10 years on, Sunder Nursery to debut as a heritage park

10 years on, Sunder Nursery to debut as a heritage park

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Sundar Nursery’s Central Axis with the 16th century Sundar Burj in the backdrop, New Delhi, India. The project aims to enhance and showcase the ecological and built heritage of the 70-acre Sundar Nursery. A nursery was originally established here in 1912 when the imperial Delhi complex was being planned for propagating and testing tree species from across India and overseas. Photo: AKTC

NEW DELHI: At 90 acres, Sunder Nursery is comparable in size to the famed Lodhi Garden. But it doesn’t receive many visitors as it’s understood as a place to buy plants. This week, this is set to change as a renovated Sunder Nursery opens to the public as a heritage park.
For over a century, this place has been a nursery, and 20 acres are still an active nursery maintained by CPWD. The rest of the area would now be a treat for nature lovers and heritage enthusiasts. The nursery was renovated by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and following an agreement signed last December, AKTC would maintain the park for 10 years. For that, requisite infrastructure would be built such as a garden house to showcase flora, a cafe, toilets etc.

So far, the park is open only on weekdays up to 5pm. This would be stretched and even weekends would be open days. Security and other maintenance infrastructure would be put in place by October. Entry would be ticketed.

Sunder Nursery rivals the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the huge variety of flora and fauna. Earlier, the area only housed Mughal garden tombs. At the beginning of the 20th century, the British converted the area into a nursery for the new capital city. In 2007, following an MoU between CPWD, ASI, the municipal corporation and AKTC, conservation and landscaping works started. AKTC has built similar parks in Kabul, Cairo, Chantilly (France) and Edmonton (Canada).