The Forest Research Institute in Dehradun is not only a repository of botanical species and research, but also a landmark heritage site.
The structure, which was built by Sir C.G. Blomfield, is one of the architectural landmarks of Dehra Dun, visited by hordes of tourists daily. Inaugurated in 1929 by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin, it employs a distinct fusion of Greco-Roman and Colonial building techniques.
The Photo Walk:
The photo walk I planned at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun took place on Sunday, January 22, 2017. Participants gathered from different parts of the city to experience this piece of local heritage, outside its gates.
We decided to start our walk from the main entrance, and managed to glance a peek at the indigenous handicraft store adorned with elaborate items before we went in. Entering the gates, we saw the Institute looming over us, in all its Greco Roman beauty. The entire complex spans about 2.5 hectares in total.
The Inner Perimeter of the FRI:
One can trees of varied kinds around the perimeter, and these are all from different parts of the world. The medicinal values and scientific names of the trees were also indicated. Walking towards the Museum, we came across the Staff and Student housing area, which were all built in a similar, colonial fashion.
The museum is an expansive space. It houses exhibits in the fields of Pathology, Social Forestry and Silviculture, to name a few. Researchers at the institute focus on the development of technologies to reclaim wastelands, the study of the morphology of soil, as well as the monitoring of mined and threatened areas.
Upon reaching the museum, we started to unfold the activities planned for the Photowalk, which included heritage quizzes about the FRI, as well as a treasure hunt in the surrounding perimeter. We also engaged in discussion with the personnel at the Institute, who managed to broaden our knowledge of the Botanical Sciences. Thus, the photowalk not only enlightened us about the finer aspects of Botany. It also engaged participants with the Institute in an interactive way.
- Chopra, Jaskiran. 85 years of the Grand FRI Building. Daily Pioneer. 7 November 2014Web. http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/dehradun/85-years-of-the-grand-fri-building.html