The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 10 How the Lotus of the Good Law went a-voyaging

British Viceroys at Pinjore

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Fadai Khans garden lies close to the main road leading from Umballa up to Simla; the long straight road, slowly rising from the plains, here turning sharply round the upper garden wall. So once again, before the days of railways, Pinjor gardens were a gay place. Successive Viceroys made a point of resting there to enjoy the cool shade and running water, as they passed on their leisurely progress to their summer in the hills. But once more the times change, and with the change the train now rushes through to Kalka. Every one hurries on to his journeys end up in the mountains, and few know of the charming old garden they are passing, hidden in its dark mango groves, only a few miles away. Pinjor, to others the place of the 'five brothers,' will always mean to me the Garden of Butterflies, as I saw it first in the closing days of a brilliant Indian October. Clouds of butterflies there were, hovering over the wild tangle of zinnias and marigolds, rising round the passerby with a soft bewildering flutter, and filling all the sombre lower garden with their flecks of golden light; for most of them were golden brown like their favourite flowers, the marigolds. There were large brown butterflies with black veins, and golden brown ones with spotted markings; big black swallow-tails, with a sulphur band across their lower wings; and gay white butterflies streaked with black, and painted on their outer side with bars of red and yellow. One was a curious, soft dull brown, like some huge daylight moth which had been tempted out from under the deep shade of the mango trees to join its bright companions in the sunshine. Many tiny creatures fluttered by too restlessly to show their real colours; but the prettiest of all were the large pale blue butterflies, their wings veined with a delicate tracery of black.