The prime attraction here is the building itself. Set in a peaceful 5-sq-km park, this grand remnant of the Raj era – where most of India’s forest officers are trained – is larger than Buckingham Palace. Built between 1924 and 1929, this red-brick colossus has Mughal towers, perfectly formed arches and porticos, and Roman columns in a series of quadrangles edged by elegant cloisters. Six huge halls have dusty displays on Indian forestry that look like leftovers from a middle-school science fair.
In the museums you'll find beautiful animal, bird and plant paintings by Afshan Zaidi, exhibits on the medicinal uses of trees and a cross-section of a 700-year-old deodar tree. Note that the museums close for lunch at 1pm for 30 minutes. A return autorickshaw from the city centre, including one-hour wait time, costs around ₹350. Or take vikram 6 from Connaught Pl and get out at the institute’s entry gate.