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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden

History


​ History
 
The Garden covers an area of 33 Hectares. It is managed by a Trust known as the SSR Botanic Garden Trust enacted in May 1999. The main objectives of the SSR Botanic Garden Trust are conservation, education, recreation, culture and history.
The Garden is one of the oldest Botanic Garden of the southern hemisphere.
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden dates back to the French period. In 1736, the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, chose to set up his domain around the present Main Gate at Pamplemousses. In 1767 of the French Intendent, Pierre Poivre introduced vegetables, fruits and flowers from all over the world.
Amongst these plants were some of the most prized species of the time: namely nutmegs (Myristica fragans) and cloves (Syzichium aromaticum) from the Malaccas. These species are still present in the Spice Corner of the Garden.
After Poivre’s departure, the Garden was administered by Nicolas Céré (1775 – 1810). He traced the main avenues and had several ponds built, notably the Giant Water Lily Pond, now filled with spectacular Victoria amazonica.
After the French period, the Garden faced difficulties during the first thirty years of British rule over the island.
The Garden was revived with the arrival of James Duncan as Director in 1849. A large collection of palms was introduced including the majestic Royal Palm (Roystonia regia).
The Botanic Garden which was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Pamplemousses was renamed on the 18th September 1988 that is on the 88th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the first Prime Minister of Mauritius and later Governor General of Mauritius.
His funerary monument (Samadhi) is found near the Chateau de Mon Plaisir as well as a memorial consisting of a fresh water pond crowned by a lotus flower with the inscription: ‘In beloved Memory of the Father of the Nation’.
Since the year 2000, a Trust under the aegis of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security runs the Garden.