Getting to know more about the Lodhi Garden and the flora and fauna in it will soon become that much easier.
The New Delhi Municipal Council will make a documentary film on this landmark, the trees in it and the birds, butterflies and bees, which frequent this favourite spot for joggers, revellers and tourists alike. Though the idea is in its initial stages, NDMC officials want to make the film world-class, “like a documentary one sees on an international nature or animal TV channel”.
“The idea is to showcase the natural beauty of this place. The different species of trees which you can find here as well as the many types of birds which take shelter in this oasis in the middle of an urban setting,” NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said.
The garden was established in 1936 and named as Lady Willingdon Park. It was after Independence that it got its present name. In 1968, further development and beautification was done by architect JA Stein.
Spread over 90 acres, it brings together heritage with rare bird and insect species. Structures protected by Archaeological Survey of India such as Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad are housed here. These monuments (tombs) were built between 1433 and 1533 AD in village Khairpur.
According to the official, the plan is to make a 7-10 minute documentary, which will do justice to the beauty of this place. “We will make it as good as a nature or animal show one sees on TV. With the right professionals and technology, we can properly showcase the beauty of this site,” Kumar said.
The Lodhi Garden has a national bonsai park, herbal garden, bamboo garden, butterfly zone, lotus and lily pond and the tallest (35.5m) tree in Delhi, Buddha Coconut. The rose garden, which has been developed on two acres between gate No. 3 and 4, has around 5,000 plants. The palm corner has been developed on two acres and has Cycas, Fishtail Palm, Dak Palm, Erica Palm, China Palma, Cane and Bottle Palm, among others.
Birders say the move will help document the different avian species frequenting Central Delhi. “Lodhi Garden is famous for old architectural monuments and has emerged as a favourite haunt for morning walkers and picnickers. However, it is also a good birding spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers due to the vast green coverage provided by old trees, bushes and grassland in the heart of Delhi. This short film is an encouraging step,” Ecologist and conservationist TK Roy said.
Birders say this move will help document the different avian species frequenting Central Delhi. “Lodhi Garden is a good ecosystem which was built way back in the Mughal era. This short film is an encouraging step on the part of the authorities. This will help in documentation of the different bird species coming to this green oasis,” wildlife expert and an avid birder Surya Prakash said.
An ecological heaven:
Terrestrial Birds: Black Kite, House Crow, Rufous Treepie, Indian Grey Hornbill, Common Myna, Brahmini Starling, Asia Pied Starling, Black Drongo, Asian Koel, Lesser Goldenback, Common Tailorbird, Spotted Owlet, Red-vented Bulbul, Indian Robin, Magpie Robin, Common Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Common Hoopoe, Coppersmith Barbet, Brown-headed Barbet, Jungle Babbler, Eurasian Colored Dove, Laughing Dove, Purple Sunbird
Seasonal migratory Birds: Jacobin Cuckoo, Rosy Starling, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Bluethroat
Water Birds: Spot-billed Duck, Indian Cormorant, Indian Moorhen, White-throated Kingfisher, Red-wattled Lapwing, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron
Seasonal Migratory Water Birds: Common Coot, Common Teal
Main tree species: Arjun, Champa, Neem, Jamun, Semal, Amaltas, Moulshree, Peepal, Bargad, Kachnar, Kusum, Gulmohar, Sheesham, Putranjiva, Ashok, Shahtoot, Silver oak, Magnolia, Augusta, Karanj, Sirris, Bistendu
New Tree Species: Sita Ashok, Mahogani, Ritha, Sterculias, Tabebuia avellendi