Creating green spaces in urban areas constitutes a significant improvement in the quality of the environment and people’s living conditions. They are leisure spaces and meeting places for all ages and all social categories, encouraging different sectors of the population to mix and integrate. And they have proved to be catalysts for economic activity and a source of employment, both directly and indirectly, particularly through the services provided for visitors.
- His Highness the Aga Khan
Sunder Nursery is flanked by the World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb (Above) on the South and the historic Purana Qila (Below) on the North and aligned to the historic Grand Trunk Road on the West. It was originally established 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. A few others, perhaps those found unsuitable and not used at all, are only to be found within the nursery, as rare specimens.
The nursery is in fact an archaeological site – there are scattered remains of Mughal period structures including three nationally protected monuments, together with pavilions, tombs, grave platforms, wells, and a mosque platform.
20 acres within Sunder Nursery are dedicated to plant propagation and display of plants by the CPWD, making this the largest nursery in Central Delhi.
To streamline nursery functions over 20 acres remain for nursery functions operated by CPWD, with nine acres of nursery beds, accessible by the newly laid out peripheral road, have been prepared at the northern edge of the nursery. An effective irrigation system will optimize the use of water and integrate supply with rainwater harvesting.
Standing at the edge of Delhi Zoo, the ecological zones, including secured habitat for ground nesting birds such as peafowl, will encourage migratory birds. Planting belts and groves across portions of the central fields would provide continuity of forest cover, encourage bird habitat and enhance spatial quality of the area.
The new developments at Sunder Nursery will attract a far larger number of people to Sunder Nursery to view the gardens, buy plants or to study and learn from the over 300 varieties of tree species that will eventually be planted here.
Landscape Masterplan designed by Shaheer Associates in 2008 and approved by CPWD, ASI, and AKTC has since then been working in creating Sunder Nursery as a valuable part of Delhi's Urban Heritage.