Arguably the most delightful park in Delhi, surrounded by numerous heritage buildings, Delhi Lodi Garden originated in 1444 with the construction of the imposing, vaulted-door tomb of Mohammed Shah. He was the final ruler of the Sayyids, the dynasty credited with bringing order to Delhi after the assaults by the Mongol general Tamburlaine the Great.
The Tomb of Sikander Lodi bears stylistic resemblances to Mohammed Shah’s but is rectangular and stands on a raised plinth. Sikander Lodi was the last of the sultans before the Mughal Empire came to pre-eminence in India. This tomb was renovated by the British colonial authorities in the nineteenth century.
Perhaps the most attractive structure hereabouts is the Sheesh Gumbad, remarkable for the glass-effect of its dome which is in fact created by a special kind of tile glazing. An air of mystery surrounds this building, as an unknown family is buried behind its walls.
The garden aspect of the premises was created by the British in the 1930s and necessitated the removal of two small villages that had grown up around the heritage sites. The then Governor-General of British India’s wife, Lady Willingdon, was tasked with the design of the park. The park was named after her until independence when its current name came into use.
Last but not least, the Bara Gumbad is a domed gatehouse adjacent to a triple-domed mosque. Elsewhere in the gardens you can admire the ruins of an ancient waterway, an arched, Mughal-era bridge and the remains of a reservoir.
Delhi Lodi Garden is an important conservation area, for very little architecture from the early sultanates has survived into modern times. If you want a guided tour arrange one with an official Archaeological Survey of India guide. You can also obtain a brochure that tells you all about the history and layout of the site.
Text © 2011 Abiyoyo SL