Yamuna Biodiversity Park
Emerging as the capital's most visited public place and prominent center for learning and understanding the environment, the Yamuna Biodiverstity Park has become a home for biologically rich wetlands, grassland communities, a wide variety of fruit yielding species and an abundance of medicinal herbs. The Park also comprises a native flora and fauna which used to exist a 100 years ago and then became extinct locally. It further, acts as a natural conservation site for specific group of endangered plants. The Yamuna Biodiversity Park is presently spread over an area of approximately 457 acres near Wazirabad village on the flat alluvial plains of the Yamuna
and can be approached:
(i) from East Delhi through Bhajanpura,
(ii) from South and Central Delhi through ISBT, and
(iii) from North Delhi through Burari. The Biodiversity Park is 15 kms north-east of Connaught Place, and 4 kms north of ISBT.
The park features two major zones - the visitor zone and the nature reserve zone.
The front portion of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, a 220m southward and 140m northward stretch from the main entry gate with 20-30m width is demarcated as Domesticated Biodiversity Zone. Enclosed by a hedge of poplar, it features plants like Ailanthus, Butea
that have a continuous seasonal interest due to their long flower production throughout the season. The outer iron fencing is embraced by multi-coloured climbers like Jasmine
with the same theme of continual luxury.
Located at the main entrance, at the southward end, are three snack bars, a drinking water facilities and three resting places
covered with the vines of Argyreia nervosa, Jasminum sambac
and Petrogea volubilis
. Just past the entry pocket and to the right is a “Welcome Rock facet” representing the origin of the Ganga and Yamuna and their convergence at Allahabad. A trail further leads to the Bambusetum, the Nature interpretation Centre, the Conservatory of fruit yielding species, the Migratory duck’s wetland
and the Nature Reserve area
Nature interpretation Centre is a
beautiful classical building with elegant lighting, a red carpet floor, attractive interior designs, panels depicting various biodiversity levels, touch screens, and visual-aids that provide an insight into the basic concepts of biodiversity.
On the left, the landscaping provides two shallow valleys representing
with 10 mounds
representing different ecosystems present from the foothills
of the Himalayas (Siwaliks)
through the Yamuna basin, till the point of confluence of the Yamuna and Ganga.
The first rangeland i.e. Rangeland 1, corresponds to an exclusive Sporobolus diander
dominance while the second one i.e. Rangeland 2 showcases a mixture of native tropical grasses such as Dichanthium, Chrysopogon, Vetiveria,
. These two rangelands are bordered by a serpentine trail. The first loop of the trail connects Rangeland 1
with Herbal garden, sacred grove
and Rangeland 2 while the other loop leads to the butterfly conservatory
The amphitheatre is an open auditorium, the herbal garden offers a collection of about 450 plant species with healing properties.
On this loop trail one sometimes comes across bouncing hares and has a chance to watch red-wattled lapwings and other grassland birds. The exit of the Butterfly Conservatory on the west side leads to Sacred Grove and the Gene Bank of Petro- and Oil-yielding and other plants through the Bamboo Bridge from which one can enjoy a view of the resident ducks’ wetland and a wide variety of fishes.
Surrounding the valley are the Ten Mounds
which illustrate the different forest ecosystems in its miniature form found all along the Yamuna River Basin.
The composition of forests, as in nature, consists of three to four layers: a tree canopy that supports climbers and provides shade for the middle storey tree layer and shrub layer which in turn protect the ground-cover of herbs and grasses. Plantation on these mounds is designed on the basis of the structure and composition of the forest ecosystem found in its natural environment. These ecosystems are:
Subtropical mixed evergreen forest ecosystem
Top canopy - Toona ciliata, Dalbergia latifolia, Mitragyna parvifolia, Syzygium cumini
Middle storey - Trewia nudiflora, Artocarpus lakoocha, Cinnamomum camphora,
Shrub layer- Dillenia indica, Coffea benghalensis, Murraya paniculata, Bauhinia malabarica,
Herbs and Grasses- Barleria cristata, Flemingia bracteata, Desmodium triflorum
Climbers- Vigna capensis, Combretum decandrum, Vitis paniculatum
Moist tropical deciduous forest ecosystem with Teak as a dominant species
Top Canopy- Tectona grandis, Pterocarpus marsupium, Diospyros melanoxylon,
Middle storey- Buchanania lanzan, Albizia lebbeck, Bauhinia variegata
Shrub layer- Flemingia rugosus, Vitex negundo, Nyctanthus arbortristris, Zizyphus mauritiana
Herbs and grasses- Desmodium triflorum, Crotolaria juncea, Bothriochloa pertusa,
Climbers- Pueraria phaseoloides, Asparagus racemosus
Tropical dry decuduous forest ecosystem with Sal as a dominant species
Top canopy – Shorea robusta, Diospros melanoxylon, Putranjiva roxburghii,
Middle storey – Erythrina indica, Cassia fistula, Albizia sp., Sterculia urens
Shrub layer – Carissa spinarum, Zizyphus oenoplea, Nyctanthus arbortristris
Herbs & Grasses – Chloris, Eragrostis, Fimbristylis ferruginea, Indigofera tinctoria,
Climbers – Smilax zeylanica, , Clittoria turnatea, Marsidenia, Cocculus hirsutus
Tropical Dry Deciduous forest with Teak as a dominant species
Top Canopy – Tectona grandis, Butea monosperma, Sterculia urens, Terminalia chebula,
Middle storey – Emblica officinalis, Bauhina variegata, Cochlospermum religiosum
Shrub layer – Gardenia turgida, Randia dumetorum, Grewia asiatica
Herbs & Grasses – Barleria prionitis, Bothriochloa pertusa, Dicanthium
Climbers – Abrus pulchellus, Cocculus hirsutus
Tropical thorn forest
Top Canopy- Acacia sp., Prosopis cineraria, Anogeissus pendula
Underwoods- Zizyphus mauritiana, Maytenus emarginatus, Wrightia
Herbs and Grasses- Vicovestata, Vico auriculata, Desmostachya bipinnata,
Climbers- Valletia, Leptochloa fusca, Tinospora cordifolia
Top Canopy- Acacia catechu, A. senegal, A. leucophloea
Underwoods- Euphorbia neriifolia, Cassia auriculata, Maetenus emarginatus
Herbs- Tephrosia purpurea, Justicia simplex, Cyperus rotundus, Eragrostis tenella
Climbers – Cocculus laurifolius, Rhynchosia minima