfly Habitat as the habitat should have least disturbance. To the first look these habitat areas look as if these are ill-maintained and not properly managed, but actually the Butterflies prefer wild growth and this is a very important part of there life style. So, these areas are left as natural as it can be without any human interference. These areas are also marked as silence zones so as not to disturb their habitat.
There is a small conservatory created in the park which contains a small Butterfly Habitat. The main objective of this conservatory is to increase the probability of butterfly sightings for the visitors. The entire conservatory is enclosed by transparent glasses so that the visitors can view the landscaping and butterflies from outside.
One of the most important things in this park are the many informative boards that are placed throughout the park for educating the visitors. You can find the complete life cycle of the butterflies, there habitat descriptions, information on there life styles etc. on these boards. All the different areas of the park are properly labeled and explained in detail for enhancing the knowledge of the visitors. You can also find boards containing the different butterflies that you can observer in this park and also complete details on the State Bird, State Tree, State Animal and State Flower of Chandigarh.
As per the information provided the habitat has been created to support rearing of approximate 35 different species of Butterflies. March to August are the best months for Butterfly observation and Butterflies of different varieties can be seen on the host and nectar plants. Photographing butterflies is a very challenging job as you require a lot of time and patience. Of the approximate 3-4 hours I spent in the park in August I could spot approximate 10-12 different species of them and photograph around 5-7 of them…:-)
To begin with it is not a garden or a park, it is a pure Butterfly Habitat. To me it is one of the most beautiful, calm and serene places that you can find in Chandigarh, but can be boring for people who do not enjoy nature. The park is as close to natural wilderness as possible. This park has been created for the sole purpose of educating people about Butterflies and there Habitat. It is the perfect place for people who want to study about Butterflies and of course nature photographers like me who want to photograph them. Please note the park is only open to visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Most of the above scientific information has been taken from the different informative display boards in the Butterfly Park.