The lush green lawns of Lodhi Gardens are one of the brightest spots in the poshest area of Delhi. As a Dehlite, I have also enjoyed many evenings here, strolling along the immaculately crafted pathways around faithfully restored monuments. There is nothing new that I have to say about them and so will refrain from doing so. I just want to share a few images from a walk last winter.
To start with, this was the original name of the park. Lady Willingdon was the wife of the Governor-General and the Garden was built in 1936 by relocating the local villagers at that time. Yes, it used to be more of a village although it is very difficult to imagine that now.
The first monument I came across was the Sikander Lodhi’s Tomb in the southern corner of the garden. It is somewhat austere and is enclosed by high walls. The central dome is octagonal as was the norm for royal tombs in those times.
From there I slowly climbed the Athpula, the picturesque bridge over the green canal. However, it is not a Lodhi era construction. It came up much later during the Mughal reign.
As I walked along, I saw a few smaller, unnamed monuments too.
Finally, I moved towards the heart of the garden, that is the Bada Gumbad and the adjacent three-domed mosque. The Bada Gumbad is not actually a tomb but just a structure used as an entry point to the mosque. Even if there ever was a tomb, it has probably been removed. However, it is really huge and dominates the skyline of the gardens along with the mosque. But the best view was the lightsaber that waited inside, along with the intricate craftsmanship on the ceilings.
The Sheesh Gumbad (Glass Dome) is located not very far from here. The occupants of this tomb are also not known but it is striking with its glazed tiles and patches of blue on pristine white surface.
Finally, I arrived at the magnificent Muhammad Shah’s Tomb, the one belonging to the short-lived Sayyid Era rather than the Lodhi era. It is another octagonal construction with a spacious pillared veranda surrounding it. Not only the King but many of his relatives are buried inside this tomb.
Lodhi Gardens, although well-known, is seldom explored for its archaeological heritage and I was glad to do so for once. So, this was all for today. Will be back with more of Delhi soon.
PS: While you are in that area, you can also visit the famous Safdarjung’s Tomb as well as the not-so-famous Najaf Khan’s Tomb, the mausoleum of a lesser-known Persian nobleman.