Formerly called as Lady Willingdon Park, which sits right at the heart of the residential area of New Delhi, a familiar spot with most visitors in the city, Lodhi Gardens is now a preferred spot for most morning, evening walks as well as it serves as a good ambience to high profile yoga sessions. Called as a period of Maqbaras, the Sayyids and the Lodhi’s were not much interested in building fort cities. In Delhi itself, more than 50 tombs were constructed under the Lodhi’s, which also translates as Delhi being reduced to the metropolitan for graveyards in this period.
Three types of tombs were constructed during this period, i.e., octagonal (reserved for Sultān), square (preferred by nobles) and pillared pavilion (for saints). Apart from a Mughal bridge, the Āthpula and some small outbuildings, there are five main structures which lie along a south-south-west to north-north-east axis. The tombs of Muhammad Shah Sayyid (d. 1434), Mubarak Sayyid (d. 1444) and Sikandar Lodi (d. 1517) are identical in general. The first two are at present are isolated structures having no enclosure surrounding the tomb. However, the third one is built within a walled enclosure or chahār diwarī with a gateway in the southern side and a mosque in western side. A structural innovation is found in tomb of Sikandar Lodi is double dome that is comprising of two shells, outer shell and inner shell. Before this, an attempt was made in the Shahabuddin Taj Khan ka Gumbad build in 1501. It was to the liking to raise the height in order to give the structure a lofty and more imposing appearance.
Besides that we have several un-named tombs, locally known as Gumbad. These tombs are known by their local names. The Badā Gumbad and Shīsh Gumbad, are a single story structures, but from outside they appeared to be multi storeyed and this is created by means of ornamental niches. Three sides are open and the fourth side are closed for accomadate mehrāb. The positioning of the doors of the grave less Bara Gumbad, probably is an entrance to the adjoining western winged five-arched mosque known as Bāre Gumbad ki Masjid (d. 1500) and the Majlis Khana. Inside the Shīsh Gumbad are seven large cenotaphs and one small one. One can see remnants of its former elegance in the turquoise and cobalt-blue tiles on the facade. There are no inscriptions in these tombs apart from brief Qur’anic verses. Under the Mughals major renovations were taken up and they added several utilitarian structures. Standing from seven centuries, this complex of royal personage is a good example of a combination of the Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture.
If you say Lady Willingdon Park, not many people would recognize the actual name for Lodhi Gardens. But this place is equally steeped in history as it is in nature. With structures dating from the late Sultanate and Mughal era, the place is a perfect blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. Join us as we explore for the perfect mix of history and nature.