Empress Garden of Pune is situated near the Pune Race Course, adjacent to the Pune-Solapur Road. A huge garden in terms of area, it spreads over approximately 59 acres. The garden is more or less, a botanical park that boasts of being home to a number of varieties of fruit bearing trees, most of which are those of the tropical type of vegetation. The chief products of the garden are mangoes, tamarind, etc.
The other attractions of the Empress Garden of Pune comprise of its
flower-laden tress and a small zoo. Empress Garden is also known as the
Soldiers' Garden and is quite popular amongst the people of the city as
a picnic spot. The land where the garden today stands was initially the
property of a man known as Sardar Vithalrao Purandhare. However, its
maintenance work was looked over by a General Finjer.
In the year 1838, the ownership of the garden passed into the hands of
the Government. In 1845, it further changed hands and came into the
possession of Sir Charles Napier. Throughout his ownership, the garden
was known as the 'Garden of Dr. Don'. The name 'Empress Garden' was
given to the botanical park in honor of Queen Victoria, when she won the
title of 'Empress of India'. During the British Era, the garden was a
favorite amongst British soldiers.
They came here for recreation purpose and with time, the garden got the
name of 'Soldiers' Garden'. It was in the year 1892 that Empress Garden
came under the possession and ownership of the Bombay Government. The
Government then passed it on to the Agri-Horicultural society of Western
India. Today, the garden is frequented by locals as well as tourists in
large numbers. It provides them the much-needed peace and serenity that
seems to have become lost in the mundane routine of city life.