Strolling New Delhi’s Lodi Gardens: Sun Salutations, Water Lilies, & Tombs

I hopped out of the rumbling auto rickshaw and stepped onto the quiet New Delhi street. Much of the city was still in a deep slumber in the leafy district, not far from the Lodi Gardens. It was my first full morning in India. I felt a strange blend of timidness and Indiana Jones-like curiosity brewing as I entered the park so full of handsome and old stone architecture.

Man sitting in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

The Lodi Gardens spread out on more than 90 acres. Populated with tombs, a mosque, and lush flora, the park created an ideal haven in which to escape the honking horn symphony – something that I couldn’t help but instantly noticing upon arriving in India’s capital city.

Lily Pad and Flower in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

I had come to the Lodi Gardens to participate in a Heritage Walk. The tour, which was led by The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), taught me about the architecture of the imposing buildings scattered throughout the park. I also learned about Mohammed Shah and Sikander Lodi, two former Pashtun rulers who are interred there. As the morning acquiesced to the afternoon, the expansive park grew less hazy and mysterious.

woman doing sun salutation in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India

Once the tour ended, and many of the visitors dispersed, I embarked on a solo promenade, passing ponds studded with pink water lilies, and domes offering special resting spots for flocks of birds. As a yoga enthusiast, I was thrilled to see Delhi residents meditating and doing sun salutations under a canopy of trees, amid the largely 15th century architecture. It was a beautiful introduction to New Delhi.

yoga in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India
Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India
reading in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi, India
Architecture details in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India
Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India
Man reading in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India
Stream in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India
Yoga in the Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India
Yoga in the Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India
Sun saluting in the Lodi Gardens - New Delhi India
Lodi Gardens, New Delhi India

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and a co-founder of Eloquence. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta, as well as Heidelberg, Germany. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Though they are currently nomadic, they look forward to establishing a European home someday. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

60 thoughts on “Strolling New Delhi’s Lodi Gardens: Sun Salutations, Water Lilies, & Tombs

  1. A solo promenade – looks like a great time for reflection – I imagine distraction due to the beauty of the area could be quite common!

      1. Back in Heidelberg. But not for long. Next Saturday (16th) I am flying to the US and stay there until September – interrupted by a press travel to Montreal and Quebec City in July.

  2. I love these photos Tricia. So atmospheric and so much stillness. the lily is beautiful, and I am love that yoga is being practiced as daily exercise in the parks. How fabulous. The photo of the man sitting on the bench, reading the paper, is a stand out. Wonderful stuff!

    1. I was really excited to see the yogis in the park too, Marina, and was yearning to join along with them. Have you ever done yoga outdoors? Some of the hot/humid weather we encountered in India could have created a bikram environment for sure. :)

      And, I was lucky to have gotten there during the morning golden hour; the park was bathed in such gorgeous sunlight!

      1. I haven’t done yoga outdoors but would love to – especially in India! Your photos show the beauty during that magical hour. Really lovely!

  3. Once again you swept me away with your fabulous photographs and story. There is an ethereal, other world feeling about your experience. Virginia

    1. Hi again, Virginia – always a delight to hear your thoughtful comments! Thank you.

      So, what special plat du jour has been inspired by your reading / virtual escapes? :) It’s always fun to hear what you’ll be whipping up.

      1. E.M. Forster’s Room with a View has me in Italy Tricia. Italy of wonderful pastas and marvelous men. Today I made eggplant parmigiano. It was cold and rainy. I craved something flamboyant and rich. I’ll be posting the recipe on Mrs. Butterfingers.

      2. I started that book – long ago in Florence – and look forward to picking it up again. The movie is visually-stunning!
        We purchased eggplant at the market a few days ago, in anticipation of making eggplant parmigiano. Somehow the aubergine found its way into a Thai green curry though. I’ll look for your recipe to get me back on that track! :)

    1. Thanks, Travelbunny! It’s certainly a great spot to head to while in Delhi – especially if you find yourself overwhelmed by the pandemonium elsewhere. Though I must admit – I enjoyed both elements. :)

      Hope you’re having a wonderful day today!

    1. You and me both, Satnavandcider! :) I’m happy seeing the peaceful Lodi Gardens transported you away for a while. I see you’re also from the US – in what part of the UK do you live?

      1. I always hoped to return to Yorkshire and York after visiting about 25 years ago. I finally did this past January. Now, I hope to return again, but at a time when days are longer and warmer. I hope you make it to Yorkshire soon, too.

  4. My dearest Tricia – world citizen and globetrotter extrodinaire! What a breathtaking space of stunning images around the world! I am so glad to be connected to you and the lovingkindness and honour you show the world through your lens humbles me. With much warm greetings from Finland, Sharon

    1. Sharon, what a joy to connect and to receive your warm comment – the blogging community regularly amazes me! From one shutterbug to another, I’m flattered that you enjoyed my pictures. (I’m just now delving into your beautiful site!) I see that you’re originally from Malaysia – which part? We just spent a wonderful week there last December.

      Thank you for touching base & until next time. :)

      1. My dearest Tricia, I simply had to come back and read up more about you and all I can say is that I am so glad to meet someone whose vision is world embracing. I was born in Penang and lived in North Malaysia for a big part of my growing up years there. Where are you now in Asia? And to echo your words, how wonderful this world would be if we would all learn from these beautiful people and all they have to offer from the purity and generosity of their hearts. Love, Sharon

      2. My husband and I went to Penang (oh, the food!) – it was wonderful! We really enjoyed the butterfly sanctuary and tropical fruit farm, as well as just strolling the quirky streets of Georgetown. How long have you lived in Finland?

        We’re actually in Germany now visiting family, having left India in early April. Later this week, we’re off to the U.S. for a short time and then we’ll see where our next life chapter takes us. The unknown is exciting and a bit nerve wracking all at the same time. :)

        And you’re absolutely right – I’m certain that if everyone had the opportunity to mingle with beautiful souls from different corners of the world, the world be a very different place. Hope you’re having a splendid weekend & until next time!

  5. Well, one more wonderful post Tricia! But I would rather say the beauty and affection lies in your eyes! Which makes you notice the good things around you.
    Thank you for the post :)

    1. What a kind thing for you to say, Yogi! Of course, from time to time, I share tales of things that aren’t so good in this world (because it’s my hope that raising awareness of them will bring about change), but I prefer inspiration through the positive happenings! :)

  6. Nice to meet you Tricia. I can tell I’m going to enjoy following your wanderings. I love the lotus flower image but the one that brought me here was, of course, your entry for Picture the World.

    1. Hi Johanna, a pleasure to connect! I’ve been slow to reply since we’re again on the road – this time in North America. Thank you so much for your kind comment about my entry from India for Picture the World. I was pleased to participate.

      I’m off to check out your site, as I see you write extensively on Poland and Portugal – two spots I’ve enjoyed immensely in past years. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, and until next time.

  7. Your photos are stunning! I love the early morning images…and the people coming to do yoga & sun salutations to greet the morning. The floral, architecture and water images are spectacular too. Love the sepia and B&W’s. Thank you so much for following my blog, so I could find yours! It’s just been a joy to see your photographs!

    1. Thank you, Judy, for your thoughtful comment; I’m also pleased we connected. Yes, the Lodi Gardens were fantastic in so many ways. They were the first spot that I tried out my then-new camera. I wish I’d had more time so that I too could have practiced yoga there. :) Until next time!

  8. Wow, great images!! I have been here on my last visit to Delhi – without a camera :(
    Beautiful work!

    1. Peter, what a pity that you didn’t have a camera along! I have found that during those rare moments when I’m camera-less, I do appreciate the moment in a different way, though.

      Will you be visiting Delhi during your upcoming trip to India? If so, do consider checking out the tour that I linked in this post.

      1. I totally agree with you Tricia. Sometimes its good to go to a place twice, once with a camera and the other time without and not in photo mode!! I’ll be in Delhi for 2 nights. Normally I go out to the Punjab (Amritsar and small villages) but this time its just sightseeing only! I will definitely check out your link – many thanks! :)

  9. Tricia I just looked through this post again and love it even more the second time! These really are lovely pictures and you have done this location justice! Very inspiring!!

    1. Peter, your comment made my morning – thank you! I have been to India twice, and each time I’ve been struck by how many wonderful images are waiting to be captured. My poor camera was definitely working overtime! Do you have all your gear ready to go for your big trip there?

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