With temperatures flaring up again and no rains, no respite in sight, it would be a good idea to visit the Lodhi gardens for it is after all, one of the favorite places to chill; by the Delhi crowd. Also a favorite place for morning walk or a jog or two by the stratospheric people who reside in nearby kothis (bungalows) and of course, some well maintained medieval monuments from the 15th century that dot the park.
Originally laid out by the Lady Willingdon, wife of the 22nd Viceroy and Governor General of India, the park was landscaped by the American architect Joseph A Stein and later, by a Japanese team.
The tomb of Muhammad Shah is the earliest of the monuments here, mid 15th century. It is also quite well preserved. Notice the octagonal shape and the pavilions on top. The domes and pavilions were originally covered in colored tiles, mostly blue.
|Tomb of Muhammad Shah|
A short walk through the 90 acre gardens until we come to the next monument ...
The Bara Gumbad or the big dome, is next. Constructed in the late 15th century, the domed free standing tomb has a mosque on one side and a mehman khana or guest house, on the other side. All the three buildings came up separately but are on a common platform.
The mosque has extensive carvings in what appeared to be arabic lettering, but elements of Hindu architecture are clearly visible in the Bara Gumbad itself
In front of the Bara gumbad is the Sheesh gumbad, another tomb with unknown inhabitants. A few blue tiles still remain, and sheesh meaning glass, one can't stop wondering about the personages interred inside, more than 500 years ago ..
The last major monument is the tomb of Sikandar Lodhi, early 16th century and situated within battlements. The tomb is actually quite small in size, another octagonal structure and similar to the tomb of Muhammad Shah Sayyid but without the chhajjas or pavilions. The pavilions occur atop the battlements.
|Tomb of Sikandar Lodhi|
The place was quite deserted at the time of my visit, quiet and serene. One could sit down, soak in the atmosphere. Couldn't shake off the feeling of being watched, somehow; that's what some of these tombs do to you!
There is a water body on one side of the tomb of Sikandar Lodhi, and an arched bridge called the Athpulla. Centuries ago, the water body was connected to the river Yamuna. A few ducks are resident here, and I could also see one cormorant dunking into the water for tidbits
|The Athpulla arched bridge|