Delhi’s quiet spaces: Safdarjung Tomb


With 25 million people living across the Delhi NCR, securing a quiet green space all to yourself isn’t easy.  But we’ve found some: don’t tell everyone where they are.  First up, it’s Safdarjung’s Tomb

South Delhi Gardens means Lodi Gardens for most folk, and that means that Tomb of Safdarjung, built in 1754 for the Viceroy of Awadh at the time of Mughal Emperor Mohammed Shah, is pretty much empty most of the time.

Safdarjung, who, in effect, was Chief Minister of Delhi, pushed the waning Mughal Emperors a little too far and ended up being driven out of Delhi in 1753 by the Emperor.

When he died a year later in 1754, his son pleaded with the Mohammed Shah for a tomb to built in his honour in the capital.  That wish was granted.

Made of marble and sandstone, it’s not as magnificent as Humayun’s Tomb, but it’s still something really quite special.

The Onion shaped dome is surrounded by traditional Charbagh gardens: a Persian style of gardening which traditionally sees a quadrilateral garden divided into a further four parts by walkways and flowing water (although there is no water flowing here, just the channels). Charbaghs were, in effect, gateways to paradise, acting as an interface between earth and heaven.

Running around the perimeter of the gardens is a wall, which is around 1km long (about 300 metres each side)

Although it draws in some tourist and locals, you can pretty much have the place to yourself: aside from the odd canoodling couple.

The monument is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, so there’s a small charge to gain entry (15 INR for locals and residents / 200 INR for foreigners).  This is another reason why it’s pretty empty.

Safdarjung Tomb, South Delhi, at the western end of Lodi Road.  Find it on Google maps here.

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