The Garden Guide

Lodi Garden (or Lodhi Gardens)
Lodi Gardens are one of the pleasantest green spaces in Delhi - with some labelled trees to help visitors from overseas become familiar with the Indian flora. The area was used as a burial for Delhi's (pre-Mughal) Sayyid and Lodi rulers. Mohammad Shar's tomb (1450) can be seen as a predecessor for architecture of Humayun's tomb and Sikander Lodi's tomb (1571) is set within a walled enclosure and clearly related to Humayun's tomb garden. The domed mausoleums appear to have been sited in an open landscape, rather as the Ancient Greeks placed temples. The building of monumental tombs runs against the principles of Islam and it is probable that Delhi's Turkish Sultans brought the idea from Persia to India. Lodi Gardens are therefore a good place to reflect on the origins of Mughal garden design. By the nineteenth century the tombs were occupied by squatters. After the land passed into the ownership of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) the squatters were moved, with some acrimony, and the land was treated as a public park. Possibly because the tombs have a formal kinship to Palladian temples, this treatment seems visually appropriate - at least to European eyes.

Delhi, India

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