About Lodi Gardens
The Lodi Gardens are a 90 acre city park in New Delhi, India. Named after the fifth and final dynasty of the Delhi sultinate, the Lodis, the gardens were founded in the 20th century.
History of the Lodi Gardens
The Lodi Gardens became the park they are now in the 1930s, when the wife of a British expat, Lady Willingdon, cleared two villages in order to landscape a park in the area containing Lodi era (late 15th/early 16th century) tombs. The gardens were originally named after her, but after Indian Independence in 1947, they were renamed the Lodi Gardens,
The most notable of these tombs are the twin tombs of Bada Gumbad (Big Dome) and Shish Gumbad (glazed tomb): the identity of those buried inside are not confirmed, but it is suggested they belong to one of the senior families at court during the Lodi dynasty.
Elsewhere in the gardens lie the tombs of Mohammed Shah and Sikander Lodi, both of which are relatively rare examples of architecture from their respective periods. They incorporate both Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture, including chhatris (dome-shaped pavilions) with lotus motifs and ornamental pinnacles.
Lastly, look out for Athpula, an eight-piered bridge across a small lake built by the third Mughal emperor, Akbar, in the late 16th century.
Lodi Gardens today
The Lodi Gardens today are an oasis of greenery, shade and calm amidst the hustle and bustle of Delhi. They’re a great place just to watch the world go by or catch up on some reading, and are popular with locals for weekend jogs and picnics in particular.
The tombs are well worth visiting: their architecture is stunning and they remain an important piece of history tucked away in the often bleak Delhi landscape, although today they are in a state of slight disrepair.
The gardens are also an important sanctuary for nature in amongst Delhi’s polluted urban landscape, estimated to home to more than 100 species of trees and 50 species of birds and butterflies.
Getting to the Lodi Gardens
The Lodi Gardens are close (by Delhi standards) to the India Gate, and about 1km several metro stops, including Lok Kalyan Marg (Yellow Line) and Khan Market (Violet Line). As with all transportation in Delhi, it’s normally quickest and least hassle to get a tuk tuk (via Ola or on the street) or taxi/Uber if you’re coming from another tourist sight.
With a history dating back to the 10th century, and the 3rd largest city in the world today, Delhi remains a popular starting or finishing point for travellers exploring Northern India. Beyond the chaos and the smog, Delhi is crammed with rich and varied historic sites which help tell the story of this remarkable city.