Sundar Nursery, lying adjacent to the UNESCO World heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb and Nizamuddin Basti, is a heritage park & nursery existing since the 16th century. Post-independence, the Sundar Nursery was run by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) as a central government nursery culturing & propagating many varieties of plants & trees in Delhi. The Aga Khan foundation, under its urban renewal initiative undertook a restoration cum landscaping project of Sunder Nursery. Sundar Nursery, in its present form is a beautiful heritage park cum nursery, boasting of many varieties of flora, fauna and some typical heritage structures & monuments.
The Nizamuddin basti area, famous for being the centre point of ‘Chisti’ sufism through the famous saint Nizamuddin has had a thriving village as well as many different constructions such as tombs of kings, nobility and other lesser known people (as it was thought to be auspicious to be buried in the vicinity of saints) from the 14th centrury onwards. The Sundar Nursery was apparently known as Azim Bagh at the time and after independence was taken over by the central government PWD (CPWD) as a nursery. Spread over 90 acres (36 hectares), this was a patch of green verdant land lush with foliage in the heart of central-south Delhi. The Aga Khan Trust took the initiative to turn the Nursery into a city park showcasing its unique heritage, ecological and nursery zones and adding basic convenience facilities for visitors.
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I visited the restored Sundar Nursery on a beautiful winter Sunday morning along with enthusiastic walkers from the oldest walking group in Delhi – Knowing and Loving Delhi Better (KloDB). As we enter through the main gate, a grand central vista over 500 meters long is visible with beds of flowers and trees in row on both sides. There is one monument at the end of this central vista – the Sundarwala Burj. The other heritage structures in the complex are Lakkarwala Burj, Sunderwala Mahal, Chota Batashewala, Mirza Muzaffar Hussain’s Tomb & a Mughal era unknown tomb, all of which have been restored to add to aesthetic delight of the area.
The gardens along the central vista are Mughal inspired and have incorporated marble fountains and flowing water placed in between geometric flower beds and raised sandstone pathways. There is a big area on one side made available for winter picnics. The landscape is a mixture of formal gardens as well as informal settings for families to enjoy picnics featuring ponds and lakes, nursery beds, a flower showcase, arboretum, amphitheatre, rose garden, orchards and an area for holding outdoor activities. There are The day we visited the Nursery, an organic farmers’ market was set up in the morning and we were told that it may be a weekly affair every Sunday till the weather is pleasant. Post our walks into the various areas of the nursery, we relaxed under the shade of trees at the farmers’ market and enjoyed the fresh food and treats.
For any urban dweller in Delhi, the Sundar Nursery offers a relaxing and pretty place to unwind.
How to Reach Sundar Nursery
Sundar Nursery lies adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb and can be easily reach by private and public transport. There is now ample parking space near the nursery, next to the Humayun’s Tomb gate and one has to walk 100 meters after parking the car. There are buses plying till Nizamuddin from all over Delhi and from the bus stand, it takes 300 meters of walking to reach the Nursery main gate. The nearest metro station is JLN Stadium station (on Violet Line) and Jor Bagh station (on Yellow Line); one has to take autorickshaw or bus from both these metro stations to reach Nursery.
Timings and Charges of Sundar Nursery
The Sundar Nursery is open all days from sunrise to sunset (at the time of my visit it was 8 am to 5 pm) . The ticketed entry in 35 INR for Indian and SAARC countries (Adults), for children (5-12 years), & senior citizens it is INR 15, for foreign nationals it is INR 100 . The entry is free for children below 5 years and differently abled (wheel is available on request). Check out their official website for latest information and updates : www.sundernursery.org
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