The Empress Garden is managed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India. The Society has been managing the Empress Garden since 1880, with an aim to nurture and preserve flora of the region. The Garden covers a sprawling 39 acres, and is home to many rare species of trees and flowers. The Society organizes annual flower shows and arranges various programs throughout the year to create environmental awareness among people. The well landscaped garden consists of lush green lawns, abundant flora and fauna, play area for kids, and a snack shack. The park has a quaint stream of water flowing throughout the garden, and is a delight for nature lovers.
The Empress Botanical Garden is amongst the most historic and botanically important gardens in the Pune region. It was initially a Soldiers Garden. The Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India has been managing the Empress Garden since 1892. The land where the garden today stands was initially the property of a man known as Sardar Vithalrao Purandhare. However, its maintenance work was looked over by a General Finjer. In the year 1838, the ownership of the garden passed into the hands of the Government. In 1845, it further changed hands and came into the possession of Sir Charles Napier. Throughout his ownership, the garden was known as the 'Garden of Dr. Don'. The name 'Empress Garden' was given to the botanical park in honor of Queen Victoria, when she won the title of 'Empress of India'. The Bombay Government transferred it to the Agri-Horicultural Society of Western India in 1892, one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
The Empress Garden is located near the Pune Race Course. A landmark in itself, the garden is located at Wanawadi, near the Camp area and adjoining Hadapsar. The Garden is easily accessible by the PMPL bus service and auto rickshaws. It is about 15 to 20 minutes by vehicle from Pune railway station, and about the same time from the Swargate Bus Terminus.