A historic park spread across more than 90 acres in the heart of New Delhi is the Lodi/Lodhi Gardens. The park just does not have trees, plants, flowers and green lawns, but also is home to some historical monuments which were built during the 15th and 16th centuries. A visit to this park will not only give you an experience of nature but also a peek into history.
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The Lodi Gardens was made more attractive by Lady Wellington in 1936. Lady Wellington was the wife of Marquess of Wellington, who was the Governor-General of India during the British rule at that time.
It was later re-designed in 1968 by two American landscape architects Joseph Allen Stein and Garrett Eckbo.
The garden is well placed between the famous Khan Market and Safdarjung's Tomb on Lodhi Road which makes it an ideal place for the citizens for their morning walks.
The garden is home to four monuments, the tomb of Mohammed Shah and Sikandar Lodi and two other structures called Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad which are examples of the architectural works of the Lodhi Dynasty in the 15th century.
Mohammed Shah's tomb is the first tomb to be built in the garden in the year 1444, by Ala-ud-Din Alam Shah, as a tribute to him, as he was the last ruler of the Sayyid dynasty. With very less architecture from both the dynasties of Sayyid and Lodhi, the garden turned out to be an important place.
Built by Ibrahim Lodi in 1517 is the tomb of Sikander Lodi which appears similar to the tomb of Mohammed Shah. As time went by two villages came up around the monuments and the villagers were later relocated in the year 1936 to make way for the gardens.
The garden was landscaped by the British and named Lady Wellington Park on its opening and was later renamed Lodi Gardens after independence.
Tomb of Mohammad Shah
The tomb of Mohammad Shah was built by his son Ala-ud-Din Alam Shah in 1444 in memory of his father who ruled from 1434 to 1444. With its proximity to the entrance of the garden, the tomb is clearly visible even from outside the premises.
The tomb is an octagonal chamber, with over-hangings on the roofs called Chhajjas and carvings on the corners.
Sheesh Gumbad in translation means glass dome, and is known for the blue tiles which added on to the beauty of the structure during its good times and have fallen off, though some of which can be spotted at the facade.
Believed to be built around the late 15th century or at the beginning of the 16th century, the Gumbad houses the graves of an unknown family.
Like most of the other monuments constructed in the same time frame, this one is also octagonal in design. With an attractive white dome and walls made of stone which have a very smooth and good finish, it is an example of the skills of the craftsmen.
Bara Gumbad or the big dome is a square tomb with a white dome. It was built during the Lodi dynasty sometime between 1451 and 1526. A mosque can be seen in the complex which has three domes and five arched openings.
The interiors of this structure is filled with heavy carvings of floral patterns, various geometric designs and holy inscriptions. The hall in front of the mosque once served as the guest house of the rulers and one can notice remains of a water tank in the courtyard.
Sikandar Lodi's Tomb
Ibrahim Lodi constructed the tomb in memory of his father Sikandar Lodi in the year 1517. The tomb to its credit had a very grand boundary wall which adds on to the experience which one would get at the tomb.
The structure is octagonal in shape and has three arched openings on the sides. With trees around the tomb and chirping of the birds it has a very peaceful atmosphere.
The stone bridge was built by Nawab Bahadur, who was a nobleman in the court of Akbar the great. Believed to be constructed sometime in the late 16th century, the bridge has seven arches and is supported by eight pillars. The bridge stands across the remains of a tributary of the river Yamuna.