Friday, 13 March 2015

Around the world in 30 fountains (Part 2)

This is the second part of my post about the most beautiful or interesting fountains from around the world.

The criteria for selecting the fountains presented in this post are different – beautiful fountains, quirky fountains with distinctive features and the quality of images. While I searched for the images of fountains in my image-collections, I realised that in some countries, especially in Asia and Africa, fountains are not very common, while Europe seems to be full of them.

This post is about my own pictures and though I have visited some countries and some cities, I have not visited lots of places. Thus, you may find many countries missing from this post.

Fountain 15: Gurgaon, India

The only fountains from India in this post are from a Disney-world kind of make-believe place called “Kingdom of Dreams” in Gurgaon, a city that has come up mainly in the last 10 years and is an ode to the arrival of globalization in India.

Most beautiful fountains - Gurgaon, India - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Gurgaon, India - Images by Sunil Deepak

I did go through my huge archive of images from India but I did not find other significant images of fountains that I liked. The only fountains that came close to what I was looking for, were those in the central canal in front of Taj Mahal, but I think that those images were much about Taj Mahal as a monument and the fountains there were just accessories.

I remember that Rajiv Park in Connaught Place in Delhi had a nice fountain but it was removed to make way for the new Rajiv Chowk metro station. I also remember the beautiful Flora fountain in Mumbai, but I had seen it before I was bitten by the photography bug, so I had no images of it.

Fountain 16: Dublin, Ireland

The 4 angels fountain is right in front of the entrance to the Trinity College and is part of the Davis monument. The angels of this fountain look like slightly hunched-backed vultures wearing pillow-cover like long gowns, holding long trumpets in their hands. This description may not sound like praise but in reality, the result is very distinctive and pleasant.

Most beautiful fountains - Dublin, Ireland - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 17: Dublin, Ireland

The second fountain from Dublin in this post is a rather unassuming fountain next to the old manor building that housed the mayor of the city. The background to this fountain is the bar of a restaurant done in modernist key. The final result is a fountain in classical style against a glass-and-clean lines kind of place, that is very nice (though I don’t think that my picture below, clicked after I had imbibed some glasses of nice wine, does justice to it).

Most beautiful fountains - Dublin, Ireland - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 18: Bologna, Italy

The next six fountains are from Italy, that can be called the world capital of fountains. Actually, I think that I could have made a separate post with 30 fountains, all from Italy.

The first Italian fountain in this post is from the wonderful Neptune square in the centre of Bologna. When this fountain was built by Giambologna, the city was under the Vatican and the Pope’s delegate was scandalized by the burly Neptune flaunting his genitals. It is against the public morality, let us put this statue and the fountain in somewhere else and not in this important place, the church had suggested, but the people of Bologna had started protesting against this decision. All right, let us have a public referendum, the church had proposed. In the referendum, majority of people voted to have the Neptune statue in the city centre. And so there it is.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

However, for me the most quirky part of this fountain is underneath the nude Neptune – the four nude female figures sitting around the central column, who are squeezing their breasts and water comes out from their nipples. The two images presented below show these mermaids. I especially like the second image below, where part of the water has frozen into ice.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 19: Bologna, Italy

The next Italian fountain is also from the city centre of Bologna. It is inside the courtyard of Volta palace that houses the archaeological museum of Bologna. It is a simple fountain with plants growing all around and in the middle, a small jet of water rises up while a child looks at it with wonder and joy with his right leg rising up as if to test the water with his toes.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Bologna - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 20: Rome, Italy

Rome has some of the most beautiful and also most famous fountains in the world that have been copied widely and have inspired many other fountains. The first fountain from Rome is from the Repubblica square, a busy traffic roundabout near the railway station. Two moon shaped buildings form part of its backdrop. The images below show it early in the morning while the second figure has it with the evening lights.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 21: Rome, Italy

The next Italian fountain is probably the most famous – the Trevi fountain. This fountain has been part of many iconic scenes from films. In Fellini’s Amar cord, perhaps you remember Anita Ekberg standing in it? Or in the romantic Roman Holidays, you remember Audrey Hepburn getting a hair-cut near it? People visiting Rome are supposed to stand near it and throw a coin over their shoulders in its water so that they will have another chance to visit Rome and to admire it once again.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 22: Rome, Italy

The third Roman fountain in this list is the beautiful boat like fountain in the Spanish square. I have so many memories of sitting on the stairs going up towards the Trinita dei Monti and Via Veneto, and looking at the crowds passing below near this fountain.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Rome - Images by Sunil Deepak

Unfortunately this beautiful fountain, also designed by Giambologna (the architect of the colonnade in the St Peter’s square), was damaged recently by guys from Netherlands who had come to Rome for some football match. Just the idea of carelessly destroying such a piece of art makes me feel sick. However as had happened to Banyan Buddhas by the talibans and is happening to Syrian and Iraqi archaeological art by the ISIS goons, there are persons who hate the ideas of art, beauty and history.

Fountain 23: Schio, Italy

Almost every city of Italy has some beautiful fountains. As an example of lesser known fountains, I have chosen a modern and recent fountain from a tiny city in the north-east part of Italy. I call it the fountain of the sparrows. It has some sparrows drinking water from a round fountain while a group of children watch them with a sense of wonder and joy, while a small baby girl, sits nearby with an open book, lost in her thoughts.

Most beautiful fountains - Italy, Schio - Images by Sunil Deepak

I love this fountain, opera of an artist called Alfonso Fortuna. In terms of the emotions that it evokes, it is similar to the fountain in Volta palace of Bologna.

I am sure that those of you who have been to Italy would have your favourite Italian fountains. I also need to confess that I was very tempted to add the fountain of the rivers from Navona square of Rome in this post, that has become famous after Dan Brown’s book “Angels and demons”.

Fountain 24: Manila, Philippines

It is quite a big jump, from Italy in Europe to the Philippines in the Far East. Though in general, the East does not seem to have many fountains (I don’t know about Japan and Australia since I have never been there), Manila has a set of beautiful fountains in the city centre. These fountains are accompanied by music and change their forms, intensity and shapes along with the rhythms of that music. In the evening, colourful lights accompany these musical fountains. It is quite a performance, provided free to all the people. Thus I could understand why residents of Manila seemed to love this park.

Most beautiful fountains - Philippines, Manila - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Philippines, Manila - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 25: Lisbon, Portugal

After a brief excursion in the east, we are back in Europe. The two Portuguese fountains presented here are both from the beautiful Rossio square in Lisboa (Lisbon). The 17th and 18th century architecture of the square adds to the experience of appreciating these fountains that have sculptures inspired from Greek mythology.

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 26: Lisbon, Portugal

The second fountain in the Rossio square stands in front of the opera building. I love this square because of its pavement lined with white and black stones, arranged in a waves pattern, so that they give an optical illusion of rising up and going down.

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Portugal, Lisbon - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 27: Ljubljana, Slovenia

The next is the fountain of horses from the old centre of Ljubljana. It is a modern fountain with horses in different forms and sizes and thick streams of water.

Most beautiful fountains - Slovenia - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 28: Geneva, Switzerland

The last 3 fountains of this post are from Switzerland. The first Swiss fountain is in front of the United Nations’ building where the “Broken chair” sculpture, a symbol of the international campaign asking for the ban of mines in the wars, forms its background.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 29: Geneva, Switzerland

The next is one of the highest (or probably the highest) fountains in the world. It is the water jet going up to 300 metres near the right bank of Leman Lake. It is visible from far away. Going closer to the fountain, means getting completely wet. It may not have anything fancy, just a powerful jet of water, but it is very effective.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Geneva - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 30: Lausanne, Switzerland

The last fountain of this post is also one of the most beautiful. It is from the Olympic centre that has the offices of the world Olympic committee and many beautiful sculptures. This fountain has a man using an umbrella made of water to get himself completely wet. I love the idea behind this sculpture.

Most beautiful fountains - Switzerland, Lausanne - Images by Sunil Deepak

Conclusions

Preparing this post I had a lot of fun going through lot of images of fountains and deciding which ones to keep and which others to exclude. I hope that I have made you pause, see these fountains in the way I see them, and think of different ways of appreciating beauty and art.

If you had missed the first part of this post and want to see some other fountains, you check it now (Part 1).

I am sure that you know about other beautiful fountains – how about sharing some information about them in the comments of this post?

***

Monday, 9 March 2015

Around the world in 30 fountains (Part 1)

Recently, while admiring a picture of a beautiful fountain, I started thinking about the most beautiful fountains that I had seen during my travels around the world. This post is a result of that reflection. This first part has fountains from countries that start with "A" to "G", that means from America to Germany.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - New York, USA - Images by Sunil Deepak

The criteria for selecting the fountains presented in this post were different such as beauty, expression of quirky ideas, quality and materials of the sculptures and the quality of images.

While I searched for the images of fountains in my image-collections, I realised that in some countries, especially in Asia and Africa, fountains are not very common, while Europe seems to be full of them. From some countries, I did have a few images of fountains, but they did not inspire me. So many countries are missing from this post.

Fountain 1 – America, New York

I will start with 2 fountains from New York, America. The first fountain is from the Central Park and is shown in the image above.

It has an angel, who is shown as an 18th century young woman with short curly hair, wearing a long dress and holding some flowers in her left hand. It seems as if she walking in a mountain area, her feet ready to wade in the waters of a gentle torrent.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - New York, USA - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 2 – America, New York

The second fountain from New York is in front of the Lincoln centre. This one does not have any sculptures, it is about thick streams of gushing waters surrounded by a round black ring. The colourful posters on the front of the Metropolitan Opera building form its background.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - New York, USA - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 3 – Austria, Vienna

Next there are 3 fountains from Vienna, Austria. Vienna is full of baroque marble sculptures and there are many fountains.

The first Viennese fountain is from the old part of the city. It has a young royal looking woman sitting on a high chair in the centre of a pond, slightly turned to look behind her, while there are baby angels on the sides of her chair. On the outer walls of the pond, there are figures of men and women, inspired from Greek mythology.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Vienna, Austria - Images by Sunil Deepak

In this fountain, I especially like the sculpture of the young Neptune, using his trident for fishing in the pond. I love this kind of irreverent attitudes expressed by the sculptors and artists, refusing to take themselves too seriously.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Vienna, Austria - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 4 – Austria, Vienna

The next Viennese fountain is from a park near the opera building. It is inspired from the Roman mythology and depicts the abduction of the Sabine women. If you have been to Florence (Italy), perhaps you have seen the more famous sculpture of Gianbologna on this subject in the Loggia dei Lanzi in the Signoria square? However, here the water gushing out of the man’s mouth, makes him look as if he is vomiting and takes away the seriousness of the subject.

Perhaps it is the depiction of actors doing rehearsal of a play? Or it is something more sinister, as if the man spitting out water is a way to express how he is going to ravish the kidnapped woman. What is your opinion?

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Vienna, Austria - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 5 – Austria, Vienna

The third and the last Viennese fountain of this series is placed just outside the Austrian parliament. Underneath a goddess with a Roman soldier’s headgear sit serious looking old men and chubby angels, inspired from the Greek mythology, while water gently falls down into round pans placed on the heads of young muscular male figures, bent under its weight like Atlas holding the earth.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Vienna, Austria - Images by Sunil Deepak

However if you look carefully at those young men, you can see that they are actually mermaids with fish-tails. I am not very knowledgeable about the fantasy world of mermaids, but, I find the idea of placing muscular but dainty male mermaids in the fountain, mildly subversive – a way of questioning our ideas of masculinity. (Looking at this image, I can almost feel a pain developing in my neck, in sympathy with the boy of the sculpture!)

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Vienna, Austria - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 6 – Belgium, Brussels

The fountain from Brussels is almost a non-fountain. It is a tiny fountain placed in the middle of a lake, out of which a tiny stream of water comes out so if you don’t look at it carefully, you can easily miss it. I loved this lake surrounded by lush green vegetation. It is difficult to imagine such a wonderful place so close to the centre of the city.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Brussels, Belgium - Images by Sunil Deepak

Those of you who have been to Brussels, might ask why I have not included the famous “peeing boy” fountain (Manneken Pis) in this post. It is supposed to be one of the landmarks of the city and the souvenir shops of Brussels are full of tiny statues of that boy. However, I was a little disappointed when I had seen it and thus, I have decided to not to include it.

On the other hand, I love another icon of Brussels, the comic book boy hero Tintin. The souvenir shops of the city were also full of his statues. I am sure that if the city had a Tintin fountain, I would have included it here!

Fountain 7 – Brazil, Bahia, Salvador

I have chosen 4 fountains from Brazil for this post. The first one is from the Digue do Torero lake in the Baixa part of Salvador city in Bahia state. Salvador is also the focal point of those who believe in Orisha gods, the religion of Yoruba, brought as slaves from Africa.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Salvador, Brazil - Images by Sunil Deepak

This lake is very beautiful but the fountain is nothing special. However, since it is next to the statues of dancing Orisha gods standing in the lake waters, it has a wonderful backdrop and that is why I have included it in this post.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Salvador, Brazil - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 8 – Brazil, Bahia, Salvador

The second fountain from Salvador is from old city centre of Pelorinho in the Alta part of the city situated on the top of a hill.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Salvador, Brazil - Images by Sunil Deepak

The last time I was there, it was the sunset time and I was mesmerized by the clouds tinged pink and orange against a blue sky. It was a small fountain in a park near the church. I really love this picture.

Fountain 9 – Brazil, Goias, Goias Velho

The third fountain from Brazil is from Goias Velho, the old city in Goias state in the central part of Brazil. Like the fountain from Pelorinho, even this is an unassuming fountain from the Portuguese colonial part of Goias Velho. It has a Portuguese peasant woman standing demurely facing the cathedral. The picture is made special by the dramatic colours of the sky behind.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Goias Velho, Brazil - Images by Sunil Deepak

I think that without the dramatic evening colours of the sky, these last two fountains would not have found a place in this post.

Fountain 10 – Brazil, San Paulo

The fourth and the last fountain from Brazil is from San Paulo, from a park near the opera building in the old city. This part of the park and this fountain were built by the Italian immigrant community of San Paulo to highlight their contribution to the city.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - San Paulo, Brazil - Images by Sunil Deepak

The galloping horses of this fountain remind me of the Trevi fountain in Rome (Italy). The violent graffiti on the sculptures and the walls surrounding this fountain, adds to the sense of urban decay and abandonment of this place, making it look like a noble family fallen on hard times. Looking at this fountain, I could almost smell the rancid beer and feel the sleepy looking eyes of drug addicts, sitting nearby, checking me.

Fountain 11 – Britain, London

The next two fountains are from London, another city that has many beautiful fountains. The first image is from the Trafalgar square taken with a simple Kodak camera in December 2005. That day there had been a big explosion and fire in the city, so the sky had turned black with dark smoke clouds, making for a dramatic background to the Christmas tree with lights.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - London, UK - Images by Sunil Deepak

The second image taken a few years later, shows a detail from one of the fountains in Trafalgar square. It has a boy mermaid with the two fish tails (like the rubber fins that people sometimes put on for swimming), riding on a dolphin, with a stream of water gushing out from his mouth. It makes me think of children vomiting due to motion sickness.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - London, UK - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 12 – Britain, London

The second fountain from London is from the Hyde Park, near the Mable arch entrance. It has been designed wonderfully. The couple holding each other are balanced on the back of a dolphin that rises up from the centre of the pond, making them look as if they are floating in the air. On the four corners of the pond, four boys are jumping as if they are frogs, startled by the sudden appearance of the dolphin with the couple from the depths of the waters.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - London, UK - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 13 – Czech Republic, Prague

The fountain of blindfolded musicians and dancers in the old part of Prague is a personal favourite. I love going back and looking at the images of this fountain. It reminds of one of the reasons of my love for photography – the possibility of stopping, looking at the details and discovering new things about things and people.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Prague, Czech Republic - Images by Sunil Deepak

Each sculpture of this fountain is so exquisite, expressing the joy of music and dance. They seem to be flying in the air. These sculptures are by the Czech artist Anna Chromy.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Prague, Czech Republic - Images by Sunil Deepak

Fountain 14 – Germany, Munich

The last image in this first part of the post about fountains from different countries is from Marianne platz in old part of Munich, near the cathedral. There is a ball like round fish at the top with water coming out from its mouth. Water also comes out from three small pipes near the top. Finally, a gentle flow of water comes out from the vases held by 3 Peter Pan kind of boys who look lost in day dreams. With lovely blue water in the lighted pond, this fountain looks very harmonious.

Around the World in 30 beautiful Fountains - Munich, Germany - Images by Sunil Deepak

Conclusions

Preparing this post I had a lot of fun going through lot of images of fountains and deciding which ones to keep and which others to exclude. I have chosen a mix of fountains that evoke different emotions and are not just about beauty.

I hope that I have made you pause, see these fountains in the way I see them, and think of different ways of appreciating beauty and art. Often when we visit places, we see things but usually we do not stop to really look at things and to understand their details and think about their significance. I hope these pictures have helped you to see some of those details.

Part 2 of this post will continue the remaining part of this journey.

***

Monday, 2 March 2015

Delhi Metro Walks: Jor Bagh

The extensive and ever-increasing network of the Delhi Metro has made it relatively easy to discover different parts of Delhi. This post is about the places to visit near the Jor Bagh station on the Yellow line of Delhi Metro. This walk will take you to discover the Delhi of 16th and 17th century, including one of the most beautiful parks of Delhi.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak
The image above shows “Shish Gumbad”, built around the end of 15th century during the reign of king Sikander Lodhi. It is one of the riches awaiting you on this metro walk.

1. JOR BAGH METRO STATION

Jor Bagh area of Delhi had been the city centre around 14th and 15th century during the reign of the Lodhi kings. After them for a brief period, the city centre had moved to what is now known as Purana Qila and then starting with Akbar, the Mughal Kings had decided to build their capital city in Agra. Later, in 16th century, Aurangzeb had brought his capital to Delhi but he had preferred to build his city more to the east in an area known as Shahjahanabad and thus, this part of Delhi had been abandoned.

Life came back to this part of the city when the British decided to build New Delhi. The area known as Jor Bagh was just outside the city of New Delhi built by the British in late 19th and early 20th centuries. During those constructions, the British had discovered some of the historical buildings of this area and had had initiated their restoration.

Delhi’s first airport known as “Safdarjung airport” was built here and had functioned as the city airport from 1929 to 1962. Under the British it was called Wellingdon airport. In the 1960s, it was felt that the Safdarjung airport was too close to the city and thus a new airport was built in Palam village. The new airport was known as “Palam airport” and parts of that second airport are still there in the area that has terminal 1 of the Delhi airport today and is still used for some domestic airlines. Today of course we have the new airport, also known as Terminal 3, that was given the name of India's prime-minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

After the construction of Palam airport, it was decided to use Safdarjung airport for training and military purposes. It was from this airport that Sanjay Gandhi, the son of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, at that time the prime minister of India, who was learning flying, had taken off his aeroplane on 23 June 1980 that had crashed and killed him.

As you come out of the Jor Bagh metro station, you can see the Safdarjung airport across the road. With this brief introduction to the history of that period, let us proceed now with our walk.

The route for this walk is shown in the image below. You can also check this route on the Google Map.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

2. SAFDARJUNG'S TOMB

As you walk down from the Jor Bagh metro station, you will see the red building of Safdarjung’s tomb on your left. When I was a child, it was known as “Madarsa”, probably because at that time, there was an Islamic school here.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

In this building was buried Mirza Murim Abdul Mansur Khan, also known as Nawab Safdarjung, who was the governor of Oudh (now known as the Awadh region and is a part of Uttar Pradesh) during the reign of emperor Muhammed Shah (1719 to 1748) and prime minister of his successor, emperor Ahmad Shah (1748-1754). Safdarjung had died in 1754 and this tomb was built by his son Nawab Shujauddaula.

The building construction is similar to many other Mughal buildings such as Hamayun’s tomb, with a char-bagh (garden divided into four areas) around a central canal with fountains. It was one of the last important Mughal constructions in Delhi.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Today, it is one of the favourite places for the young couples of Delhi, to be together. The building hosts a number of tombs. I especially like the entrance gate of this building, which some how makes me think of Rajasthan and its palaces.

3. LODHI GARDENS

These are one of the most beautiful gardens of India, spread over an area of 90 acres and dotted with a number of historical buildings, mostly from the Lodhi period of Delhi. After this area was abandoned in 17th century, two villages had settled here. In 1936 the British asked the villages to vacate this area and the gardens landscaped by lady Wellingdon were laid down, and were thus called Lady Wellingdon gardens. (Just an aside about the Wellingdons, who had given their names to many important places of Delhi, including the hospital near Wellingdon crescent, now known as Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.)

Coming from Jor Bagh, as you enter the garden from the first gate on Lodhi road, you will see the beautiful tomb of Mohammed Shah Sayyid, who had ruled Delhi from 1434 to 1444. The Sayyid dynasty was not very powerful and the territories covered by them were not so big, thus they did not build any big palaces or monuments. This tomb is one of the few remains of that period. It resembles the Isa Khan tomb built near the entrance to Hamayun's tomb.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

The Sayyid tomb is an octagonal building with chattris (umbrella like decorations) on its top. It has different tombs of the Sayyid family, out of which the central tomb is considered to be that of Mohammed Shah’s.

Our next stop is the Bada Gumbad (Big dome) mosque. The three domed mosque was built in 1494 during the reign of Sikander Lodhi.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

The beautiful building decorated in some parts with blue and red stones is full of arabesque decorations and Quranic inscriptions. At the back of this building there is a Mihmankhana (guest house).

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

The building known as “Shish Gumbad” is just behind the Bada Gumbad mosque. It is one of the most beautiful buildings of Lodhi Garden built in a square shape and with blue-tiles decorations. It has different tombs and was probably built at the end of 15th century, also during the reign of king Sikander Lodhi.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

If you walk behind Shish Gumbad, you will soon reach a water canal that made me think of the Serpentine pond in the Hyde park in London, though of course the pond in London is much bigger (and better maintained).

Across the canal, on a small hillock is the tomb of king Sikander Lodhi. He ruled Delhi for 28 years, from 1489 to 1517. His tomb shows his importance. It is set in a walled garden behind a raised platform guarded by two chattris. (In the image below, you can also see my sandal in the left corner, because I was trying a new angle for clicking this picture!)

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Its dome is decorated with exquisite designs surrounded by red geometric shapes.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

After visiting Sikander Lodhi’s tomb, you can walk along the water canal to reach a beautiful bridge with eight arches called “Aathpula” (8 arches) or “Khairpur ka Pul” built by a nobleman called Nawab Bahadur during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1556 to 1605).

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

At one time, a river flowed here, a tributary of Yamuna river, that is no longer there. In its place, the present-day canal was built here later in early 20th century, when this bridge was restored during the British reign. Along the southern boundary of the water canal, there are many water birds such as, ducks, swans and geese.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

If you walk back towards Lodhi road from the Aathpula bridge, you will come across an old mosque and a rose garden. The mosque and garden were also built in the Mughal period and inside the mosque you can still see some painted inscriptions. The present day rose garden has been created at the site of the old Mughal garden.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

There are many other smaller buildings in Lodhi gardens. There are also some more recent additions in the Gardens such as the fountain shown below, that are not always well maintained.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Municipal corporation has also put up some garbage collection boxes in the Gardens, painted with social messages like the one shown below (with a message about “saving the girl child”).

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

My favourite among these painted garbage collection boxes is the one shown below that has a tongue-in-cheek variation on the call of India’s independence leader, Subhash Chandra Bose, who had said “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”. This one says “Give me garbage and I will give you cleanliness”.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Lodhi gardens are very popular with local inhabitants of the area who come here to take walks, do jogging, exercises and yoga.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

The park is also a great place to admire nature with different birds, small animals, plants and trees including a beautiful groove of bamboo trees.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

4. INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE (IIC) AND 5. INDIAN HABITAT CENTRE (IHC)

Two important cultural venues of Delhi are close to the Lodhi gardens – IIC and IHC. These are also exclusive clubs, membership to which requires money and connections.

IIC came up in 1958, after a talk between Dr Radhakrishnan (then vice-president of India) and Mr. Rockfeller. Many important and famous persons from India and abroad have been here.

IHC is more recent, it came up only in 1993. Both these places have conference rooms, auditoriums and exhibition spaces, which are much sought-after venues for cultural events.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

If the long walk in Lodhi Gardens makes you feel tired, you can perhaps stop at the "Food court" area of IHC and have something to drink or eat, before taking an auto to go back to Jor Bagh metro station!

CONCLUSIONS

Lodhi Gardens are the most important part of this metro walk. They require a lot of time but are certainly worth it. Entry to the Lodhi Gardens is free.

There are some other minor places to visit around this area such as the Islamic Cultural Centre, Tibet house with Buddhist cultural centre and a Sai Baba temple. However, if you can manage to visit Safdarjung tomb and the Lodhi Gardens, you can be satisfied with this visit.

Rather than going back to Jor Bagh metro station, you can also go the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium metro station on the Purple line further down the Lodhi road.

Jorbagh Metro Station walks - Lodhi garden, Safdarjung tomb - Images by Sunil Deepak

To conclude this post, I have a picture of a couple in the Bada Gumbad mosque, to remind you that Lodhi Gardens are another favourite of the young couples of Delhi looking for a bit of privacy.

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