Parks and Gardens
The Delhi Ridge
This is the oldest mountain chain in the country and is an integral part of the national capital territory. The ridge is an extension of the Aravalli mountain range and has a strategic importance. It functions as the 'green zone’ of the capital city. It shields the city from the hot winds of Rajasthan and helps to retains moisture in the region. It has been divided into four zones, namely the southern ridge, south-central ridge, central or the new ridge and northern or the Old Delhi ridge. The ridge is a haven for migratory birds.
The western extension of the Rashtrapati Bhawan overlooks the famous Mughal Gardens that were designed by Lutyens. Here the principles of floral symmetry and natural harmony are extended into a beautiful landscape complete with a huge range of exotic flowers. Many ornamental fountains, gazebos and screens combine with multiple trees, flowers and shrubs to create a natural paradise. This is why the Mughal Garden is also called as ‘God’s own Heaven’. The garden was planted in such a manner that the flora has developed in a tropical profusion forming wonderful patterns of numerous lawns and waterways. The Mughal Garden is open to public every spring season of the year.
Buddha Jayanti Park
The Buddha Jayanti Smarak Park was founded to honour the 2500th anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha's attaining nirvana. The park covers a major portion of the Southern Ridge of Delhi. The sprawling lush, green Buddha Jayanti Park has been a favoured haunt among Delhites for years. Its attraction lies in the manicured lawns, sloping terrains and the mammoth trees. The park is known for its sapling of the Bodhi tree which was brought from Sri Lanka. It is extremely picturesque with its colourful flowers, bright green grass and paved pathways.
These gardens were earlier called the Lady Willington Park. The garden has been brilliantly landscaped and is very well laid out with small water bodies and a jogging track. The gardens house the National Bonsai Park that has a fine selection of bonsais. The Lodi Gardens has many species of trees including a Rose Garden and a Green House. The garden is at its best during the months of February through March. Many species of birds like the babblers, parakeets, kites, owls and kingfishers also throng this area.
The Lodi Gardens are a popular picnic spot among the people. The Lodi Gardens houses Muhammad Shah's Tomb. It is an octagonal tomb with a central chamber surrounded by a veranda having three arched openings. There are eight graves inside the tomb of which the central one is most probably the grave of Muhammad Shah. The gardens are also home to the Bara Gumbad and Masjid.
The Bara Gumbad is a square tomb situated 300 meters northeast of Muhammad Shah's tomb. The Bara Mosque has facades and turrets and was built during the reign of Sultan Lodi. This masjid is a situated on the western side of the tomb. The gardens also enclose the Sheesh Gumbad which is a few meters north of the Bara-Gumbad mosque which lies near another Lodi tomb, the Sheesh Gumbad. The most famous of tombs in the Lodi Gardens is Sikandar Lodi's Tomb.
The Nehru Park is located in one of the plushest localities of the capital. It is next to the Chanakyapuri Diplomatic Enclave. The park was named after India's first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. The park is spread over an area of more than 80 acres. It is striking beautiful with floral collections and picturesque little mounds and rocks which are inscribed with the sayings of Nehru. Due to the pleasant and peaceful ambience of the park, it has recently become quite popular with picnickers and young couples of the capital. Fitness enthusiasts can be regularly seen during the mornings and evenings.
The major attraction of the Park is Morning Ragas - the musical concerts and the art events that are conducted every Sunday morning. World-famous musicians and vocalists of India perform in these concerts that are usually held for two hours amidst the landscaped lush gardens of the Nehru Park. The park is thronged by people looking forward to the free yoga classes which are conducted by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corp as a part of Delhi government's initiative to keep the residents of Delhi fit.
The Garden of Five Senses
This famous park is located in Said-Ul-Azaib village in the vicinity of the Mehrauli heritage area. The park was developed by the Delhi Tourism Transportation Development Corporation. It was inaugurated in February 2003. The garden has been designed with a view to stimulate all the five senses. Visitors can be often seeing relaxing or enjoying themselves as they seek to take a break from their daily lives.
The garden is a prominent cultural venue of the capital. The garden has held tourism festivals, food festivals and Dandiya festivals. The 20-acre landscape has numerous attractions including Khas Bagh, Neel Bagh, Colour Gardens, the Courts of Specimen Plants and the Solar Energy Park. Khas Bagh has been developed on the pattern of Mughal Gardens with a series of water channels and fountains. Neel Bagh is basically a pool of water lilies which is surrounded by a bower-like.
This garden is among the most famous of Mughal gardens in India. Princess Roshanara — the daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan had laid this garden in the year 1650. The central and most impressive component of the Roshanara Park is the Baradari or the Tomb of Roshanara. It is situated in the middle of the garden. Four pathways can be used to approach the main pavilion. The tomb is noted for its Mughal Naqqashi or designing. The interior is decorated with paintings and there are Mughal-style fountains from each side of the main building. In 1923, an addition was made to the original layout of the garden and a club was established with a distinct Victorian design. This is still the most prominent club in Delhi.
The National Zoological Park
The National Zoological Park of Delhi or the Delhi Zoo is located in the proximity of the Old Fort. The zoo houses thousand of animals, reptiles and birds. It also a large variety of deer found in the country. The major attractions include the white tigers from Rewa, elephants which play the harmonica and the spotted leopards.
It is also home to some of the most endangered species of the Indian rhinoceros, hippopotamus, black buck, Indian gazelle and the lion-tailed macaque. The zoo is spread over an enormous locale and the animals have airy and spacious enclosures. Delhi Zoo is a favoured destination of numerous Asian migrant birds. During the cold Delhi winter season, the large lake at the entrance of Delhi Zoo is crowded by numerous winter birds like the storks and ducks.