City Monument – Overlooked Ruin, Lodhi Gardens
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
This gorgeous ruin bathed in beauty lies totally ignored in Lodhi Gardens as an unsung monument.
The centuries-old Mughal-era building is believed to be the remains of a gateway that once led to a garden, now nowhere to be found. It nowadays faces an orchard of English roses.
True enough, visitors to Lodhi Gardens tend to be drawn to far more historically significant monuments, such as Emperor Sikander Lodhi’s tomb. But this small double-storey structure has an elegance of its own.
The roof curves gently towards the center, like a boat turned upside down; while fluted columns on the four corners and swirly arches adorn the facades. One notices that the plain white walls, chipped at various places, are sculpted with taak—those old-fashioned niches that are fast disappearing from contemporary architecture.
Inside the monument, these walls are scratched with hearts and love messages presumably rendered by exactly the kind of romantic couples dispersed across the park this afternoon.
Steep stairs lead to the floor above, where locked steel trunks are housed for some reason. What could possibly be inside them? Here, you can take advantage of the terrific window view that lets you spy upon the crowded jogging track. Chances are slim that any of the preoccupied joggers will spot you or the lovely monument.