silk river

Botanic Gardens & Kew Gardens

Botanic Gardens, Kolkata

Partner: Botanic Gardens

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden is situated in Shibpur, Howrah near Kolkata. Commonly known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, it is under Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

The gardens were founded in 1787 by Colonel Robert Kyd, an army officer of the British East India Company, primarily for the purpose of identifying new plants of commercial value, such as teak, and growing spices for trade.

The best-known landmark of the garden is The Great Banyan, an enormous banyan tree that is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world, at more than 330 metres in circumference.

The garden is host to many unusual trees like the Mad Tree, the Century Palm and Cannon Ball tree.

The diverse species of plants attracts a lot of birds and a large variety can be seen in the garden.

The garden exhibits a wide variety of rare plants and a total collection of over 12,000 specimens spread over 109 hectares serve as the lungs for the city and are visited by hundreds of people everyday. The area has been declared a No Plastic Zone to keep it green.


Kew Gardens

Partner: Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is the world’s leading botanic garden, at the forefront of plant and fungal science, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major visitor attraction. It is home to the world’s largest collection of living plants and has over seven million preserved plant specimens for research. During the British presence in India it is known that many species were shipped back from Kolkata to Kew.

They use the power of science and the rich diversity of the gardens and collections to provide knowledge, inspiration and understanding of why plants and fungi matter to everyone.

Through the Silk River project they hope to engage community groups, existing visitors and new audiences in learning about Kew’s unique links to India and Kolkata, through an enriching and exciting hands-on creative artistic experience.

We hope that the project will bring many local people together through walking, talking and creating a large-scale silk scroll that vibrantly captures and interprets the unique learning experiences of a fascinating journey around Kew Gardens, starting and finishing from the River Thames at Brentford Gate.


Commissioned by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for the Orchid Festival 2017,
‘A Bouquet from Bengal’, is a short film showcasing the uses of flowers and plants in everyday life in India, from the medicinal uses of local grown herbs and flora to the function of orchids in Indian cultural and scared customs.

The film by Korak Ghosh for Kinetika, captures both traditional and contemporary manifestations of floral and plant life focusing primarily on the city of Kolkata.