After spending most of our lives caught in the concrete jungle that is Delhi, we get little time to do much else. Luckily, the capital has its fair share of gardens and parks that provide respite from the onslaught of technology and machinery we see everywhere. These parks serve as a reminder of easier and cleaner times and should be on the must-visit list of residents of the city. Here is a look at some such places.
When the words Hauz Khas village are said, most people picture a narrow lane dotted with pricey nightclubs, restaurants on either side. This was not always the case. Home to tombs from the Mughal era in Delhi, the Deer Park is accessible via Hauz Khas, as well as Green Park, Safdarjung Enclave. One of the main attractions in the District Park, which is connected to Deer Park is the Hauz Khas lake. Although not in the best shape, the lake will give you much needed respite from having to look at cars people, and buildings all day. Due to its vast swathes of greenery, the Deer park attracts a large number of people who come here for their evening or early morning walks. It is quite crowded at most times, and even at 7am, one can find great activity here.
Where: Hauz Khas
Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas
One of the most visited and popular picnic spots in New Delhi, Lodhi Gardens is a vast stretch of greenery. It is dotted with water bodies, jogging tracks and an ample amount of tree cover under which one can relax and camp on a lazy day. For those fond of birdwatching, it also attracts various species of birds such as parakeets, owls, babblers, mynahs and kites. Historically, the park has been home to many tombs dating back to the Sayyid Dynasty from the 15th century. One of them is that of Muhammad shah, the third ruler of the Dynasty, and another is of Sikander Lodi. The octagonal dome structures are known for their intricate decorations. The tombs here are a testament to the austerity and simplicity of the Lodhi Dynasty. Interestingly, theirs would be the last Dynasty before the advent of Mughal rule in India.
Where: Lodhi Road
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh
Situated partially in the North campus area of Delhi University, the Delhi Ridge has the distinction of being the only natural forest in New Delhi and is home to multiple species of birds, insects and plants. The ridge is the northern extension of the Aravalli Ranges and is estimated to date back a staggering 1500 million years. The park is known for its lush green cover and attracts joggers, walkers or simply sitters. Historically speaking, the park includes many monuments from the time of the infamous revolt of 1857.
Where: Near Delhi University
Nearest Metro Station: Vishwavidyalaya
Central Park is situated right in the middle of Connaught Place. It offers much needed relief to many who visit CP and is also home to cultural events on a regular basis. One of the defining features of this park is the 60 foot high Indian flag, which is the second largest flag in the country.
Where: Inner circle, Connaught Place
Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk
Mahatma Gandhi Park
Located near Chandni Chowk, the park was built during the 19th century, during the British rule. It was known as ‘Company Bagh’ and was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Park after independence. As a tribute to the charismatic leader, the park also houses a statue of Gandhi. Open to the public on sundays, the park provides a stark contrast to the chaos and noise of old Delhi roads.
Where: Connaught Place
Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk
Mughal Gardens are situated on the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan, and have been inspired by the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir. The gardens in Delhi incorporate English as well as Mughal landscaping styles. The gardens are open to the public only for a limited time of the year. This year, they will be open from the 14th February. There are various sections such as the Musical Garden, Spiritual Garden , Herbal Garden and Bonsai Garden. Entry timings are restricted from 9:30am to 4 PM.
Where: Rashtrapati Bhawan
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat
Garden of Five Senses
Spread over 20 acres of land, the garden is one of the largest spaces designed for leisure in the capital. Regular musical performances are also held at the amphitheatre here. The garden is divided into different sections; such as Khas Bagh and Neel Bagh. Khas Bagh is modelled after the Mughal Gardens. Canals and fountains are some of the prominent attractions here. Neel Bagh houses water lilies in a pool. For those who enjoy commercial activities while being surrounded by nature, there is also a food court and a shopping area.
Nearest Metro Station: Saket