Lodhi Gardens

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Lodhi Gardens

After the Mughal warrior Timur (aka Tamerlane) ransacked Delhi at the end of the 14th century, he ordered the massacre of the entire population—acceptable retribution, he thought, for the murder of some of his soldiers. As if in unconscious response to this horrific act, the subsequent Lodhi and Sayyid dynasties built no city, only a few mosques and some mausoleums and tombs, the latter of which stand in what is now a delightful urban park. Winding walks cut through landscaped lawns with trees and small flowers, past schoolboys playing cricket, politicians taking in some air, friends and lovers relaxing in the greenery, and parrots squawking. Lodi—The Garden Restaurant is a good place to get a meal after an evening walk. Made of wood and glass, it's as verdant as the garden itself. Near the southern entrance on Lodhi Road is the dignified mausoleum of Mohammed Shah, third ruler of the Sayyid dynasty, and some members of his family. This octagon, with a central chamber surrounded by verandas carved with arches, is a good example of the architecture of this period. Near the road is the open-air National Bonsai Park, with some nice specimens of the trees. The smaller, equally lovely octagonal tomb of Sikandar Lodhi, surrounded by a garden in the park's northwestern corner, has an unusual double dome.

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