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Aga Khan Trust Restores 15 Monuments Back to Glory

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Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Delhi’s first-of-its-kind arboretum and a city heritage park developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in a 90-acre area near the Humayun’s Tomb.

New Delhi: As many as 15 monuments dating back to the 16th century nearby the majestic Humayun Tomb are now back to their splendour here in Nizamuddin area in Delhi. Along with this, a nursery spread in a 90-acre area, which houses these monuments, has also been transformed into a magnificent heritage city park. The heritage park offers a unique blend of nature, culture and ecology. Thanks to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), under which the monument restoration and city park development work has been done in line with the those created by it in Kabul, Cairo, Mali and Zanzibar.
The Sunder Nursery, as the site was named with its establishment in the early 20th century to serve as a plant nursery for the British, will now serve as Delhi’s first of its kind arboretum and micro-habitat zone with almost 300 tree species, many of which are rare. It took more than 10 years to bring the area back to its glory with a unique ensemble of 16th-century garden tombs.
The AKTC commenced the conservation and landscape work at the Sunder Nursery after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Central Public Works Department, the Archaeological Survey of India and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2007. The grand 550-metre-long central vista of the nursery now has a water garden with monolithic lotus fountains and flower beds bound by sandstone flower beds – reminiscent of Mughal landscapes of the 16th century – to attract nature lovers and children. Two amphitheatres – one at the central vista and another in the zone marked for a botanical garden – have also been developed inside the nursery for organising cultural events.
A specially built facility allows the display of the nursery’s bonsai collection of over 400 plants. “No such public park is available in Delhi. A large maidan (open area) is also available for winter picnics. Trees and shrubs that we have planted here are already attracting 80 species of birds. 60 species of butterflies have already made the park their home,” chief executive officer (CEO) of AKTC Ratish Nanda said.
(Extracted from deccanherald.com)