Friday, September 2, 2011

Lush open space
Men resting in the shade in front of Bada Gumbad
Open blue sky and light fluffs of clouds make for a perfect day at Lodi Garden. It's like the right mix of cheese and mayonnaise for your sandwich.

The least you can do to a place you've heard and read thousand times is to harbor some sense of awe. But then, not too far from the entrance my attention was distracted by two foreign toddlers and their mother. The younger of the two sibling was nagging his mother to carry him. The lady nicely told her son in a strong American accent that it was a perfect day and that he must walk like his sister. Soon they settled down at the spacious lawn by the Bada Gumbad and the kids started chasing each other in a playful gesture, accompanied by shrill cries. The mother just sat there smiling, enjoying a perfect day under the Indian sky.  They would have been to may gardens around the world, yet I reckon they would have seen nothing like this.

Bada gumbad
Lodi garden is nicely tucked away amidst the chaos of the city. Flanked on one side by khan market and Safdurjung Tomb on another side,it is one of the oldest garden in Delhi. And unlike many, this garden is daubed with  old monuments and huge trees.

It is an enigmatic place. It is like opening a door to a 16th century world. One can't help but think of  how this might have been at its prime. Could people have come here just to take a nap on a hot day? It seems more probable because those days there were no AC's or coolers but only shades and trees to cool them off. And a walk to this garden is like a dose of medicine to renew your mind.

Shards of light touching the ground
Yoga practitioners and health enthusiast flocked the garden in the early mornings. At noon people came here just to be at peace with nature or to share a simple lunch. As I walk down the little slope from Sheesh Gumbad I saw an affectionate sight of three laborer friends bonding over some Parathas and Bhindi fries, closely guarded by their bicycles.

The slope spreads into a vast greenery. But beneath the lush Carpet of grass lies the remains and crumples of many  civilization, buried in time. This place was once the powerhouse of the Lodi dynasty and it was inhabited till 1936, before they were relocated for creating the garden. But Monuments like the Sikandar Tomb has survived the rubs of time in good condition.

Sikandar Tomb
At the lake, lovers flocked to watch swans paddling away in gaggle. It is one of the nicest spot to get your pictures taken. Some more adventurous folks dipped their feet in the water to cool themselves from the heat. At the end of the lake is the famous Athpula bridge build 16th century, by one of the nobleman in the court of Akbar. It is a delight to watch the lake from the bridge. More than 25 species of birds are known to have lived here. Among them are some migratory birds, that frequented the lake.

Tourist getting their picture taken
Swans relishing in the water (Athpula bridge at the backgound)
At sunset, all the monuments bask in glory of the same sun that has visited them for centuries. Though they are in ruins, they'll outlive us like they have outlived our forefathers. Such is life musings.

This garden no doubt has faithfully served Delhites for centuries. It is nothing less than the ventilation of the
Squirrel day out
Sheesh Gumbad
View of Bada Gumbad from Sheesh Gumbad
Lovers in each other's company
Pillars and sun bathed corridor at Mohammed Shah's Tomb
Mohammed Shah's tomb


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