Return Of The Native
Better Homes & Gardens India|May 2018

Once in ruins, the over 100-year-old Sunder Nursery with its Mughal-era monuments has now been beautifully restored to give Delhi a new green space.

Satarupa Paul

It’s easy to miss the quaint lane to Sunder Nursery. The busy Mathura Road that brings you to it winds around a roundabout, in the centre of which stands the blue-domed Nila Gumbad or the Subz Burj Tomb, presently tarped up for restoration. Three hundred metres from the main road is an unpretentious signage signalling your arrival at Sunder Nursery.

History places the origins of the area that constitutes present day Sunder Nursery to around the 16th century, during the reign of the Mughals. The Nursery was originally known as Azim Bagh and built as a Mughal garden beside the already established sites of the Nizamuddin Basti and Humayun’s Tomb. Over 100 monuments dot the landscape of the Nizamuddin—Humayun’s Tomb, Sunder Nursery area, some dating as far back to the 14th century. With the end of the Mughal era, many of the monuments fell into neglect and ruin, as did the gardens of Sunder Nursery. That is until the British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi and established a nursery at this site, where plant specimens could be bred for the new capital’s avenues and gardens—thus, giving the erstwhile garden its present nomenclature.

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