You may be surprised but Delhi is one of the greenest capitals in the world. Unlike Mumbai and Bangalore, Delhi city still doesn’t have the tall high rises that would make it look like a cement capital. A walk around the Lodhi garden, the Deer park, the Nehru park and the drive towards the Delhi ridge would make you believe what I am saying. The fresh air that whiffs past you, when you roll down your windows, makes you feel liberated even on the hottest of the hot summer days.
While I usually prefer staying indoors during the fiery summer days, while looking for things to do on a weekend apart from the regular movie and multiplex fare, I decided to take a walk in the Lodhi Gardens, one fine Saturday morning. Being an avid photographer and history/heritage buff, my intention was to focus on capturing the tombs in the best lighting conditions, but what took my breath away was the sheer variety of the flora and fauna in the garden. This was my first walk in the the garden, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Being a globetrotter, thanks to the various exciting assignments that keep my husband travelling across the world, I keep travelling. It’s time for me to explore and experience Delhi, the city of the Djinns and more outdoor things to do in Delhi!
One of the most famous picnic spots for Delhi-ites, the Lodhi Garden is a well laid British garden of 20th century. The monuments within the gardens follow the typical Sayyid-Lodi pattern of architecture. According to figures provided by the garden’s management, the 90-acre green oasis in central Delhi has over 200 species of trees, 50 species of birds and 40 species of flowers. No wonder then that the garden is known as Delhi’s green lung! Lodhi Gardens is a rare space in Delhi that attracts such a wide range of life forms—from flowers, trees, birds, butterflies, ducks, fish and dogs to politicians, bureaucrats, ambassadors, industrialists, novelists, columnists, loners, lovers, tourists and hawkers. All walk freely in this huge expanse of greenery – for recreation, as part of a walking tour group or simply to find peace and tranquillity.
The Lodhi Gardens has many species of trees, a Rose Garden with more than 200 varieties of roses, and a Green House, where plants are grown. Some of the prominent varieties of trees in this garden are Neem, Eucalyptus, Chinar, Chir, Deodar amongst others. I am sure there is more to the trees about the origins, mythological references, medical benefits and anecdotes about the serene, age-old trees in the Lodhi Gardens, than the shade they provide. A true Kaleidoscope, the place does full justice to its name, and makes me come back for more! Watch out this space as I collect more than just leaves fallen all over and find more alternative things to do as part of independent walks or paid walking tours and more!