The daughter was busy at a Christmas carnival in school. The husband was away on tour. I found myself with a few hours to spare. Rather than snuggle under a cosy blanket with a book and a steaming cuppa (very tempting indeed), pulled on the warmies, boots, muffler, earmuffs and cap. Looking ready to tackle the temperatures of Iceland, I made my way to Lodi Gardens.
Lodi Gardens remains a favorite spot for most. One of the few havens of green in the heart of the city with myriad possibilities. You can play, picnic, connect with family, walk by yourself ; a modern day imagery juxtaposed so easily against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful monuments Delhi is proud to have as its legacy.
The long drive was well worth it. With the afternoon sun making an appearance I walked along the paths I had tread ever so often as a college goer. Stopped by at a favorite corner to get the best angle for a shot. Stood under the dense foliage to let the green take over. Ambled my way midst groups singing, picnicking, lazing, kids playing Frisbee, cricket, badminton (yes, it was nice to find a whole lot of sporty kids than those glued to their cell phones or video games). Breathed in the aroma of adrak ki chai and bhunna chana which came wafting through. Walked up and down, in and out of the monuments. Allowed the magic to calm me down and warm me all over.
The walk begins
Walking over the Athpula ( eight piered) bridge, built in the late sixteenth century by Mughal Bahadur, a nobleman in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, one comes across the only water body in this park spread over 90 acres .
The Sheesh Gumbad
The Sheesh Gumbad, housing graves of an unknown family, dates back to the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. It is square in architectural style as opposed to a lot of the monuments of the period which were octagonal. Its setting amidst the age-old darakht (trees) and the spread out green commands grandeur and pride.
The Bara Gumbad
A square structure built during the Lodi period (1451-1526), the Bara Gumbad is by far the most imposing of all the structures in Lodi Gardens. In the centre is a kind of gateway with the remains of a water tank in the courtyard before it. To the left is what served as a resting area and a guest house and to the right is a three-domed mosque with five arched openings. The interiors are beautifully inscribed with aayats from the Quran and with geometric and floral designs.
The tomb of Muhammad Shah
This octagonal structure with beautifully carved chambers, chajjas and guldastas was built in the year 1444 for Muhammad Shah, a ruler of the Sayyid dynasty.
The foliage of Lodi gardens and the setting sun
Two hours later only a phone call forced me out of my reverie; else I could have spent some more just standing and staring. Lodi Gardens, you are my very own haven of peace, of memories, of nostalgia. So long as I keep coming back to you, the dreamer me in will stay alive.
Some favorite shots before I left