The city of Nawabs, Lucknow offers ample opportunities in the field of research and development for various disciplines with the presence of research institutes of national and international repute in the city. The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) is one such renowned research institute backed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The institution was established with the motive of undertaking studies in different streams of botanical research. The NBRI also holds historical significance with its garden area surrounding the erstwhile Sikanderbagh within its purview. Sikanderbagh was modelled as a royal garden by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, and later fine-tuned by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh during the first half of the 19th century. Sikanderbagh also witnessed a fierce battle between the British army and Indian sepoys during the mutiny of 1857. What is NBRI about? CSIR-NBRI is a premier research institute, well-known for its outstanding contributions on India’s plant diversity, with special focus on developing biotechnology and microbial technologies, herbal products, and plant databases that are globally competent for the enhancement of knowledge base. This research institute boasts of having wholesome proficiency in plant biodiversity, plant-microbe interactions, biotechnology and bioinformatics. The CSIR-NBRI has laboratories furnished with state-of-the-art equipment to carry out R&D activities in evolving and advanced streams such as plant diversity documentation, microbiology, genomics, transgenic technologies, plant physiology and environmental biology. It is also involved in basic and applied R&D activities under strategically important areas of plant sciences which include conservation biology, horticulture, floriculture, genetic engineering and plant biotechnology. The CSIR-NBRI has three distant research centres, situated at a distance of 22 kms from the research institute in the city, on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway, near the village Banthra. These centres are involved in raising large-scale, new cultivations of different plant species of commercial importance. CSIR-NBRI has several won accolades while being recognized as a leading institute and referral center, by various ministries in the Government of India and the United Nations with respect to the matters pertaining to CBD, traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights. It has also been acknowledged by the Government of India to be one of the national repositories for Indian flora under the National Biodiversity authority, in line with the provisions of the Biological Diversity Act. Annual Flower shows at the NBRI The botanical garden of CSIR-NBRI is spread over a wide expanse of 65 acres that adds to the assets of the institute. It holds the distinction of being one of the oldest and also the third largest botanical gardens in India. The botanical garden, with its rich floral diversity has been recognized as the ‘’living national repository’’ under the Government of India notification. The garden boasts of an excellent collection of different varieties of plants which include roses, gladiolus, chrysanthemums, bougainvillea, lotus, cactus along with various plants house catering to specific flora species, such as fern house and palm house for conservation and educational purposes. The institute organizes annual flower shows for rose, gladiolus and chrysanthemum plants during their respective peak seasons. The two-day long display of flowers attracts a large number of nature-lovers who throng the NBRI to witness the spectacular arrangements that are no less than a feast for their eyes. Prizes are given out at the end of the event every year for the best varieties, most popular ones and the rare ones. The CSIR-NBRI therefore, plays a very important role in enriching the knowledge base, with respect to the plant diversity and the different disciplines associated with it. The research institute is the most coveted research institute for those interested in plants and plant science. It is a popular destination for morning walkers in Lucknow, who even get monthly passes made to be able to enjoy the fresh air at the sprawling lawns of the institute. During regular days round the year, botanical garden serves as a paradise for morning walkers. Don’t be surprised to see the early morning rush of fitness enthusiasts and health-foods vendors near the gates of the garden. The green patch provided by the botanical garden between the middle of Lucknow helps in more than one ways. The surrounding areas see a relative temperature drop from the rest of the city in all seasons. Pay a visit to feel the difference!
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