(photos by Nirmal Dayani, a regular at our walks)
This sultry Sunday evening was spent exploring monuments at Lodi Garden. Our heritage walk starts at gate number one of the Lodi Garden. As we walk in the Bada Gumbad stands majestic right before us. But our our stop is towards the path on the left. After a brief introduction, we walk towards Mohammad Shah Sayyid’s tomb. The tomb is landscaped beautifully, surrounded by tall palm trees. As we enter the tomb chamber, we see a dog lying majestically on the grave of the Sultan. The moral of the story then is, that no matter how important a person you are, somewhere down the line a dog is going to sleep on you!!!
The path from the tomb leads towards the recently created butterfly conservatory, beyond which is the Bada Gumbad complex and the Shish Gumbad. The Bada Gumbad complex consists of a massive gateway topped by a huge dome (which gives the building its name, literally, big dome), a grave platform, a mosque, and a couple of rooms opposite the mosque. The Bada Gumbad mosque is particularly notable for its fine plasterwork decoration. The Shish Gumbad which stands facing the Bada Gumbad gets its name from the blue tile decoration on its façade, which shines like a mirror in the sun; shish means mirror and gumbad is dome. Both monuments are similar in design which is typical of architecture under the Lodi Sultans.
The next stop on our walk was Sikander Lodi’s tomb. The tomb is one of the early garden tombs of India and resembles a mini fortress. The tomb is an octagonal in plan, surrounded by a garden which is then enclosed within an enclosure wall complete with bastions and battlements. A little further is one of the surviving medieval bridges in Delhi, the Athpula built in the 16th century during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar. A couple of late Mughal monuments stand in close proximity to each other. One is a garden pavilion and other is a small mosque probably meant for private use. Both these were restored a few months ago before the Commonwealth Games and look particularly beautiful when illuminated. Our heritage walk ended at the stand alone turret a few yards ahead.
(posted by Kanika Singh, team member, Delhi Heritage Walks)