The weather these days is excellent, neither too hot nor too cold and the evening of 24th was perfect to be walking around the Lodi Garden. The major buildings in this garden are from the Syed and Lodi period, with some Mughal structures. We entered from gate number one, taking the path straight ahead. Turning left from where the path ends, we walked towards Mohammad Shah’s tomb. The tomb is undergoing conservation work and was looking all pink!!!! (see picture). Guess, that’s what happens to recently conserved buildings! The landscaping of the park is well done, so the monuments are especially highlighted. The tomb on a raised mound and its surrounding area lined with pine trees looked lovely. We then walked back towards the Bara Gumbad. The mosque in the Bara Gumbad complex is exquisitely carved. We were in for extra entertainment, as a fashion shoot was underway at the mosque. We all forgot the heritage part for a moment and happily stared at the model who was dressed in a pink and purple western gown. The next stop was Shish Gumbad, with blue tile work highlighting its façade. Besides the usual crowd of evening walkers, we could see loads of people relaxing about with family and friends at the Garden. Sikander Lodi’s tomb was the next stop. The white plaster restoration work on the body of the tomb is an eyesore. Also, the Ashok trees are directly in the line of vision. With better planning, the tomb could have been a better sight. Still, it is an imposing building and its interior has some lovely tile work in blue, green and yellow. It’s amazing that it has managed to survive for so many centuries. The constant cooing of the pigeons adds to the charm of the building. Next, walking around the fountain, we came to the Athpula, a 16th century bridge originally built over a stream flowing into the river Yamuna. Now there is an artificial lake with a fountain which goes really high and one can see some beautiful aquatic birds at this spot. Nearing to the end of the walk, we saw some late Mughal structures. The decorations on the arch of the pavilion are very similar to what we can see at gateway to Safdarjung’s tomb (very close to Lodi Garden). We tried to locate the newly established butterfly conservatory; someone told us that it was near the bamboo garden. We figured that it might have meant the National Bonsai Park (I wonder, what is so ‘national’ about it). Anyway, on reaching the bonsai park we were told that the butterfly conservatory was located in exactly the opposite end of the park. Leaving the discovery of butterflies for the some other day, we made our way towards the exit. It was getting dark and the birds on tress were making a huge racket. We could hardly see any, but judging by their noise there must have been hundreds.
(posted by Kanika Singh & photos by Rajesh Ranjan, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)