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Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, popularly known as Rani Bagh, was earlier known as Victoria Gardens. Located at the Mount Estate, Byculla, it was opened to the public in 1862. Several imposing monuments, and in 1890 a small zoo, were introduced to augment the grandeur of the botanical garden-spread over 53 acres. Rani Bagh 150 Years celebrates 150 years of existence of the botanical garden – a home to an astonishing 853 plant species that provide a thriving habitat for a variety of birds, insects, and small mammals.
The chapters in Rani Bagh 150 Years, written by well-known environmentalists and conservationists, present various facets of Rani Bagh. The garden's early history, planning, and design, which are of continuing relevance, are related here in interesting detail, along with tributes to its enduring legacy that has enriched the lives of people in the city over 150 years. A substantial chapter provides a tantalizing taste of the botanical wealth to be experienced in Rani Bagh, while another features the fascinating denizens of this rich habitat. With close to 221 illustrations, Rani Bagh 150 Years ends with an account of recent struggle to preserve the garden's unique natural and built heritage for future generations.
Foreword by D.M. Sukthankar
Rani Bagh: Queen of Mumbai's Green Heritage / Bittu Sahgal
Nature's Treasure, Mumbai's Heritage: The Botanical Garden's Early Years / Mariam Dossal
Symbiosis of Natural and Built Heritage: Classical Garden Design and Monuments / Vikas Dilawari
Rani Bagh's Incredible Botanical Wealth / Marselin R. Almeida
Life Backstage: Rani Bagh's Thriving Habitat / Katie Bagli
Timeless Memories of an Enchanting Botanical Garden / Pheroza J. Godrej
The Enduring Legacy of a People's Park: Rani Bagh Then and Now / Hutokshi Rustomfram and Shubhada Nikharge
Saving Mumbai's Heritage Botanical Garden: The Struggle of the Save Rani Bagh Botanical Garden Committee / Hutokshi Rustomfram and Shubhada Nikharge
Bittu Sahgal, is the Editor of Sanctuary Asia magazine. Mariam Dossal, was Head of the Department of History, University of Mumbai, and a former member of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. Vikas Dilawari, Head of the Conservation Department, KRVIA, Mumbai, is a conservation architect. Marselin R. Almeida is a pre-eminent botanist and author of several books including the Encyclopaedic Flora of Maharashtra (6 volumes). Katie Bagli, a teacher, is a founder member of the Save Rani Bagh Botanical Garden Committee. Pheroza J. Godrej is President, National Society of the Friends of the Trees and an art historian. Hutokshi Rustomfram is a founder member of the Save Rani Bagh Botanical Garden Foundation. Shubhada Nikharge is a founder member of the Save Rani Bagh Botanical Garden Foundation.