Sunder Nursery - An Ideal Picnic Spot in the heart of Delhi and the lush green space compared with New York's Central Park

In case you hear the name "Sunder Nursery" of Delhi and think of a beautiful plant nursery, I don't blame you a bit. But in reality, Sunder Nursery is that and much more. We had been planning to visit the place in a long time and in the current state of things, when the world has only just opened back up a little after a harrowing second wave of the pandemic, visiting a beautiful outdoor location and sitting on the grass with cool breeze blowing, sounds nothing short of a dream. This Sunday, we decided to make this dream a reality.

In case you hear the name "Sunder Nursery" of Delhi and think of a beautiful plant nursery, I don't blame you a bit. But in reality, Sunder Nursery is that and much more. We had been planning to visit the place in a long time and in the current state of things, when the world has only just opened back up a little after a harrowing second wave of the pandemic, visiting a beautiful outdoor location and sitting on the grass with cool breeze blowing, sounds nothing short of a dream. This Sunday, we decided to make this dream a reality. 


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We have all had different reactions to the pandemic. Some of us have barely stepped out, others started reclaiming the space as soon as the second wave subsided. We are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Stepping out a little, but with precautions and only in spaces that are open. Meeting people in a social bubble (almost). And always always wearing masks when in public spaces. So I like to believe that we have been careful, but also a little adventurous.


We have all had different reactions to the pandemic. Some of us have barely stepped out, others started reclaiming the space as soon as the second wave subsided. We are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Stepping out a little, but with precautions and only in spaces that are open. Meeting people in a social bubble (almost). And always always wearing masks when in public spaces. So I like to believe that we have been careful, but also a little adventurous.


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We have all had different reactions to the pandemic. Some of us have barely stepped out, others started reclaiming the space as soon as the second wave subsided. We are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Stepping out a little, but with precautions and only in spaces that are open. Meeting people in a social bubble (almost). And always always wearing masks when in public spaces. So I like to believe that we have been careful, but also a little adventurous.

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Sunder Nursery was the perfect spot for a little picnic in that regard. It is an open space, green, and also something that we had never explored before. And there are pandemic-related restrictions everywhere - so you are required to wear a mask always, stand in queues with social distancing, while purchasing tickets or buying food. And considering that it is in the heart of Delhi and we were visiting on a Saturday, it wasn't yet that crowded. However, I think it is getting there again.

Sunder Nursery was the perfect spot for a little picnic in that regard. It is an open space, green, and also something that we had never explored before. And there are pandemic-related restrictions everywhere - so you are required to wear a mask always, stand in queues with social distancing, while purchasing tickets or buying food. And considering that it is in the heart of Delhi and we were visiting on a Saturday, it wasn't yet that crowded. However, I think it is getting there again.  

Sunder Nursery was the perfect spot for a little picnic in that regard. It is an open space, green, and also something that we had never explored before. And there are pandemic-related restrictions everywhere - so you are required to wear a mask always, stand in queues with social distancing, while purchasing tickets or buying food. And considering that it is in the heart of Delhi and we were visiting on a Saturday, it wasn't yet that crowded. However, I think it is getting there again.

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Anyway, we parked our car in the the outside parking and walked the couple of 100 metres to the ticketing counter, bought the ticket (Rs. 40 per adult). As soon as we entered the Nursery though, we spotted a Rufus Treepie and a Grey Hornbill. VJ had left his camera in the car, so upon spotting these exciting birds, he went back and got it. However, we did not have much luck with birding at Sunder Nursery. May be we were not patient enough, but the sheer number of house crows and jungle crows in the gardens kind of overshadowed all other birds.


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Anyway, we parked our car in the the outside parking and walked the couple of 100 metres to the ticketing counter, bought the ticket (Rs. 40 per adult). As soon as we entered the Nursery though, we spotted a Rufus Treepie and a Grey Hornbill. VJ had left his camera in the car, so upon spotting these exciting birds, he went back and got it. However, we did not have much luck with birding at Sunder Nursery. May be we were not patient enough, but the sheer number of house crows and jungle crows in the gardens kind of overshadowed all other birds. 


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Anyway, we parked our car in the the outside parking and walked the couple of 100 metres to the ticketing counter, bought the ticket (Rs. 40 per adult). As soon as we entered the Nursery though, we spotted a Rufus Treepie and a Grey Hornbill. VJ had left his camera in the car, so upon spotting these exciting birds, he went back and got it. However, we did not have much luck with birding at Sunder Nursery. May be we were not patient enough, but the sheer number of house crows and jungle crows in the gardens kind of overshadowed all other birds.

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Throughout we kept hearing the brown-headed barbets, and saw a yellow-footed green pigeon in flight. Yes, we spotted a pied mynah along with the regular mynah, and also caught sight of a white-breasted waterhen scoot for cover on our approach. We also saw a black-rumped flameback very high up in the tree canopy. Rose-ringed parakeets and kites too could be spotted. I think you are wondering now what else we were hoping to see, but none of these stayed long enough for us to take pictures. And as I said earlier, may be we should have been more patient.

Throughout we kept hearing the brown-headed barbets, and saw a yellow-footed green pigeon in flight. Yes, we spotted a pied mynah along with the regular mynah, and also caught sight of a white-breasted waterhen scoot for cover on our approach. We also saw a black-rumped flameback very high up in the tree canopy. Rose-ringed parakeets and kites too could be spotted. I think you are wondering now what else we were hoping to see, but none of these stayed long enough for us to take pictures. And as I said earlier, may be we should have been more patient.

Throughout we kept hearing the brown-headed barbets, and saw a yellow-footed green pigeon in flight. Yes, we spotted a pied mynah along with the regular mynah, and also caught sight of a white-breasted waterhen scoot for cover on our approach. We also saw a black-rumped flameback very high up in the tree canopy. Rose-ringed parakeets and kites too could be spotted. I think you are wondering now what else we were hoping to see, but none of these stayed long enough for us to take pictures. And as I said earlier, may be we should have been more patient.

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Anyway, now that we have got past the bird topic, let's move back to the ground. As soon as you enter the park, you notice a somewhat unkempt nursery on the left and you see a beautiful Mughal Era domed structure straight up. We allowed ourselves to get distracted by the nursery and then we got lost in it for the next one hour. It was huge. And who does not like to look at several varieties of pothos, some with very large leaves going up the trunk of an ancient tree. Aglaonemas and dracenas and also the classic roses and jasmines and creepers of various shapes and sizes. We also learnt that we could have brought our car inside the nursery and bought some plants to take back home. Lesson learnt for the next time. :) 

Anyway, now that we have got past the bird topic, let's move back to the ground. As soon as you enter the park, you notice a somewhat unkempt nursery on the left and you see a beautiful Mughal Era domed structure straight up. We allowed ourselves to get distracted by the nursery and then we got lost in it for the next one hour. It was huge. And who does not like to look at several varieties of pothos, some with very large leaves going up the trunk of an ancient tree. Aglaonemas and dracenas and also the classic roses and jasmines and creepers of various shapes and sizes. We also learnt that we could have brought our car inside the nursery and bought some plants to take back home. Lesson learnt for the next time. :)


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Anyway, now that we have got past the bird topic, let's move back to the ground. As soon as you enter the park, you notice a somewhat unkempt nursery on the left and you see a beautiful Mughal Era domed structure straight up. We allowed ourselves to get distracted by the nursery and then we got lost in it for the next one hour. It was huge. And who does not like to look at several varieties of pothos, some with very large leaves going up the trunk of an ancient tree. Aglaonemas and dracenas and also the classic roses and jasmines and creepers of various shapes and sizes. We also learnt that we could have brought our car inside the nursery and bought some plants to take back home. Lesson learnt for the next time. :)


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Actually all around the central vista, which is dotted with beautiful, restored Mughal Era monuments, there are various nurseries from where you can purchase plants. And there's also a bonsai green house that has some really old bonsais of peepal, ficus and even banyan. The bonsai house was locked when we were there, but you can see almost all specimen from the periphery.

Actually all around the central vista, which is dotted with beautiful, restored Mughal Era monuments, there are various nurseries from where you can purchase plants. And there's also a bonsai green house that has some really old bonsais of peepal, ficus and even banyan. The bonsai house was locked when we were there, but you can see almost all specimen from the periphery. 

In the early 20th century, specimen of foreign trees were brought here to assess their feasibility in the climate, and the ones that managed to survive were planted in the Imperial city. You can still see some unique varieties here in this garden today.


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In the early 20th century, specimen of foreign trees were brought here to assess their feasibility in the climate, and the ones that managed to survive were planted in the Imperial city. You can still see some unique varieties here in this garden today. 

In the early 20th century, specimen of foreign trees were brought here to assess their feasibility in the climate, and the ones that managed to survive were planted in the Imperial city. You can still see some unique varieties here in this garden today.


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Sunder Nursery, earlier known as Azim Bagh or Bagh-e-azeem, was built in the 16th century and contains 15 heritage monuments, out of which 6 are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A massive restoration and renovation effort started in 2007 and the Nursery opened for public in 2018. The restoration itself is a part of the larger Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Master Plan of the Aga Khan Trust, which is focussed on restoring and reviving Sunder Nursery and the adjacent Humanyun Tomb complex.

Sunder Nursery, earlier known as Azim Bagh or Bagh-e-azeem, was built in the 16th century and contains 15 heritage monuments, out of which 6 are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A massive restoration and renovation effort started in 2007 and the Nursery opened for public in 2018. The restoration itself is a part of the larger Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Master Plan of the Aga Khan Trust, which is focussed on restoring and reviving Sunder Nursery and the adjacent Humanyun Tomb complex

Sunder Nursery, earlier known as Azim Bagh or Bagh-e-azeem, was built in the 16th century and contains 15 heritage monuments, out of which 6 are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A massive restoration and renovation effort started in 2007 and the Nursery opened for public in 2018. The restoration itself is a part of the larger Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Master Plan of the Aga Khan Trust, which is focussed on restoring and reviving Sunder Nursery and the adjacent Humanyun Tomb complex.


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As part of the restoration, not only have the monuments been restored, but new waterbodies have been introduced, lawns have been created and walks have paved. One can spend several hours exploring Sunder Burj, Sunderwala Mahal, Chotta Batashewala, Lakkarwala Burj etc. These monuments are spread out in several acres in various lawns, all connected by somewhat unimaginatively named "Scenic Walk".

As part of the restoration, not only have the monuments been restored, but new waterbodies have been introduced, lawns have been created and walks have paved. One can spend several hours exploring Sunder Burj, Sunderwala Mahal, Chotta Batashewala, Lakkarwala Burj etc. These monuments are spread out in several acres in various lawns, all connected by somewhat unimaginatively named "Scenic Walk". 

While we were there, we saw several families who had brought picnic baskets, their dogs, and books to read to the place. We saw new parents pushing prams, people queuing up outside the lake-side fabcafe (which had a waiting for 1.5 hours if you wanted to sit inside). It was a warm and sunny place, a happy place.

While we were there, we saw several families who had brought picnic baskets, their dogs, and books to read to the place. We saw new parents pushing prams, people queuing up outside the lake-side fabcafe (which had a waiting for 1.5 hours if you wanted to sit inside). It was a warm and sunny place, a happy place. 

While we were there, we saw several families who had brought picnic baskets, their dogs, and books to read to the place. We saw new parents pushing prams, people queuing up outside the lake-side fabcafe (which had a waiting for 1.5 hours if you wanted to sit inside). It was a warm and sunny place, a happy place.


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We would love to go back there once the temperatures go down as the year advances. It is also a good place to hang out with friends and spend your winter mornings and afternoon getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. I hope the pandemic stays at bay and we are all able to get back to the days when we could take stepping out for granted.

We would love to go back there once the temperatures go down as the year advances. It is also a good place to hang out with friends and spend your winter mornings and afternoon getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. I hope the pandemic stays at bay and we are all able to get back to the days when we could take stepping out for granted.   

We would love to go back there once the temperatures go down as the year advances. It is also a good place to hang out with friends and spend your winter mornings and afternoon getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. I hope the pandemic stays at bay and we are all able to get back to the days when we could take stepping out for granted.

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If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.
2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 
3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 
4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 
5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite.

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