The 90 acre Lodhi Garden was initially called as Bagh-i-Jud, which suggests to us that it was a bagh even during the medieval times. But it houses the famous tombs of the Sayyids and the Lodhis, who happened to be the last of the slave dynasty, in the first part of 15th century. The garden which is now a sought after place for walks or yoga sessions, has a historical past to it.
The death of Firoz Shah Tughlaq brought with it hard times as till then, the dynasty was protected from invasions. With the onset of the Sayyid dynasty, who claimed to have an inheritance of Prophet Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima, had been in rule for approximately 37 years had been overthrown by Lodhis, who were Afghan descendants, the most loyal class who were loyal to the thrown and the responsibility which was bestowed on them.
A walk around the beautiful Lodhi Garden exposes us to the architectural intricacies of the Sayyids and the Lodhis, the only architectural contributions they had to make were the tomb structures which were as if to highlight the atmosphere of unrest, after the sudden fall of Sayyid dynasty.
The types of domes which are present in Lodhi garden can be categorized into two: octagonal colonnade tombs surrounded with a dome and square based tombs of two floors, where the window openings decorate the upper floor. The four corners of the square room is with squinches, which gives a 8 sided layout.
The BadaGumbad and the Masjid is termed as the finest gateway of the 15th century. They contain square tombs with turrets at the corners, the two levels giving a false impression of a double stories building is the most striking feature in BadaGumbad. One of the tallest structure in the complex, with the absence of grave inside the tomb suggests that it must have been a gateway to the mosque.
But the most striking architectural piece inside Lodhi Garden is the Sheesh Gumbad. It is a different feeling to see the blue tiles still on it. Originally, the gumbad was decorated with Persian glazed tiles of cobalt-blue and midnight-blue, which led to its name “Glass Dome”. It might be in a sad state, but it’s an architectural marvel left for us by the Lodhis, to admire.