Located next to the famous Humayun’s Tomb is Sunder Nursery, a perfect spot for picnic and a great shout for couples looking for a place to relax and spend time together this Valentine’s Day.
Back in September, DU Beat decided to take a break from our usual weekly meetings in Lodhi Garden and spend the evening in Sunder Nursery instead. That day, the vast heritage park complex impressed me and its peaceful, almost magical, atmosphere won me over once the sun set. A few months later, in November, I decided to visit the place again, this time with my partner – and it was every bit as magical as I thought it would be.
While its name isn’t quite the kind of poetic title that is handed to most famous and historical places, the heritage park still has historical significance à la Delhi itself. The area was formerly known as Azim Bagh during the Mughal era. In the 20th century, it was formally established as Sunder Nursery at the edge of Lutyen’s New Delhi. The park spans 90 acres and is home to 15 monuments of which 6 have been given UNESCO World Heritage status.
Located in the very heart of Delhi, next to the Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage site, it lies on the Mughal-era Grand Trunk Road. You do need an e-rickshaw ride to get to the place itself from the nearest JLN Stadium metro station on the Violet Line and the park also needs tickets that cost Rs. 50 per adult.
Once you get that ticket and take your first step into the Nursery, you are hit by the kind of feeling associated with monuments in Delhi. The feeling of finding a world of peace, greenery and fresh air in a city known for the exact opposites. The entire area is full of expanses of greenery, fountains, restored monuments, flowers, small ponds and even lakes. From the entrance the first monument happens to be the Sunder Burj.
After this monument, the path becomes increasingly elegant, with water dividing the walkway, pillars with lanterns lighting the area and flower bushes at intervals. In the day, one finds people enjoying picnics in the lush greenery that surrounds the path. On the right of the path lies an amphitheatre that regularly hosts workshops and events. The path then leads on to a lake that is another great spot to sit and talk or play board games with your loved ones. Right now, the Zaika-e-Nizamuddin kiosk offers Nizamuddin Cuisine from 11 AM to 8 PM all days of the week too.
While Sunder Nursery is a morning picnic spot for most people during Delhi winters, I would strongly recommend visiting during or after sunset as well. During my evening visit, I was especially taken aback by the magic that surrounds the area. Lit up with lanterns, the park takes a magical appearance after dark. Everywhere you look, one finds people enjoying soft and romantic moments under a tree, next to the large lake, on one of the various bridges that populate the area and in the shadows of the monuments that have seen countless other young lovers before them.
Everything seems to calm down in the dark, as if the Nursery decided to put on some music and sit back with a cup of coffee. It is an incredibly warm experience to find a space full of young couples enjoying moments with their significant others in the warm lighting and safety. What’s more, the size of the area offers space to anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. In a country where safe spaces to express love and enjoy romance become increasingly rare, Sunder Nursery is a wonderful place to spend some time with the person you love this Valentine’s Day.
Feature Image Credits: Siddharth for DU Beat