Lodhi Gardens – The green oasis in the heart of the city

Steeped in history and with its abundant flora and fauna, Lodhi Gardens is truly an inspiring park.

Its central location and the nearby iconic Khan Market is an added bonus to the attractions it offers. Early morning walkers, joggers and fitness enthusiasts are beckoned by the vast green lawns, tree lined paths and the huge variety of plants that this park offers.

The 90 acres of greenery is home to many historical structures, the oldest of which is the 15th century tomb of Mohammed Shah, a ruler of the Sayyid Dynasty. This mausoleum, built in 1444, displays features of both Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. The tomb of Sikander Lodhi was added in 1517 and further structures were built during the reign of  Emperor Akbar. He used the area within the garden as  an observatory and built a library to store the findings. Also during this period an eight pier bridge or Athpula was built. This protected archeological structure has eight columns and seven arches and was built over a tributary  of the river Yamuna.

Over time, villages developed in the areas around the tombs. These villages were removed in 1936 to allow for the redevelopment of the area into a park. The redesigned area was named Lady Willingdon Park in honour of the then Governor’s wife, who was instrumental in landscaping the area. The park was renamed Lodhi Gardens after Independence in 1947.

In 1968, Joseph Stein, an American architect was commissioned to redesign the gardens. In fact the present day Lodhi Gardens still retains the glasshouse made under his guidance.

Present day Lodhi Gardens is a beautiful park with palm trees, many varieties of native trees, lush green foliage plants and a variety of  flowering plants adding colour during the different seasons. With its serene lake and fountains, its dedicated herb and bonsai areas, it has something to satisfy all tastes. The New Delhi Municipal Corporation ( NDMC) has added a new temperature and moisture controlled glasshouse that houses happy, healthy air plants as well as a wide variety of ferns and foliage plants. There is a second new glasshouse that is dedicated to grow and showcase a variety of cacti and succulents.

One visit to Lodhi Gardens is not enough to appreciate this green oasis in the heart of the city, and in every   fresh visit, the visitor will find something new to behold.