Following an epic, decade-long restoration project, a heritage park in the Indian capital of Delhi has reopened its doors to the public. The Sunder Nursery covers a mammoth 90 acres, and is home to a whole host of monuments, some of which date back to the 16th century.
“The late landscape architect Prof. Mohammad Shaheer designed this new city park along a central axial spine, around which gardens and landscapes are arranged”, explains Archana Saad Akhtar, Senior Programme Officer at Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). “Water features, ponds and lakes are part of the masterplan, as well as nursery beds, a flower showcase, arboretum, rose garden and orchards.”
The restoration included careful conservation of several ancient structures, as Archana explains. “Within the Sunder Nursery / Batashewala complex stand 15 monuments, including tombs, garden pavilions, wells, and even a 16th century lotus pond. As part of the partnership project, all these monuments – including six of national importance protected by the Archaeological Survey of India – have been painstakingly conserved, and as a result are today designated as World Heritage monuments.”
There’s an amphitheatre in the Park too, which Archana says will host various cultural events and performances.
India’s Golden Triangle is one of the most iconic routes that you can explore in the country and is home to some of its most famous monuments including the Taj Mahal. Most tourists who visit India for the first time opt to travel this route between New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra as it offers a glimpse into India’s rich culture and history, and because it can easily be done within a few days. If you only have 3-6 days to spare and want to make sure that you see some of the best highlights in the country’s northwest, then read on for my guide of the top places to visit and how to plan a tour in the Golden Triangle!
What you need to know before traveling to India
India’s peak tourism season runs from around October/November to March. During this time, you should expect significant hordes of tourists at the major sightseeing landmarks. If you visit in the other season, the temperature and humidity can be quite unbearable.
Visiting parts of the ancient Mughal empire in New Delhi, India, including Humayan’s Tomb, the Red Fort, and other monuments to this great era of history.
It was a hot and humid summer day in August and I was standing in front of a mausoleum that could be considered more an opulent palace with its intricate marble borders and panels that were glowing in the bright sun.
My family and I were atHumayun’s Tomb, considered to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra in India. We were on our annual trip toNew Delhi visiting family and friends and at long last had managed to steal a few moments to do some sightseeing.
Even though I had lived in Delhi for some time, I had never seen this magnificent building before and so I was glad that I was here.
Tourists don’t usually stop long in New Delhi, continuing on to the Taj Mahal just four hours away, or Varanasi a little further to the east. But the Indian capital is having a moment. With world-class restaurants opening, luxury hotels popping up and a burgeoning creative scene, it’s definitely worth a few days of your time. Sample the lauded local cuisine, soak up the atmosphere of timeless Old Delhi and visit trendy zones in the south; with India having just marked its 70th anniversary since independence, there are also dozens of museums and monuments for getting your history fix.
What to do
New Delhi is a melting pot of ethnicities and religions – check out the impressive array of religious buildings it has to offer. Near to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib you’ll find the Sacred Heart Cathedral, as well as a couple of historic Hindu temples.
New Delhi has been inhabited for several millennia now, and has numerous beautifully preserved monuments to prove it—including two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Humayan’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar. If you find yourself burning out on history, lighten things up at the oddly educational Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, or refine your sun salutations at Sivananda Yoga.
The best way to get around is via black-and-yellow taxis or auto-rickshaws. Make sure to negotiate a price first. New Delhi is structured around two central promenades called the Rajpath (King’s Way) and the Janpath (Queen’s Way). The Rajpath stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Viceroy’s House) in the center of the city to the India Gate, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe.