Today was a perfect day for an evening stroll at the Lodi Garden. One of the most beautiful parks in the city of Delhi, the Lodi Garden is also full of tombs of some of the Sultans of Delhi. Our first stop on this heritage walk is in fact the tomb of Mohammad Shah Sayyid, of the Sayyid dynasty. It stands prominently on elevated ground and the perimeter is marked by tall palms in a way that the beauty of the tomb is highlighted. Next to stands ‘Buddha’s Coconut’ or ‘narikel’ the tallest tree in this park. Taking the route around the butterfly conservatory, we next go up to the Bada Gumbad. Literally the ‘big dome’ it is complex with a gateway, a grave platform, a mosque and some rooms. The Bada Gumbad mosque is one of the most elegant of historic buildings in Delhi, for its delicate plaster decoration. Even though a lot of decoration is now gone or deteriorated, still the patterns are remarkable for their careful craftsmanship.Just opposite to Bada Gumbad, stands the Shish Gumbad or the ‘mirrored dome’. Both these buildings are alike in construction; made of the local grey stone (quartzite) their façade appears to be divided into multiple stories. But that actually is not the case; it is a single building from the inside. This style is typical of Lodi period buildings. A little further is the tomb of another king, Sikander Lodi. His tomb is like a mini fortress with tall walls and bastions. Incidentally, the name ‘Sikander’ is a synonym for ‘Alexander’ the famous warrior king. Within these walls the tomb stands in a garden. It is remarkable for its tile work in the tomb chamber. As we walk along the tomb walls one comes across a lake over which stands a bridge. This is Athpula (or eight piers, literally). Way back in the 16th century, when this bridge was built, there was a natural steam running under it. The stream is long gone and the present lake is an artificial creation. Still, it adds to the charm of the Lodi Garden. Walking over the bridge into the eastern part of the Garden, there are a couple of late Mughal buildings: a small mosque and a garden pavilion. Both are now illuminated, after the beautification efforts for Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The last stop on our walk was the stand along turret, which once probably was part of a boundary wall.
(posted by Awadhesh Tripathi & Kanika Singh, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)