The initiative is a project of the Aga Khan Development Network

Stretching from the entrance plaza of Humayun’s Tomb through the park’s tranquil environs and terminating at the threshold of the 16th c. Azimganj Serai, the Central Axis establishes a grand Mughal corridor of landscape and heritage. It is envisioned as a modern interpretation of a Persian garden and comprises of water channels, marble fountains, flower beds, sandstone seating, with motifs inspired from Mughal landscape and architectural masterpieces of the subcontinent. It features water channel overflowing into 10 exquisite jaali panels echoing the rich crafts traditions of India that offer much design variety within a single module.

A nursery was originally established here in the early 20th century when the Imperial Delhi complex was being planned and constructed. It was used as a place for propagating trees and other plants to be used in the new capital city, and also for testing species brought from other parts of India and from overseas, to pick those which successfully thrive in Delhi’s harsh climate. A large number of these trees, some of which are only occasionally seen in the city, are still flourishing here. Sunder Nursery, as a repository and experimenting ground for trees meant for use in the planning and building of New Delhi is an intrinsic part of the urban heritage. Therefore, the landscape plan has creatively combined monuments, forest type vegetation and nursery functions within one interactive experience, so as to address:

  1. the requirements of a productive landscape, i.e. a horticultural cum forest nursery
  2. the needs of cultural activity and tourism arising out of its heritage character
  3. the protection and enhancement of its natural and botanical assets
  4. experiential opportunities for recreation and education

Creating Landscape design of Sundar Nursery

There is a distinct possibility here of creating a major landscape space of truly urban scale, deriving inspiration from the traditional Indian concept of congruency, not division, between nature, garden, and utility*, and environmental conservation, to provide for public recreation, functions and patterns of urban behaviour characteristic of metropolitan cities, or to be even more specific, to Delhi. The aim of the Landscape Master Plan has been to establish design relationships between these three major uses by weaving a meaningful visitor experience through them, traversing the site in a way that encourages and enables appreciation of all three aspects and also offers opportunities for recreation, education and discovery. Sensitive site planning and landscape design would create spatial identities that overlap and intersect but the distinctive identity of each component far from being compromised, contributes vigorously to the whole. Some of the key landscape icons created in Sundar Nursery are: