A Visit To Pamplemousses SSR Botanical Garden – Episode 1

The other day I had the conceptual idea of making some aerial shots of the lily pond at the SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses and at the same time I seized the opportunity of a lazy day to visit the garden again. The last time I checked-in was like back in 2005, and for us Mauritians, I think it is good to stay up-to-date with our colonial heritage from time to time. Turning the pages back in history, this beautiful garden was created during the French Colonial period on the island around 1770 by Pierre Poivre on a scientific basis. This and up to now has remained THE garden of the island, even though the sad reality might reveal negligence in the upbringing and maintenance. Anyway…

Pamplemousses Garden Entrance - 1950s

Pamplemousses Garden Entrance – 1950s (Courtesy: Vintage Mauritius)

The Front Gate

I reached the front gate around 11:40 and compared to the previous years now the entrance is no longer free. Mauritians have to pay a fee of Rs 25 and non-residents a little higher. I think it is a good thing if this fund is well used for maintaining this infrastructure. The beautiful white metal fence surrounding the garden gives the impression of quality to the place, and I liked it. Following the entrance revealed a kind of monument stating the name of the garden as ‘Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden’, name given after the first Prime Minister of the island during the 1960s. SSR is also considered to be the ‘Father of the Nation’ due to the fact of leading the country to independance in 1968.

Greenery in its splendor

Following the main alley in the centre revealed lots of beautiful trees and flowers; the sign of a true garden; and I really loved how the trees show age with the patterns on the bark or with the roots surfacing the ground. Somewhere while wandering I chose the path to the right which lead to some kind of colonial architecture in ruin and abandoned. The craftmanship of those days could very well be observed through those precisely cut stone of the building. Moving along the path for some 10 minutes lead to another kind of monument like a small basin with water in it and benches on the side. I couldn’t spot any engraving or caption around to understand the significance of this monument, but it did look beautiful as well.

Droning at The Water Lily Pond

Minutes later, still along the same path I reached my target! The famous Water Lily Pond. There was a security officer around and I asked if I could fly the drone around for some pictures and SHE agreed. Readily I prepared the drone and minutes later I was flying around. Somehow, due to lots of trees around I preferred to play safe and landed the aerial vehicle not long after. I didn’t get much of what I wanted but at least I now know what to expect the next time I might be coming again and could prepare myself better.

Back to Office

After some more leisure walk around admiring the flora, I reached the middle path again and since it was also nearly time for me to move out (oh, I forgot to mention that I was during lunch time at work) I decided to check-out for the day with only 50% of the visit accomplished. Actually there was also the left side (relative to the entrance) to visit but that will definitely be in Episode Two. My main aim was concluded and I was happy about this little visit.

By the way, there are quite some interesting monuments to visit in the garden as well. (More details here)

My Whereabouts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: