Sunder Nursery is the mascara on Delhi’s pretty face

Thanks to Sunder Nursery, Delhi just became even more beautiful for its lovers- the travelers and its dwellers. The bride just donned a new shade of lipstick and mascara on her face.

Sunder Nursery is a garden located right next to the Humayun Tomb. It contains many medieval monuments, channels and exotic trees and plants.
The best time to visit the Sunder Nursery is the late eveningshttp://www.indiatraveltip.com/5-red-fort-delhi-secrets/

If you are thinking I have gone bonkers, read further. I am referring to the ‘Mughal Gardens ‘ of Central Delhi- the Sunder Nursery, one of the most beautiful places in Delhi.

Where is Sunder Nursery

The best months to visit the Sunder Nursery are February and March

For years, this garden lay in a pitiable shape. It was in ruins, and nobody had an idea about the history of the Sunder Nursery. People could see the crumbled pavilions as they rushed past it but they hardly cared. For many. those crumbling buildings were eyesores, and Delhi had no time for these scars.

For those of you who are new to Delhi, Sunder Nursery sits right next to the super famous Humayun Tomb. It is sandwiched between the Tomb and the little known Azeem Serai located inside the Delhi zoo.

The Sunder Nursery garden is laid down in perfect symmetry
Symmetry defines the Sunder Nursery

For a good many 100 years, this garden lay neglected by the Central Government and the other local authorities. Debris lay everywhere. The canals were laden with silt and the 16th-century pavilions looked like haunted places. Weeds and reptiles were all over and it was difficult to imagine that this nursery was once the resting place of some of the most powerful Mughal nobles.

According to unconfirmed sources, this nursery is also the resting place of a son-in-law of the mighty Mughal emperor, Akbar. This is astonishing because the Mughal emperors never encouraged their daughters or sisters to marry.

Sunder Nursery is just one of the many Mughal-era monuments that dot the Yamuna river bank in Delhi. The more famous among them are the Delhi Red Fort, Purana Qila and Humayun Tomb.

The ‘Silk Road’ of India

An ancient road (Mathura Road) still runs parallel to the river, connecting Kashmir to the central and southern parts of India. In ancient times, this road was the ‘Dakshinapath’ and was an important trade route. Kings and emperors, and sultans all tried to control this vital road. Not surprisingly, this road is dotted with several strategically important forts. You can also call this route as the Silk Road of India.

A lovely building partially hidden by a big tree

In more modern times- the place where the Nursery stands- became some kind of an experimental garden. The new masters of Delhi wanted to line their boulevards with native as well as foreign species of trees. The present spot of this garden was chosen by the new lords to grow all those species and that is how the Sunder Nursery came into being.

But why the word ‘ Sunder’? Nobody knows about the origin of this word which means ‘ beautiful’ which means ‘ beautiful’.

Reclaiming the past

lake with a fountain
There is a small lake with a lovely fountain

After the British left in 1947, this nursery was forgotten by the new masters of independent India. History and heritage became alien words in an era when development and modernization mattered more.

Things began to change from 2007 when the government and the Aga Khan Trust joined hands to give this nursery a new lease of life. The Trust was needed because it has the skills and experience required to conserve Mughal era monuments.

The AKTC hasn’t let the government down. It has indeed done a wonderful job in bringing this old garden alive. The old pavilions have been completely restored and the park now looks entirely new. Exotic and native species of plants hold your attention. There are channels that connect one part of the park to another; these remind one of the famous Mughal gardens of Kashmir. You can spend countless hours in this breathtakingly beautiful place. If you have a camera, then the Suder Nursery is the place you must go to capture amazing photos.

In short, stepping into this magical place means going back to the Mughal era.

Would you like to visit this latest Delhi hotspot?

How to reach Sunder Nursery

red flowers and a wall
Can you see that wall? It is the remnant of a 16th century serai

Reaching Sunder Nursery is easy. The nearest Delhi Metro station is the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium station. Get down there and hop onto to an auto-rickshaw. The travel time from the station to the Nursery is just 10 minutes and would cost INR 100.

By the way, entry to the Sunder Nursery costs INR 35. If you are a foreigner, then you might have to pay more.

References:

  1. Aga Khan Trust
  2. Inventory of trees and plants in Sunder Nursery
  3. Birds of Sunder Nursery

By the way, I conduct heritage walks and eco-tours in Delhi. If you’d like to visit the Sunder Nursery with me, please write back to me.

Thanks

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