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