Established in the year 1878, Lloyd’s Botanical Garden is located barely a kilometer away from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station and adds a feather to the historical cap Darjeeling already dons. It is among the oldest landmarks in Darjeeling and was named after William Llyod who provided the land for its establishment.
Spread over a sprawling area of 40 acres of a sloping hilly landscape, Lloyd’s Botanical Garden was established in Darjeeling as the counterpart of the Calcutta Botanical Garden. To date, the garden has successfully managed to preserve some of the most exotic species of plant life and houses the native flora of the Darjeeling region, the Sikkimese terrain, and the surrounding areas.
The garden itself has a varied landscape- with some of it being terraced and the rest of it spread over rolling slopes. Tallgrass and taller trees dot the lush landscape. At Lloyd’s Botanical Garden you can see various species of oak, magnolia, bamboo alongside tall forest patches of Cryptomeria, and Bucklandia. Gorgeous plantations of rhododendrons and wild geraniums can be found scattered carelessly while walking through the garden.
The main attraction here, however, remains the Orchidarium; with about 2500 species of orchids on display, this is a photographer’s delight and a botanist’s gold mine. A greenhouse next to it houses over 150 various species of cactus. A noteworthy mention here is the Weeping Willow with its sweeping branches, falling leaves that give an impression of ‘falling’.
If you’re observant, you can see various other plants all around the garden. Ranging from birch, chestnut to even cherry trees, the garden is indeed nature’s retreat. A pair of living fossil trees originating from China have been kept here as well.
Pro-Tip – It is advisable to wear shoes since a tour of the Lloyd’s Botanical Garden involves a lot of walking, often on uneven terrain.
The garden opens at 8 am in the morning, and there are no entry fees.