Tag Archives: UNESCO world heritage site

Lost in Paradise

Everything in the Kew Gardens is lovely, says Upasna Prasad.

It was London calling, and I was there too with my family in tow in the summer of 2018. One bright sunny morning, five of us decided to take a full-day tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (commonly known as Kew Gardens). Located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in southwest London, it borders the river Thames between Richmond in the south, with Brentford to the north. This UNESCO World Heritage site officially opened to the public in 1840.
For the best experience, one would want to visit on a day when it is not raining. Whatever be the season, there is always something special to see at the Royal Botanic Gardens, with surprises at every turn. We were lucky as there was plenty of sunshine, making our day most enjoyable. Plants being voiceless, we had plenty of time to soak it all in.
We arrived there at around 11 am and the Gardens closed by 5 pm, so we couldn’t manage to see everything, but we did stop at various picturesque spots to take pictures; this being the largest and most diverse garden in the world!
We boarded the land train that provides a hop-on, hop-off service with seven stops around the gardens. The ride helped us maximise our sightseeing as much as possible, as we were not keen on the full trek on foot. We were blown away by the breathtaking view of nature, and the hours spent at the Kew Gardens slipped by too soon.
We revelled in the fresh air and open space. It was overwhelmingly peaceful for all of us. Our first stop was the iconic Victorian Palm House with a rainforest environment. The plants were dedicated to the world’s tropical regions. The Victorian Glasshouse is impressive; we ascended a rustic spiral staircase to view everything from above.
We were in for a surprise as we continued walking to the Temperate House. There were vast variations of plants from all around the globe that needed 10 degrees Celsius or above to survive.
Outside the Palm House were beautifully manicured roses. We could inhale the scent of scores of roses in this stunning Rose Garden. The scent lingered along the mowed walkways between the beds.
We also experienced the lustrous beauty of a perfectly trimmed Grass Garden with feathery seed heads catching the light of the low sun with leaves turning shades of yellow and bronze.
It was a good day outing, amongst nature and away from the grime of the city. We purchased tickets at the Victoria Gate and hired a Kew Explorer Tour, which gave us a better understanding of the gardens.
A lot of it remained unexplored, and we wish to visit Kew Gardens once more to cover the rest of the green and serene spot in London. If in London, do plan a trip to Kew.

(All photos of the slideshow by Upasna Prasad)

Qutub Minar among 50 landmarks across the world lit up as a sign of unity on second World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day today

New Delhi, January 30, 2021: On the second World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day on January 30, 2021, more than 50 landmarks representing 25 nations worldwide were lit up to celebrate how far we’ve come in beating these diseases. India too proudly joined these countries by illuminating UNESCO world heritage site, Qutub Minar. 

The day highlights the global community’s commitment to end the NTDs. These diseases cause immeasurable suffering among the world’s most marginalized communities. 

From Tokyo Tower to Qutub Minar to Seattle Columbia Center, the world came together to end the neglect of NTDs and bring a brighter future to the most impoverished communities worldwide.

One in five people around the world are affected by NTDs and India, is home to the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 11 of these major neglected tropical diseases. These diseases debilitate, disfigure, and can even be fatal to those affected. But NTDs can and must be beaten.