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How winged beauties at Thousand Shades Butterfly Park charm Gurugrammers

The butterfly park located in Gurugram’s Sector 52 has nectar plants for butterflies to flourish, and will soon be a host to more than 27 species of butterflies.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 16, 2018 16:32 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Gurugram,Butterfly,Thousand Shades Butterfly Park
A plain tiger butterfly soaks the nectar from a flower at Thousand Shades Butterfly Park in Gurugram. (Shivam Saxena/HT)

Fall in love with 27 species of butterflies, experience the magical spell of glow-worms, get to know several herbal plants, and much more... Not at some far-flung place in the hills, but in our very own Gurugram. At the Thousand Shades Butterfly Park in Sector 52, anyone can fall under the spell of nature’s beauty and power.

The 14-acre park transports one into the world of flora and fauna, the beauty of which has been enhanced by efforts of citizen participation. When we visited the park, we saw school kids splashing walls with colours and imagination, and messages on the need for conserving environment and respect nature. Some children were busy attending fitness sessions, while some were seen planting saplings.

“Every butterfly has a host plant that it lays eggs on. [Currently] we are targeting [the breeding of] lemon butterfly and plain tiger butterfly. Plain Tiger butterfly lays eggs only on Calotropis. We even keep fruit slices (Pineapple and watermelon) for them,” — Sanjay Kaushik from NGO Uthaan

Behind this active participation at this dreamlike wonder is the effort of the Forest Department and partners such as Gurugram-based NGO Uthaan. “When I came to Gurugram, I saw it being converted into a concrete jungle, and thought of making an effort to preserve the greenery. It was originally a forest land, which we proposed to develop as a butterfly park, as butterflies are getting extinct here [Gurugram]. Luckily Gurugram residents want to work if they get a good platform. In the last four months, we have developed the facility area, a peripheral road where battery-operated vehicle would run. The park will have different chambers for 27 species of butterflies,” says Sanjay Kaushik, from the NGO.

The park has an indoor conservatory for butterflies where their breeding is underway. “It will start in monsoon, as the temperatures here have crossed 45 degree. We’ll also be creating a herbal garden, an urban forest would also be a place where people can understand organic farming that they can do on their terraces, etc,” adds Kaushik.

Residents have been celebrating their special days such as birthday and anniversary by adopting a tree at the park. (Shivam Saxena/HT)

The park also hopes to be a place where people would commemorate their special days in a meaningful way. Visitors can adopt a tree at this park, and have their name tag alongside that tree. The park is also undertaking initiatives to preserve birds such as kingfishers, peacocks and eagles. It will also host workshops on life cycle of a butterfly, and will take a span of two years to be fully operational. The entry ticket, of the park, will range from ₹50-100 in monsoon.

Residents including kids, students and corporates get together every weekend for wall art this butterfly park. (Shivam Saxena/HT)

For the residents, students and corporates alike, the park doubles as a place to practice nature conservation. Ridhi Dudeja, a student — who along with her classmates recently painted a wall depicting conservation of winged beauties — says: “Wall paintings is a great way to send out the message to the world that we need to conserve the butterflies, since they will soon be endangered.”

The artworks created on walls reflect the thoughts of residents. Rashmi Chugh, a resident, who also participated in making a wall art that represents freedom, says, “Kids love to paint, and this a great opportunity for us to be together and do something for the environment. Butterflies signify colour, beauty and nature’s bounty. So, we painted a jar and showed butterflies flying out of it.”

Radhika Dhawan, another resident, adds, “By engaging directly in the beautification of the park, my kids will develop a connect with the place, and I’m sure that they will learn to respect and care nature and natural resources, too.”

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First Published: Jun 16, 2018 16:19 IST