In a crowded, congested city of 17 million, green spaces are very important and much appreciated by the residents. The lovely Lodi Garden in New Delhi, India, offers lots of free space for people to enjoy. Here you have a chance to walk, jog, do yoga, have a picnic and play. We arrived fairly early on a drizzly morning and the park was almost deserted. Of course a little rain never stopped me from exploring. The drizzle dried up within an hour and then the crowds started to arrive. But not before I got to see a nearly empty park with lovely palm-tree lined walks. My first impressions lingered — this was to be one of my favorite destinations in Delhi.
What I found most amazing about the Lodi Gardens was how history and nature were in harmony here. The park had originally been created as a burial garden for the Lodi family (and their noblemen), Delhi Sultans. There are a number of beautiful medieval tombs on the grounds which are certainly well worth seeing, between which you have the green space of the park that people enjoy.
The most imposing structure in the Lodi Gardens is the Bara Gumbad Tomb, seen above, crafted of red, gray and black stones. Built around 1500 AD, it’s a large cuboidal tomb whose occupant is unknown. The tomb is capped by a large dome and you can walk in to see its interior. There is need for restoration, but some lovely tile work was included in its construction. Built as part of the Bara Gumbad Tomb is an old mosque, the Bara Gumbad Masjid. The mosque is not large but beautifully decorated with inscriptions from the Koran and has elaborate tilework.
Situated close to the Bara Gumbad complex is Shish Gumbad. This tomb was built around 1600 AD for an unknown nobleman. Smaller than it’s neighbor, the Bara Gumbad tomb, it’s known for the blue tiles that decoratively frame it. A little hard to spot but near the Bara Gumbad complex stands a well built tower, known as the Round Tower, dating from about the 14th century.
The Tomb of Muhammed Shah (about 1434 A.D.) is about a 10 minute walk from the Bara Gumbud complex. It’s built in an octagonal shape, which was to become the geometric designed favored by later Delhi sultans for their tombs. As you can see in the above photo, its main dome is surrounded by 8 smaller domes, or chattris.
Perhaps the most beautiful spot in the garden is the Athpula, a bridge located near the tomb of Sikander Lodi. Athpula means “eight piers”. The bridge was built during the late sixteenth century. Our final stop at the Lodi Garden was the Tomb of Sikander Lodi, near the garden’s north end. He was an important Delhi sultan who ruled from 1489 – 1517 A.D. His tomb is grand, in the middle of a walled-in-garden
The Lodi Garden is a very popular place for couples about to enter an arranged marriage to make a photo album of their “getting to know each other” days. Sort of an engagement album.
Before leaving the Lodi Garden, I need to point out that it’s a great location for bird watching. The most colorful birds are the flocks of ring-necked parakeets, but there are mynah birds in large numbers, lots of crows, and many other birds as well. Admission to the park is free so no reason not to enjoy a few hours in this beautiful place.