Sunderwala Burj - Beautiful Tower inside recently renovated Sundar Nursery with 10 plus stunning heritage buildings surrounded by lush green gardens

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. 

When at Sundar Nursery in Delhi, you can't miss this beautiful heritage structure which is almost at the entry of this lush green garden and today in this blogpost we are going to share a little more about Sunderwala Burj heritage site which is recently renovated. 



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.


Above photograph of Sunderwala Burj is clicked from centre of the park and you can be beautiful array of water fountains which probably are switched on during evening. The red stone pillars of the both sides of this water canal, makes this monument even more beautiful. The restoration work has really made the place magical. 


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You see Sunder Burj as you enter from main entry gate after taking ticket for Sunder Nursery. Please note that there is entry ticket for 40Rs per adult and then you can monuments inside the Sunder Nursery. In same ticket you can explore different parts of this beautiful green space in capital city of India. Sunderwala Burj (Beautiful Tower) is one of the other 15 historical monuments within Sunder Nursery. Extensive conservation work has been carried out on these heritage sites by keeping in mind the preservation of their architectural integrity and feel of Mughal era when all of them were built. From structural repairs to environmental conservation, it took over 10 years to restore the glory of this place.

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.

Above photograph shows Sunderwala Burj with water body in front of it and red stone pillars with lighting for evening. The place looks stunning during sunset and I have to go again to plan my visit around sunset time, so that we see real magic of the place again. Originally it was built in 16th century during Mughal era with domed ornamental ceiling. The ceiling design of Sunderwala Burj is highly stylised representation of stars in the night sky and a great example of architectural masterpieces of that era. In English it mean 'beautiful tower' and now a part of a UNESCO-certified heritage complex in Delhi. 


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.

The ceiling of Sunderwala Burj is beautiful and  that alone required considerable time and effort during restoration. 

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.

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.  


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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. 


Related Blogpost - Safdarjung Tomb - The last Monumental Tomb Garden of the Mughals with outstanding architecture competing with 3 stunning UNESCO heritage sites of Delhi

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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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. 


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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


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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.   


Related Blogpost - How to make the most of a weekend in Delhi - the capital city of India


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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