facebook icon twitter icon youtube iconinstagram icon

Home About Contact Press

Explore: Photo Essay

By Christine Pemberton

India, and its capital city, New Delhi in particular, has just received the most wonderful present.
After generations of neglect, and years of work, the monuments dotting the otherwise quiet and low-key Sunder Nursery have been restored to their glory.
Inaugurated in late February 2018, these landscaped gardens provide a missing link in the history of both the city and also of landscaping and design.

Date Published: 11th April 2018.

Monument at Sunder Nursery

Welcome to Sunder Nursery, a 90 acre city park, with gardens and water bodies and lawns and, most excitingly, 15 historic monuments that are showcased to perfection.

The restoration of Sunder Nursery was driven by the Aga Khan Trust

The driving force behind the conservation and restoration of the ancient monuments was the Aga Khan Trust, and it has been a labour of love for a decade, to restore the structures, some of which were in poor condition.

The 16th Century Sunderwala Burj Tomb

The 16th-century Sunderwala Burj tomb is one of the first sights that greet you as you enter the nursery. The tomb has been restored as per the orange sandstone and white lime mortar used in its original design.

Inside Sunderwala Burj Tomb

Inside, the restoration is breathtaking, with delicate designs on the ceiling now restored to their former glory.

Detail of walls inside Sunderwala Burj Tomb

Inside the 16th century tomb, entire sections of white Quranic verses have been recreated. There is a peaceful elegance in this simple tomb, which was the first of the 15 monumnets to emerge from centuries of neglect.

Water features are a beloved and integral part of Mughal landscaping

Water features, such a beloved and integral part of Mughal landscaping, dot the 90 acre park. The grand central vista combines flowing water and geometric patterns, and is over 500 metres in length, following the path of the 16th century Grand Trunk Road.

Lakkarwala Burj is set amongst the rose beds

Set amongst rose beds, the 16th century Lakkarwala Burj, similar to the Sunder Burj, but on a slightly larger scale, and, of course, on a raised platform.

Sense of restfulness and harmony at Lakkarwala Burj - views inside and out

With malis (gardeners) pottering around tending the roses, and hose pipes trailing across the path, with vistas through the tomb’s doors to the nursery beyond, there is a sense of restfulness and harmony in this monument. Almost a touch of the Sleeping Beauty, awakened from years - centuries - of dusty neglect…

Trees and waterfeatures are a magnet for birds

The trees and the water features are already a magnet for birds, and as the park matures, one can only imagine that the bird life will multiply. There is a huge, avowed commitment to nature here. 20,000 saplings have been planted. There are already 80 bird species and 36 butterfly species recorded. Exciting times lie ahead for every city dweller who longs for a green space.

A tantalising glimpse of the walls of the 16th Century Azimgank Serai

A tantalizing glimpse of the walls of 16th century Azimganj Serai, which now lies within the adjacent Delhi Zoo. Even more tantalizingly, according to the team that has restored the nursery “it is hoped that eventually this 16th century serai will be accessible for visitors from Sunder Nursery”. It is the reconnecting of monuments that have been separated by time and bureaucracy that is so exciting in this development. History is coming together again.

Tucked away amongst shady trees lies this little gem, a small building after restoration

Tucked away amongst shady trees lies this little gem. Tiny, quiet, peaceful, elegant. And saved from demolition just a few years ago. Unbelievably there were plans to demolish it, in order to build a road extension for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Saved from destruction, it was not only restored but its own garden was created.

Ornate details inside a monument at Sunder Nursery

Restoring, renovating and reconnecting history, re-energising nature, creating an oasis of greenery in a busy city - the Sunder Nursery is a delight. And the work is not finished. There are more monuments to be restored. There are biodiversity habitats to be nurtured – a staggering 30 acres have been set aside to grow naturally. And, excitingly, there is a Garden Amphitheatre, designed to provide a platform for musicians. So in the place where the 14th century Qawwali musical traditions started, things have come full circle.





Sunder Nursery, New Delhi

Sunder Nursery, New Delhi: Photo Essay

Just opposite the UNESCO heritage site of Humayun's tomb in Delhi is a botanical marvel - Sunder nursery. We walk you through this recently restored green paradise.

Uttam Nagar Potters Colony

Uttam Nagar Potter's Colony: Photo Essay

India's largest potters colony can be found in Uttam Nagar in Delhi. More than four hundred potters play with earth and fire here. Sanvi Bhatia, our eight year old correspondent brings the story.

Humayuns Tomb Cover image

Humayun's Tomb: Photo Essay

Delhi has witnessed some monsoon kisses and the monuments look washed and are smiling again. The newly renovated Humayun's tomb is the perfect heritage spot to step back into time. View

Cannes Film Festival Cover image

Cannes Film Festival: Photo Essay

Every year in May people from the cinema world throng the city of Cannes for the most coveted festival. Deals and Drama make the city a fantasy land. View

Anokhi image

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing: Photo Essay

Each region in Rajasthan has years of association with hand block printing. Kind of Dyes and the blocks used change with every mile. This has now been meticulously documented at the Anokhi museum. View

Serendipity Store image

Serendipity Store, Delhi: Photo Essay

Delhi is a study in contrasts, one moment you are walking on a dirt road and the next you are sitting in a cool cafe with polished marble floors. Serendipity, the concept store is a bit like that - while you are navigating through chaos you suddenly come face to face with this charming "Haveli". Read More.


For A While, Himachal


Societe Naturelle


Sunder Nursery, New Delhi


Madan Meena


Jamini Design, Paris Zo Fidji


CW Pencil Enterprise



Travel Contest image




- Eat

- Stay

- Explore

- Art

- Design

- Offbeat

- Postcard

- Contests


- Video

- Photo

- Writing

- All Content


- Who We are

- Contact Us

- Press


facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon instagram icon

Sign up to our newsletter