Buddha Jayanti Park, commissioned to commemorate the 2,500 birth anniversary of the Lord Buddha, is well worth a wander around on a cool winter or spring day.
Buddha Jayanti Park, also known as Buddha Garden is a pretty pleasant park in the Central Ridge Reserve Forest area of South Delhi. Although a bit of a slog to get too, it’s well worth a wander around during day light hours.
At the centre of the park is a suitably impressive Statue of Lord Buddha, said to symbolise the gratitude of the Tibetan people to India after the Chinese invasion.
The Lord Buddha statue is everything you would expect it to be. As Lord Buddha surveys the waterways and gardens around his island home, he must be feeling pretty serene.
But he would probably be a little bit happier if the glass that he housed in was given a good clean every now and again. He should feel right at home as a sapling from the Bodhi Tree in Sri Lanka, under which Lord Buddha meditated and achieved enlightenment, was planted by Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964.
Fifty years on we weren’t able to find what we now hope is a strong tree, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer there. In April or May each year, on Vaisakha full moon day, the birth of the Buddha is celebrated by the statue.
Buddha Jayati Park is rugged in parts, ornamental in areas and there’s some really quite pleasant water features and fountains – complete with water fowl (sadly, the water ways on the outer area of the Buddha statue are dry and do detract from what could be really quite pleasant).
The Bougainvillea gardens are another plus point. They come out in a blaze of glory and will bring a big bright smile to the glummest of faces. There’s potential for a great restaurant, but that has been missed.
The one of offer isn’t like those at Lodi Gardens or the Garden of Five Senses. In short, give it a miss and go to eat at somewhere on Malcha Marg instead.
Like most Delhi parks it’s home to plenty of canoodling couples, but it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In 2003 it was the site of the rape of Delhi University student by four members of the President’s elite bodyguards and it has been said to attract some unsavoury types after dark.
Claims of assault and eve teasing make it a place where caution should be exercised.
Getting there: Located in the Delhi Ridge, Buddha Jayanti Park can be approached from Ridge Road, Shankar Road or Sardar Patel Marg. The nearest tube is Dhaula Kaun. Driving here is the best bet, but if you take public transport or an auto make sure you’ve got a lift back. It’s a pretty out of the way place.