Heritage park in Delhi reopens after ten years

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The raised sandstone walkways of the Sunder Nursery

After a decade-long restoration, Sunder Nursery in Delhi has once again opened its doors to the public. Covering a massive 90 acres in the Indian capital, near Humayun’s Tomb, it houses a whole host of historic monuments, while also being a botanical garden.

The monuments in the park include the Lakkarwala Burj, Sunder Burj, Sunderwala Mahal, Mirza Muzaffar Hussain’s Tomb, Chitra Batashewala, and an unknown Mughal Tomb, all of which were given World Heritage by UNESCO in 2016.

The renovated Sunderwala Burj tomb in Sunder Nursery

There are a total of fifteen monuments in the Sunder Nursery complex, from tombs, garden pavilions, wells, and even a 16th-century lotus pond. The gardens along the central vista are inspired by Mughal traditions and have lotus-shaped marble fountains and raised sandstone pathways.

The park even has its own amphitheater, which Archana Saad Akhtar, Senior Programme Officer at Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), says will be used to host various cultural events and performances. It will “provide a platform for local musicians and music traditions within this picturesque setting.”

Restoration Magic
The amphitheater at Sunder Nursery

The AKTC which helped restore the park also hopes that the packed calendar of events, scheduled from 2019 onwards, will attract more members of the public. These include heritage and ecology walks, conservation, exhibitions, craft fairs, public lectures, and film screenings.

Visitors to the park can expect to find both formal landscaped gardens and forested biodiversity zones. Sunder Nursery is home to over 280 native tree species, 20 acres of nursery beds, 80 species of birds, and 36 butterfly species.

The Lakkarwala Burj

Since opening on February 22, Sunder Nursery has been incredibly well-received.

Dotted with geometric flower beds, walkways, pavilions, and marble fountains the park was designed by the late landscape architect Prof. Mohammad Shaheer. It serves as a much-needed respite from the smog-choked streets of Delhi.

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