Jijamata Udyan, commonly known as Byculla Zoo formerly called Rani Baug (Queen’s Gardens) after the original name Victoria Gardens, is a zoo and garden covering 50 acres located at Byculla, in the heart of Mumbai, India. It is the oldest public garden in Mumbai.
In 1835, British administration granted a large plot of land in Sewri to the Agro Horticultural Society of Western India for a botanical garden. That land was later acquired for a European burial ground. In 1861, construction of a new garden was commenced on 33 acres in the Mount Estate, Mazgaon (now included in Byculla). The flora from Sewri garden was transferred to this new garden named Victoria Gardens which was formally opened to the public by Lady Frere on 19 November 1862. Agro Horticultural Society of Western India continued to maintain Victoria Gardens till 1873 when the society’s end led to the municipal corporation taking over the garden’s upkeep. In 1890 the garden was extended by 15 acres especially for the zoo.
The garden also houses the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, a staff building in Greco-Roman style erected in the memory of Lady Frere, an equestrian statue of King Edward VII of England made of black marble (originally installed near the University of Bombay) known as Kala Ghoda and the David Sassoon clock tower.
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“The varied flora of Rani Bagh’s heritage botanical garden – Mumbai’s largest green open public space”. Save Rani Bagh Botanical Garden Foundation. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
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