The metro’s blue line took Chantal and I away from the hustle and bustle of Paharganj and into the serenity of South Delhi. We were here to visit Lodi Gardens. This ninety acre park is full of beautiful flora as well as some astonishing architecture. After walking through a green house and along the park’s jogging path, we arrived at the tomb of Sikander Lodi, which is enclosed by four walls. After taking a few photos of the tomb and relaxing in the grass, we climbed atop the walls and walked around a portion of them, all the while being serenaded by the songs of countless birds.
Next we walked over the Athpula or “Eight Piered” bridge. From here we could see many beautiful birds including a crane and dozens of pure white geese. Unlike the Canadian geese at home, these reminded us of the mother goose stories we read as children. After passing many couples, affectionately hiding beneath the cover of green leaves, we came upon Bara Gumbad. The literal translation is “big dome”. While it appears to be a tomb, the purpose for its construction is debated. Next to the Bara Gumbad is the mosque, which is full of intricate designs and islamic and hindu inscriptions.
Across from the “big dome” and mosque is the Shisha Gumbad, or “glass dome”. The dome of this tomb was originally covered with reflective material, hence the name. Historians are unsure who is buried here, however it is speculated that they were part of the Lodi family. Outside, families and friends sat, enjoying the winter sun. Large hawks gathered and dove, catching food that two men were throwing in the air. It was quite a sight indeed and surely something we do not see at home. It made me think of how beautifully the people and the animals coexist here, even in the middle of the capital city. Next we walked to the oldest tomb in the park, the tomb of Mohammed Shah, dating back to 1444. Surrounded by tall palms, this tomb had some fantastic acoustics, that of which a fellow visitor was experiencing as her “woo” echoed back at her. Thinking she was alone, she embarrassingly laughed upon seeing us behind her. I immediately joined in with a whistle.
After leaving the park, Chantal and I decided to walk around the outside of it and view the beautiful upperclass homes of South Delhi. With immaculate landscaping, private security and three story homes, this area was a nice change from what we had experienced in Delhi so far. We walked for quite a while and then came upon Khan Market, an upscale bazaar that reminded us of home. While we only bought some Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer, the shops here included an Apple retailer, designer fashion and pricier restaurants. As the sun set, we decided to head back before it was too late in the day. We jumped on another Metro train and headed back to Paharganj. After a restful sleep, we awoke at 5:30am to catch our train out of the city. Walking down Main Bazaar road at this time was an enjoyable and unique experience. The street was still in a dream state and only a few people had started their day. One man was burning his garbage in the street, which added a nice glow to our exit.