Lodhi Gardens Delhi’s Oasis of calm

Students of Summer Fields School, Gurgaon, take part in the heritage walk at Lodhi Gardens conducted by The Indian Express in association with INTACH and ASI

A schools' initiative from The Express Group
Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. It covers more than 50 schools in Delhi and NCR.

Quest aims at stirring awareness and opinions. Today, when all that children see are shopping malls and cineplexes, we at The Indian Express want to show a completely different picture of this city to them. Delhi has changed beyond nostalgia and recognition since Independence. How many of these kids know of the 'Seven Cities' of Delhi or the stories of the pigeon fliers of Old Delhi? The idea behind such an activity is to create awareness about the various structures and monuments that the students do not know about. This is a specially designed programme, which will help the students appreciate the rich culture and background of this city. In association with INTACH and ASI, this is a small effort on our behalf to depict a phase of our national life and the decay of a whole culture, a particular mode of thought and living. The visit is followed by the students sending in articles, pictures, poems, paintings, and collages to express their experiences about the heritage walk.

A mix of our heritage and nature's beauty
It was a pleasant and sunny day, and after getting stuck in traffic for some time, we finally reached our destination: the Lodhi Gardens. We were helped with information along the way by our guide, Ms Harika. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Saiyads and the Lodhis, the vast grounds of the gardens, once a village, and the structures standing there, have been beautifully maintained and preserved. Various medieval monuments like tombs and mosques give the gardens a mystical charm. The tomb of Muhammad Shah is built in an octagonal pattern, with a central octagonal chamber, verandahs, arched openings on each side, and sloping buttresses. Apart from this, there is the Bara Gumbad, which is a square tomb with an imposing dome. The Sheesh Gumbad is also built in the square pattern, with a double-storied appearance, and looks much like the Bara Gumbad. Its ceiling has incised plaster work with floral patterns and inscriptions from the Quran. One can still see traces of the blue tiles that once adorned it and gave it its name. The tomb of Ibrahim Lodhi is built in the octagonal pattern, much like that of Muhammad Shah. Apart from the historical structures, I was very impressed by the environmental issues that have been taken into consideration by the government. The gardens have a variety of plants and trees, and me and my friends were impressed by the tall and huge Neem, Deodar and Chir trees, as well as herbal plants. We also learnt about birds that are commonly seen here from the billboards displayed but did not see any ourselves. I would like to thank The Indian Express for this memorable experience, which was a fun-filled way of getting close to our heritage.

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