This year Chandigarh hosted 3-day annual Rose Festival during February 22-24. The festival organized in Zakir Hussain Rose Garden (Sector 16) is a big crowd-puller because of easy access to the venue and its high entertainment value. The city organizes bonsai, flower, flower arrangement, flower in pots and rose prince and princess competitions for public, acrobatic shows and several other free cultural programs within the garden.
We have enjoyed the free public festival thrice in the past. However, this year, some glitches were apparent probably due to downpour on the first two days of the festival and lackadaisical attitude of the management. To avoid them, we compiled the short list of useful tips for our readers:
1. What to carry
The garden has only one snack shop that serves ice cream, soft drinks and ready to eat snacks. The shop did not stock bottled water. The thirsty visitors were “forced” to buy tetra packs of nimbu pani (lemon water). However, the host installed additional drinking water tanks.
A food stall was set up exclusively for VIPs, but there was absolutely no food option for the visitors. Our advice is that you should carry both food and water.
Carry a sunhat and pair of goggles to avoid scorching sun in afternoon.
2. When to go
On Sunday, the last day of the festival, the visitors who came in afternoon awaited their turn in a long queue in front of the main gate due to time-consuming security check. Go early to avoid crowd and enjoy fresh flowers decked with dew drops. Alternatively, you can visit the garden a day prior to the inauguration day of the festival as by the evening all exhibits are displayed.
If you do not get a chance to enjoy all exhibits during the festival, you can browse through some of these even on the next day when the festival is winding down. But visit the garden early in the morning.
3. How to reduce waiting time
Carry only essentials to minimize time and effort required for security check, reducing the waiting time.
4. CCTV cameras were installed in the garden for better security. However, take care of your kids and infants, as they may get lost in the crowd.
5. Walk carefully
This year the ground within the tents, the competition venues, was a quagmire. The entrance to the tents was narrow, increasing the size of crowd waiting to get into the tent.
6. Tips for photographers
If you are an avid photographer and want to photograph all events, exhibits and types of roses, charge the camera batteries before going to the festival as you cannot charge it in the garden.