The Vaikunth Flower Show
A grand show of flowers ‘Mahabaleshwar Flower Festival’ has been organized by Vaikunth Piramal at Piramal realty, Balkum where people can see 1 million flowers of different species & 18 differently themed gardens.
Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show of UK, the Vaikunth Flower Show was thrown open to the public on December 22 and will be there till January 3, 2016
This was one of the largest shows held in Thane and attracted hordes of crowds to experience the different types of flowers and plants.
A hand-held rickshaw overflowing with blushing pink and red roses, accompanied by delicate bursts of baby’s breath. Bouquets of peonies, carnations and marigolds brimming over from a tea pot. A banyan tree presiding over the gardens, its branches dripping with orchids and bougainvillea. The ground is a carpet of green, with rows of red, yellow, pink and orange daisies looking up at the sun, swaying in the breeze. A toy train chugging patiently, waiting for its passengers.
It is hard not to recall that scene from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland when you walk into the Vaikunth Flower Show at Belgaum, Thane, where a million flowers are presently in bloom. Alice, along with flowers of all sizes, shapes and colours, sings ‘Golden Afternoon’. This was no different. Spread over the green acres, with 18 themed gardens, the setting was no less than that of a carnival in a winter wonderland, complete with the sound of chimes, bells and a live choir.
The Vaikunth Flower Show, showcasing over 140 species of flowers from India and around the world as well over 30 types of trees, was thrown open to the public on 22nd Dec at Piramal Vaikunth, a 32-acre residential plot to be developed by Piramal Realty.
The main attraction was a show for childen and the idea seemed to be working as hordes of wide-eyed children as well as adults set foot in the plot. Moms and dads balancing toddlers in one arm and buckets of popcorn in another, walked along a little cobbled path running through the different themed gardens, set in a row.
One of the most eye-catching gardens was the wishing-well garden inspired by European folklore. The garden had rows of daisies and roses, and a mini wishing well in the middle, flanked by fairies and frogs lazing in rocking chairs. Not far from it was the Babulul Hind garden, inspired by emperor Jehangir’s idea of creating a paradise on Earth. What set it apart from the rest was the white jharokhas, marble fountains and pathway of white pebbles.
The Rathambore garden had a wilder look to it, with the majestic statue of a Royal Bengal tiger presiding over it amid long green ferns. However, the most stunning of them all was the Orchid hunter’s garden. It is inspired by orchid hunters like British botanist Thomas Lobb, who had even visited India. A giant Banyan tree stood in this garden, with violet, yellow and white orchids hanging from it. In terms of creativity, the Maratha Horse garden and the Old Bombay Garden to Kukin Tana (which is what Thane was referred to as by travellers in the 1300s), with its miniature town of Moorish mosques and temples, were the most artistic. The Toyland garden was the most popular among the children as looked like a scene straight out of Enid Blyton’s Noddy series.
Finally, ‘Little Sultan’ a miniature toy train, a replica of India’s first ever passenger train, began its journey with kids as well as adults as passengers. Father Joe Perriera, known to many as the ‘Singing priest’ along with the Victory Chorus Line kept the Christmas spirit alive with carols. Leela Bhatia, a resident of Malabar Hill, was all praises for the concept. “I was transported. It is difficult to believe that this is Thane. It is so soothing to see so many flowers in one place. It is a wonderland,” she said.
Inspired by the Chelsea flower show, the project was the brainchild of Dr Swati Piramal, vice chairperson of Piramal Enterprises Ltd. Speaking to Mirror, she assured us that the gardens would stay on, and fresh flowers would be planted next year. “We have been working on this for the past six months. It is such a relief to see that the weather is holding up. We organise a flower show at Mahabaleshwar, so we thought why not do it here as well? Nature is an important part of our lives and we must preserve it and appreciate its beauty.”
Several florists from Mumbai, Thane, Vashi were also present to see the different varieties of flowers and many growers got in touch with the retailers thereby expanding their florist network as well.