The Butterfly Park Chandigarh

Introduction

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.

The Entrance Gate - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Entrance Gate
Save Butterflies - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Save Butterflies
The Visitor Center - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Visitor Center

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.

Nature Trail

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.

The Nature Trail - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Nature Trail
The Nature Trail - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Nature Trail
The Nature Trail - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Nature Trail
The Nature Trail - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Nature Trail

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.

Host Plant #1 - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Host Plant #1
Host Plant #2 - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Host Plant #2
Host & Nectar Plants - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Host & Nectar Plants
Host & Nectar Plants - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Host & 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.

The Lotus Pond - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Lotus Pond
The Lotus Pond - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Lotus Pond
The Lotus - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Lotus
Lotus Plants - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Lotus Plants

Butterfly Habitat

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.

Butterfly Habitat - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterfly Habitat
Butterfly Habitat - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterfly Habitat
Butterfly Habitat - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterfly Habitat

Butterfly Conservatory

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.

Butterfly Conservatory - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterfly Conservatory
Butterfly Conservatory - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterfly Conservatory

Information Boards

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.

Message of A Butterfly - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Message of A Butterfly
The Welcome Board - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The Welcome Board
The State Flower - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
The State Flower

Butterflies

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…:-)

Butterflies of Chandigarh - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterflies of Chandigarh
Butterflies - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterflies
Butterflies - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterflies
Butterflies - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterflies
Butterflies - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Butterflies

Conclusion

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.

Park Timings - Butterfly Park Chandigarh
Park Timings

 

Note ::

Most of the above scientific information has been taken from the different informative display boards in the Butterfly Park.

 

 

The Japanese Garden Chandigarh – 2

…..continued from “The Japanese Garden – 1”

The Meditation Hut

There is a beautiful Meditation Hut built in Phase-1 of the Japanese Garden. In Japan this hut is referred to as “Meiso Koya” meaning Mediation Hut. Meiso is made up of three characters :

me – the eyes.
i – the 6 elements of the world.
so – the mind or our thoughts.

So, Meiso is the natural position of our eyes and thoughts fitting precisely with the 6 elements of the world and is practiced as sitting still, sitting immovable, in meditation.

The Meditation Hut - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Meditation Hut
Lush Green Surroundings - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Lush Green Surroundings

The Meditation Hut is surrounded by beautiful green landscape.

Japanese Paintings

The connectivity between Phase-1 and Phase-2 is through an underground tunnel below the main road. This tunnel is decorated with beautiful Japanese Paintings on both sides.

Japanese Painting #1 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #1
Japanese Painting #2 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #2
Japanese Painting #3 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #3
Japanese Painting #4 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #4
Japanese Painting #5 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #5
Japanese Painting #6 - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Painting #6

The Stone Sculptures

There are huge stone sculptures placed at prominent locations in both phases of the Japanese Garden.

The Stone Sculpture - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Stone Sculpture (Phase – 2)
The Giant Tortoise - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Giant Tortoise

“According to traditional Japanese beliefs, the tortoise is a haven for immortals, and symbolizes longevity, good luck, and support. It is the symbol of Kumpira, the god of seafaring people.”

(Source :: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_depictions_of_turtles#Japan)

The Folded Hands Statue - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Folded Hands Statue
The Stone Pagoda - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Stone Pagoda
The Stone Sculpture (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Stone Sculpture (Phase – 2)
"Selfie" Point - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
“Selfie” Point…..
The Stone Sculpture (Phase - 1) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Stone Sculpture (Phase – 1)
The Meditation Sculpture - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Meditation Sculpture

Buddha Statues

There are two Buddha Statues in The Japanese Garden. The “Meditation Buddha” is placed near the meditation hut under a huge Peepal tree (Ficus_religiosa).

The Meditation Buddha - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Meditation Buddha

The second statue is placed near the Japanese Rock Garden in Phase-1 and is surrounded by a special arrangement of standing rocks.

Buddha Statue in Rock Garden - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Buddha Statue in Rock Garden
Buddha Statue in Rock Garden - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Buddha Statue in Rock Garden

The Fish Sculpture

The Shachihoko - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Shachihoko

Placed near the Japanese Pagoda in Phase-1 is a small fish sculpture that is known as “Shachihoko” in Japanese mythology.

According to wikipedia, “A shachihoko or shachi is an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp. It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments crafted in the form of a shachihoko, in order to protect them from fire.”

Other Attractions

Apart from the above mentioned attractions there are some Resting Huts, Sitting Benches and some Swings and Slides designed with a Japanese touch which are also worth mentioning.

The Dragon Slide - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Dragon Slide
The Monkey Bench - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Monkey Bench
The Sitting Bench - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Sitting Bench

Japanese Garden Chandigarh

Japanese Hut - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Hut
Entrance Gate (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Entrance Gate (Phase – 2)
The Dragon Swing - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Dragon Swing
Japanese Hut - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Hut

Japanese Garden Chandigarh

With this I end my photo blog on The Japanese Garden……

References

 

The Japanese Garden Chandigarh – 1

Introduction

The Japanese Garden is located in Sector – 31 in Chandigarh (View location on map). It is spread over an area of approximately 13 acres. The Japanese Garden consists of two phases. The Phase-1 was inaugurated on 7th November 2014 and the Phase-2 of the park was opened to public on 4th June 2016. Both the phases of the park are connected by an underground tunnel decorated by beautiful Japanese paintings on both sides. The garden is designed using Japanese architecture and each of the elements in the garden is given a unique Japanese touch.

The Garden Board - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Garden Board
The Garden Entrance - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Garden Entrance

As you enter the gate you are welcomed by ‘Komainu (Lion Dog) Sculpture’. The lion dog representation is a cross between a lion and a dog and is meant to ward of evil spirits. These are generally placed in pairs on the entrance gates to Japanese shrines.

The Guardian Lion Dog - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Guardian Lion Dog (Komainu)
Lion Dog with a Cub - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Lion Dog with a Cub

Once you enter the garden you get to see a beautiful green landscape. The garden consists of multiple water bodies with beautiful arc bridges. The stone pathways between the green grass are decorated with beautiful Japanese lamps on both sides. The garden consists of different trees planted at prominent locations adding to the beauty of the garden.

The Arc Bridge (Phase-1) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Arc Bridge (Phase-1)
Beautiful Green Landscape - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Beautiful Green Landscape
Walking Path with Stone Lamps - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Walking Path with Stone Lamps
The Arc Bridge (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Arc Bridge (Phase – 2)
Stone Sculpture with Entrance Gate (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Stone Sculpture with Entrance Gate (Phase – 2)
Beautiful Green Landscape - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Beautiful Green Landscape
The Walking Path - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Walking Path

Main Attractions

The Pagoda Tower

One of the most prominent attractions of the Japanese Garden is the Pagoda Tower. Pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple roofs and are generally used to house sacred relics. The pagodas in Japan are referred to as “to” and generally contain odd number of stories as odd numbers are strongly favored by Buddhism and are considered lucky.

The Pagoda in the Japanese Garden is a five storied structure which is located in the middle of a water body. Two small bridges on both sides connect the Pagoda to the park. The Pagoda contains a small room which contains some ancient Japanese relics.

The Pagoda Tower - Japanese Garden  Chandigarh
The Pagoda Tower
The Pagoda Tower - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Pagoda Tower
The Pagoda Tower - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Pagoda Tower
The Pagoda Tower - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Pagoda Tower
The Metal Finial - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Metal Finial

Pagodas generally have a decorated “finial” at the top of the structure. Finial is generally made of metal and is also referred to as the “demon-arrester”.

The Japanese Rock Garden

The Japanese Rock Garden or “Karesansui” is also known as the zen garden. It consists of miniature landscape created using an arrangement of rocks. The rock garden uses gravel or patterns on the floor to represent ripples of water. According to wikipedia “They were intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and to serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of life.”

There are two Japanese rock gardens in each of the two phases of Japanese Garden.

Japanese Rock Garden (Phase - 1) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Rock Garden (Phase – 1)
Japanese Rock Garden (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Rock Garden (Phase – 2)
The Traditional Japanese Gate (torii) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Traditional Japanese Gate (torii)

The entrance gate to the rock garden in Phase-1 is a traditional gate known as “Torii”. The “torii” is a traditional Japanese gate generally found at the entrance of shrines. The purpose of “torii” is to mark an entrance to a sacred space. Here the gate is surrounded by two lion dogs (Komainu Pair).

According to wikipedia, “Meant to ward off evil spirits, modern komainu statues are almost identical, but one has the mouth open, the other closed. This is a very common characteristic in religious statue pairs at both temples and shrines. This pattern is however Buddhist in origin and has a symbolic meaning. The open mouth is pronouncing the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, which is pronounced “a”, while the closed one is uttering the last letter, which is pronounced “um”, to represent the beginning and the end of all things. Together they form the sound “Aum”, a syllable sacred in several religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.”

The entire rock garden is created with a beautiful arrangement of rocks and Japanese lamps.

The Buddha Statue (Phase - 1) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Buddha Statue (Phase – 1)
Rock Arrangements (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Rock Arrangements (Phase – 2)

The Stone Lanterns

Japanese Stone Lantern (dai-doro) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Stone Lantern (dai-doro)
Japanese Stone Lantern (dai-doro) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
Japanese Stone Lantern (dai-doro)

The Japanese stone lanterns are referred to as “dai-doro”. The entire Japanese garden is beautifully decorated with different forms of stone lanterns.

According to wikipedia “In its complete and original form, a dai-doro represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. The piece touching the ground represents chi, the earth; the next section represents sui, or water; ka or fire, is represented by the section encasing the lantern’s light or flame, while fū (air) and kū (void or spirit) are represented by the last two sections, top-most and pointing towards the sky. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.”

The Yin-Yang Symbol

The Yin Yang Sculpture (Phase - 1) - Japanese Garden Chandigarh
The Yin Yang Sculpture (Phase – 1)
The Yin Yang Sculpture (Phase - 2) - Japanese Garden  Chandigarh
The Yin Yang Sculpture (Phase – 2)

Yin and Yang is a symbol which describes how opposite forces are actually interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

According to wikipedia, “Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and yang is the white side with the black dot in it.”

“In Buddhist philosophy, Water and Rocks symbolize yin and yang respectively. Rocks and water are the two important physical elements in a garden. Rocks and water symbolize the basis of nature, all that gives life. Rocks are the body of the world—the hills and valleys. The water is the world’s spirit, providing oxygen, breath, the liquid clouds, blood running through the veins. The rocks symbolize all that is active, the work, the forces of work. The water symbolizes all that is contemplated—all that compliments work, thought, freedom, silence, and reflection— in other words, serenity.”

(Source :: Symbolism of Chinese Garden )

There are two Yin-Yang sculptures in each of the two Rock Gardens in Phase-1 and Phase-2 of the Japanese Garden.

This blog is really getting longer and still there are many other attractions to write about. So, I am ending this part here and will list the other major attractions in the next part of the blog.

The Japanese Garden – 2

References