Best Parks in Delhi
Looking for a peaceful spot to escape the hustle and bustle of India’s capital? Here are Delhi’s top family-friendly parks where you can let your kids run wild.
10 years ago, this was a massive, very sad looking nursery. Today it’s a massive, beautiful heritage park with historical and educational significance.
In its grand-opening in 2018, the new immaculate grounds were revealed. A decade in the making the 90-acre public park boasts 280 tree species, a bonsai enclosure, rose gardens, 36 butterfly species, and 80 bird species. It’s still an active nursery; plants are available for purchase. As for infrastructure, the heritage park has (stroller-friendly), stone laid pathways, hiking areas, two amphitheaters, water features, fountains, a small lake, and an impressive 15 Mughal monuments – 6 of which are designated by UNESCO as world heritage sites.
Designed to be an educational resource, 20 acres has been designed as micro-habitats to showcase plants native to the “ridge,” “riverine” and “marsh” landscapes that were once found in Delhi. When we visited last week I had the opportunity to speak with someone from upper management who was touring the grounds. He told me that they have plans to build a large playground in the back of the park. The plans are approved but construction hasn’t started so it will be about a year or so before it is complete.
The best part? It’s empty. (for now) I think the word hasn’t gotten out yet or people think it’s just a place to buy plants. As peaceful as it is, it seems a shame to keep it to ourselves. Its educational setup makes it one of the best parks in Delhi for families. Update: This park now charges a small fee to cover the costs of the landscaping, guards, etc.
*Fun fact: The city has plans to eventually restore the zoo and 2 adjacent parks and combine them with Lodhi gardens and Sundar Nursery to create over 600 acres of public “central park” space.
Until Sunder Nursery recently opened up, Lodhi gardens was my top pick. Ok fine, it’s really more of a tie for 1st. Lodhi Gardens is a favorite among morning walkers and yoga enthusiasts. It’s a great place to visit in Delhi with family. Also on 90 acres and also recently renovated a few years back, you’ll love the open green spaces, water features, and massive historical monuments. One of the most popular monuments is a tomb of Mohammed Shah built in 1444. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) organizes heritage walks within the park. The walking paths within Lodhi gardens have much more shade than in Sundar nursery so make this your top pick on a warm day.
Located near Hauz Khas Village (great for yummy, trendy restaurants) Deer park is a very fun park in Delhi. This park contains a large lake, walking paths, a duck park, fountains, rabbit enclosures, monuments, and flower gardens. As you might have guessed from the name, there is a large amount of deer who call the park home.
4Honorable Mention: Mughal Gardens
Once a year from Feb-March, the Presidential palace in Delhi opens it’s 15 acre garden to the public. This is NOT a public park, but it is something the public can enjoy. In fact, during the short time the garden is open, half a million visitors walkthrough. You can find 159 varieties of roses, 50 tree species and many seasonal flowers in bloom such as tulips, lilies, daffodils, etc. There is also a tactile and musical garden along with water features for kids to enjoy. Since it’s the presidential palace, security is tight. No bags or cameras are allowed inside (cell phone is ok), be sure to bring a government-issued photo id – a foreign passport is fine.
Tips and Tricks to visiting the best parks in Delhi
Hours vary by time of year so check online before you go.
Safety: Unlike other countries, India doesn’t really worry about liability in any public area. So that’s both good and bad. It’s great because you can actually explore ancient ruins that would otherwise be super regulated with very restricted access. On the other hand, there are sudden, huge, steep drop-offs which can result in serious injury. You can climb up three stories of a 1000-year-old tomb where the ground just ends. There are also often uneven walkways, holes in the grassy areas, etc. So have your kids watch where they’re going and keep little ones close. For more tips on visiting India with a baby or toddler, click here.
There are many stray dogs loitering about the parks. While often friendly, some are easily startled, which can present an aggressive response. Teach your kids not to pet any animals unless you’ve invited them first.
Bring you’re own snacks or pack a lunch to eat in a shady area. Always remember to bring plenty of water especially during the hot summer months.