The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Ghazipur rose gardening

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762. The rose fields, which occupy many hundred acres in the neighbourhood of Ghazepoor, are described as being, at the proper season, extremely beautiful. The flowers are cultivated for distillation, and making 'attar.' Rose water is both good and cheap. The price of a seer, or weight of two pounds (a large quart), of the best, being eight anas, or a shilling. The attar is obtained, after the rose water is made, by setting it out during the night, and till sunrise in the morning, in large open vessels exposed to the air, and then skimming off the essential oil which floats at the top. The rose water which is thus skimmed bears a lower price than that which is warranted with its cream entire ; but Bishop Heber was told that there is very little perceptible difference. To produce one rupee's weight of attar, 200,000 well grown roses are required. The price, even on the spot, is extravagant; a rupee's weight being sold in the bazaar (where it often is adulterated with sandal wood) for 80 sicca rupees ; and at the English warehouse, where it is warranted genuine, at 100 sicca rupees, or 10�. ! Mr. Melville, the English resident, who made some for himself one year, told Bishop Heber that he calculated the rent of the land, and price of utensils, really cost him at the rate of 5�. for the above trifling quantity ; without reckoning the risk, labour of servants, &c. (Narr. &c., vol. i. p. 266.)