Saturday, November 20, 2010

Summer Travels 2010 - Part 18: The Garden of Five Senses in New Delhi, India

Here, finally, is the last of my posts about my garden visits this summer. Back in Delhi on the very last leg of my trip, I made my way to the area known as Saidul Ajaib Village in South Delhi one morning and visited the Garden of Five Senses. This public garden was developed by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation and inaugurated in 2003 and while that might seem like a rather unromantic beginning, the garden on the whole seems to have turned well. The design is imaginative and unusual, the plantings are well maintained, and even on the scorching summer day of my visit there was a steady trickle of visitors.

Banner at the entrance

 Elephant sculpture near the entrance

View in the entrance area

The garden is divided into various themed areas. I turned first to the Khas Bagh, a modern re-interpretation of the formality of Mughal gardens. It features straight paths lined by hedges composed of various species, pomegranate shrubs (Punica granatum), and desert fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), as well as water features, sculptures, and a semi-circle of elegant stone arches at its far end.

Path in the Khas Bagh

Fountain in the center of the Mughal-inspired garden area

 Double pomegranate blossoms (Punica granatum)

Just beyond the Khas Bagh lies a series of walled enclosures entitled Vriksh Aangan or "plant courts", which are filled with a number of different plant groups, including palms, succulents, and bamboo. Even though largely lacking in flowers, I really liked these somewhat labyrinthine spaces.

One of the principal pathways in the Vriksh Aangan

One of the "plant courts"

An unusual row of arches

On the small hill that rises above the Khas Bagh and the Vriksh Aangan there are a number of serpentine walks, lawns studded with specimen trees, terraced flower beds, sculptures, and a very pretty lily pond arranged around a massive wind chime sculpture.

A bed of pink rain lilies (Zephyranthes grandiflora)

A bed of Plumbago auriculata

 I really liked this combination of chartreuse sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) with pink rain lilies (Zephyranthes grandiflora)

Terraced walks and flower beds

The wind chime tree by the Kamal Kund or "lily pond"

Pale blue water lilies (Nymphaea caerulea)

Another blue water lily, probably Nymphaea nouchali

Finally, the complex also includes a somewhat less landscaped hill with an amphitheater of sorts, various trails, and good views of the nearby Mehrauli Heritage Site with its famous Qutb Minar. On the whole, it is a pleasant place to spend a bit of time and definitely one of the most unusual public gardens I have visited in India or anywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a really beautiful garden to take a leisurely walk with so many plant species, water features, sculptures and planned structures!

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