Agri-Horticultural Society of India, Calcutta, West Bengal

Once operating as the de facto Agriculture Ministery of the Central Government till 1900, (Calcutta was the capital of India during the British raj,) the Agri-Horticultural Society of India was my oyster on the morning of April 23.  I was lucky enough to nab an exclusive tour of grounds with Deputy Secretary Rabindra Nath Adhikary thanks to the Khaitan family that has supported  and overseen the society through the generations.  Imagine being able to touch and photograph volumes of meeting minutes dating back to the 1820s.  And that was just the library.  Here is the society, in pictures.  (If you’ve visited our local Kampong or Fairchild Tropical Gardens here in Miami, you may see some familiar trunks, leaves, fruits and flowers!)  I also seriously recommend you check out their very well done website if you are interested in learning more about its history and cultural significance.

Flower of the Elephant Tree

Flower of the Elephant Tree

 

Now you know why

Now you know why

 

Same tree

Same tree

 

New leaves

New leaves

 

Lily pads

Lily pads

 

Anyone know what this is?

Anyone know what this is?

 

I don't think this is durian but it looks like it runs in the smelly family

I don't think this is durian but it looks like it runs in the smelly family

 

A kind of bottle brush

A kind of bottle brush

 

Closer yet

Closer yet

 

Baobab tree from Africa, this will blow your mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baobab

Baobab tree from Africa, this will blow your mind, especially the myths and culture section: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baobab

 

At this point I was taking pictures of everything even if my gracious guide didn't point them out...

At this point I was taking pictures of everything even if my gracious guide didn't point them out...

 

Still with me? I saved the best for last...

Still with me? I saved the best for last...

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Thank you Dr. Aparajuta Mitra, for showing me your petri aloe and banana plants!

Thank you Dr. Aparajuta Mitra, for showing me your petri aloe and banana plants!

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A special thank you to Sri Nirupom Sen for his explanation of the records and the history of the society

A special thank you to Sri Nirupom Sen (aka Gogal) for his thoughtful explanation of the records and history of the society -- and his own journey! Not to mention his culinary recommendations (Bengali mustard fish, appam and uttapam, puchka and pani puri...) Did you know the Indian wine industry is growing at a rate of 40%?

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