If you want to run in one of Delhi’s most beautiful spots, running though greenery and past historic monuments galore, then head straight for the beautiful Lodhi Gardens.
You know that over-used cliché, describing somewhere as an “oasis of greenery” in a city? Well, the Lodhi Gardens really and truly are an oasis of beauty and (relative) calm in this noisy crowded city.
I say “relative” calm, because the Lodhi Gardens are justifiably popular, with people running, walking, dog walking, doing yoga, all enjoying this very special spot.
There are very few places in this country (& virtually none in this city) where you can truly ever be alone, so it’s hardly fair to expect to be alone in the Lodhi Gardens – but it is wonderful to see so many folks out keeping fit, and taking advantage of such a beautiful place.
To run past 15th century tombs…it truly doesn’t get much better.
The paths are well laid out, well maintained, and I am convinced that there are more rubbish bins per square metre here than anywhere in Delhi. There is a corner with exercise equipment.
Yes, which for Delhi is a HUGE plus, and more over, they are actually OK to use, and there is often an attendant on duty, so runners take note!
Yes, at all the entrances to the Gardens – ie the Lodhi Road side, Max Mueller Marg, and the Khan Market side.
Guards in the parking lots, which is good.
Often at the Khan Market side there are free newspapers, early in the mornings – yup, it just keep getting better and better, doesn’t it?
Not an issue. People + guards = you feel totally safe there. I have run many times on my own, at different times of the day, and have never had an uncomfortable moment.
Entrance and parking are both free.
Dodging other people on the tracks, but this is one of the best mannered places I know in India, and people happily move to the side.
But the biggest downside is there is just so much fabulousness all around you that if, like me, you are easily distracted (one of my favourite hashtags on Instagram is #stoppedforaphoto) then you will never clock up fast times in these beautiful gardens. Way too many Kodak moments. But you will see some beautiful things – domes emerging from the wintery mist…that kind of loveliness. And that is – let’s face it – all part of the running experience.
(A total #stoppedforaphoto moment)
So, yes, the Lodhi Gardens have to be top of the pops for any Delhi runner.
Below is a track log from one of our runs in the Lodhi Gardens (8.5km) but as you can see, there were many paths we didn’t take that particular morning, so there is ample scope for even longer runs.
Oh, sorry, if you feel like a quick snifter and a flutter while you are running – not happening:
(Thanks to Samiksha, one of my running girls, for pointing these rules out!)