Last week of December, I was on a hurricane trip of Delhi. I had heard of Garden of five senses many times and so wanted to see it. Hard pressed for time when I was blessed with a few hours, I immediately decided to visit this garden with a friend. Mr Mahesh Semwal has already described it beautifully with plenty of photos and its very good plus points. I am not going to repeat since I agree with him on most of them but here I present another view of the garden. To be honest, I was quite disappointed.
I feel this garden is all hyped up or it has become so over a period of time since its inception which was not so long back. Or is it that we are habituated to get satisfied with whatever is presented or available to us ?
The Garden is located in Said-ul-Azaib village – DELHI close to the Mehrauli heritage area. It is built on 20 acres of land with plenty of parking space. I was offered a car to roam around in Delhi but with Metro doing an excellent job, I had politely declined it. So, my first point is about transport or to reach the place. We took a metro train till central secretariat and then an auto rickshaw till only Saket PVR because none of them was actually ready to go till the garden. Many of them had not even heard about it ! Now, not being a local person, I might be at some disadvantages to argue or bargain for auto fares but in the end it was a hole in my pocket. From PVR, rickshaws were available for another Rs 50/- for a distance I would have loved to walk had I been a localite and aware of the route. The approach road is very bad with single lane, probably because of ongoing construction work.
A beautiful garden close to nature and supposed to simulate our five sensory organs. The concept is excellent and so is it’s layout. But we felt the maintenance was not upto the mark. The plants were not trimmed and at places they looked like more of bushes and at other places it was barren land. In fact, we saw 4-5 goons with liquor bottles going up to a more secluded area. I will not be surprised if someone tells me police found a dead body somewhere in the garden.
The pathways were not broomed and the garden wore an uncleaned look. Trash cans were not seen everywhere but in spite of wherever they were; the educated people of capital city were littering the whole area. Ponds were not clean so had to take close up shots of flowers. The overall look of the garden was as if it was still under construction.
The drinking water wasn’t available. I don’t believe there were no plans for toilets. So, either they were far too off or not usable because I could see sensible wise parents guiding their young children to pee in the bushes. Anyways, in India it is people’s birthright to pee & litter wherever they want to. Such a nice civic sense we have. And it was a scene to watch when those kids come and ask “wo dono wahan chhup ke kya ker rahe hain?” (What those two are doing there hiding in bushes?). I couldn’t resist myself from clicking ‘those two’. :P
The garden has become a den for love-birds of ALL age groups. I don’t blame the poor couples. With our ever-growing population, they also need a private place to spend some private moments together. I am also not against public display of affection. In fact, they are a turn-on. But there is a limit to it.
The garden was so much full of these couples in love that you can not walk even 5 meters without crossing or disturbing them. Stairs, pathways, bushes, lawns were all full with them displaying (or enacting) different poses. It was difficult to take a good shot without them coming in the frame.
So much so that one could see sign boards all over the garden including near the ticket window also requesting them to maintain decency.
And in the meanwhile if you feel hungry, there is a single restaurant just after the entrance, which has monopolized the whole place. A light lunch of just 2 dishes costed 2 of us around Rs 1500/-. A one litre bottle of mineral water is sold there for Rs 65/-. Can’t really complain but when the flies refuse to leave our tables & want to share our food then I think it would be only fair if they also contribute some towards the hefty bill. :P All in all a good experience. I wish if only good sense prevail among the public and authorities to keep this garden upto its idea of inspiration. The garden is open all the seven days of the week. Winter: 8AM to 8PM & Summer: 8.00AM to 9 PM. Go there if you want to kill time or have exhausted all other places to see in Delhi.
Seems the garden is capable of arousing all your senses; its better than some other gardens of the capital, nevertheless.
Can I know which other gardens are you talking about that are worse ? I would like to visit them as well. :)
Good one Nisha. It is worth appreciating also because you have decided to call a spade a spade :-) I am sure that your grievances will be noticed and listened to.
There is another point as well. You know such love birds moving above decency levels are everywhere in Noida/delhi. They are in malls, parks everywhere. Do we really stop going there. If we will do, then in that case wouldn’t we allow them to destory a wondeful concept, initiative.
Thanks for this post as I am sure now people visiting garden of five senses will come prepared for the worse.
I am totally agreed with the views of Manish.
Thanks for your comment.
Yeah, I had heard a lot of good about this garden and so enthusiastically went to see it. Maybe that was wrong to do on my part. High expectations. :)
As I mentioned, I am not against love-birds or their love and I try my best not to disturb them as well. But there is a limit. I don’t want to narrate what I actually saw there. We claim to be civilized people living in capital city of India.
No, we should not stop going there. Instead we all should throng the place to shoo away the bad elements or activities if there are any. If the garden is full of people, I am sure all objectionable things won’t happen.
For that, we should demand better facilities like toilets, drinking water, good approach road etc. And equally important…. we should utilize these facilities in good sense, project ourselves as good citizens and object to if anyone doesn’t do. After all, it’s a public property and we all pay for it’s upkeep.
It’ll be great if we don’t have to display such boards to remind public to maintain decency and for that matter, it includes peeing in bushes.
Being a father of two growing daughter, I can understand your concerns.
By ignoring such place , in one way we will be supporting such people who are creating nuisance. It will be highly appreciated if all of us could take some actions to make such places a family place.
Thank you. When I read your post first time, I agreed with you on all points and appreciated it also. But still wanted to vent out my disappointment to let people know the other side of it. It’s not that I have a negative thinking but for doing anything there is a proper place.
Today only, while waiting for a doc I objected to a 20 something guy who was very coolly picking up his nose & peeling his skin from his feet as if he was sitting in his bedroom ! It was disgusting to see that. When are we going to learn some civic sense ?
Please read my reply to Manish, don’t want to repeat here.
We should not stop going there but at the same time we should not keep quiet if we don’t get what is expected of it. It is the current scene out there which made me write this post.
I have started doing my part by writing about it. As local citizens, you guys can do great work to take it further. I am with you.
See what I have written in the end, “I wish if only good sense prevail among the public and authorities to keep this garden upto its idea of inspiration.”.
When I come to Delhi next time I would wish to see it more crowded, full of happy people. :)
It is unfortunate that these ‘love birds’ show their affection to each other in public places, especially against the cultural background of India where scenes of kissing in films are eliminated by the censor board. But it is understandable when one learns that many men and women in Delhi share their dwellings with many others and where privacy is at a premium. Evidently this garden of Eden is not for everyone to visit, especially when one is accompanied with family and young children.
If the garden is open after dusk, it could create problems which may go beyond necking.
Good writing with pictures, Nisha. Well done!
I am very sorry for replying late.
Well, as I’ve said earlier, I am not against public display of love but the question here is ‘how much’.
Necking, pecking & kissing were not the only things I saw there. There has to be a limit, especially if the garden is meant for all. Otherwise we can very well have this place strictly for couples.
If the problem persists despite warnings, there may be a simple solution to control it.
Introduce snakes to the park, especially rat snakes, which are non poisonous. Not only they will eliminate the rodent problem around the restaurant, their presence and random sights will discourage couples from engaging in indecent acts. Rat snakes can be purchased from local pet stores or through snake charmers, and this can be undertaken by the park authorities or the city, and cost much less than sign boards and policing.
Rattle snake solution is an innovative idea but don’t you think this action will drive away all genuine goers including me & you ? :)
I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said here. I wound up going to the Garden of Five Senses last week too with a group that included children. It wasn’t my first choice because of all the reasons you’ve mentioned. What I found though was that the kids preferred the Garden to other places /gardens where one might have been able to go such as Lodhi Gardens (yeah, I know, make out spot too) or Humayun’s Tomb simply because they didn’t want to be around anything “old” or associated with history. I think that it was a manifestation of the quest to be cool.
Somehow, I suspect that’s why a lot of people want to achieve by going there — to be “cool”.
The only thing which I really like about the Garden of Five Senses was that there was a hill or sorts from which the Qutub Minar is visible.
Oh is it cool to be there ? I didn’t know that ! Then I was at the right place. :) Definition of being ‘cool’ is changing everyday.
Well, with so much to ‘see’ on the ground itself, I couldn’t pay heed to a boring stuff like Qutub Minar. lol
Nice post Nisha. I agree with you. Lack of restaurants, public conveniences and drinking water is definitely a turn off.
I remember when the garden had just opened, there were a row of dilli-haat like snack shops near the entrance. What happened to those? Are they still there? I don’t remember seeing them during my visit last year.
The restaurant inside the complex is unbelievably expensive. We went in, looked at the menu, ordered some lime water, finished it, settled the bill, and walked out. Then we went to PVR Saket and had our lunch at McDonald’s.
Fortunately, we did not run into too many love-birds and got lovely pictures of some flowers, honey-bees, butterflies etc. Beyond that, I agree with you there is not much left.
The garden did show a lot of potential at one time. It had an amphitheatre, a maze, some beautifully manicured lawns and flower beds. Sad to see that it is not being maintained well.
I think Goverment should conduct regular audits to see where all of the money it alots for maintenance of the city gardens ends up. It is definitely not being used where it should be used.
Yes, I agree with you. When this garden had opened, many friends had told me to put this on my ‘must visit’ list and I think I had that high expectation from it. This garden is nowhere near that description now.
They’ll definitely revamp the garden but only for upcoming Commonwealth games. After that it’ll be back to what it is now.
Good discussion. You are a brave girl to actually shoot them while they are at it. My experience with the Garden is limited to a Dandia party which I sort of got into few years back.
I have written an e-mail to ‘Delhi Tourism’.
I am sure that discussions like these would definitely help us in getting better. You never know, we might see a story or two in local newspapers on this.
Jerry – Snakes is a neat idea. But that might dissuade other harmless folks as well. I would suggest that ‘Delhi Tourism’ should bring School Kids (in hordes) and set them free.
Thanks for sending a mail to Delhi tourism department. Lets hope for the best , but I appreciate that instead of playing with thoughts / feeling ( healthy discussion) here , you have taken the action very fast.
You are a brave girl to actually shoot them while they are at it… Well, I tried my best not to have them in my frames. :)
Glad that as a responsible citizen you’ve taken that step of writing to Delhi Tourism. Have you received any reply ? Why am I asking this ? Because I have also written to them & haven’t got any response till now. :)
Don’t they have anything called ‘customer satisfaction’? Please do update me if you get any reply.
Let us at least try at our level to do our best & voice our opinions.
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I am sorry for replying late.
Nai dilli kya, har jagah yehi mahaul hai lekin mera yeh man-na hai ki har cheez ke liye ek jagah aur ek seema hoti hai. Mujhe koi aapatti nahi hogi agar is uddyaan ko jodoN ka uddyan ghoshit ker diya jaye. Kam se kam doosre logoN ki apekshaoN ko thes nahi lagegi.
A funny thing happened at the ticket counter of this garden when I went there first time alone one day. It was still early in the day, around 10 am or so. I asked for ticket to the lady at the counter & she gave me two tickets, obviously thinking that I’d be with someone. When I said I want just one ticket, she looked zapped. When I went inside, I realized immediately why.
Sorry for replying late.
Ah that makes sense now !
I was wondering why that gentleman at the ticket counter gave me a look when I asked for 2 tickets and was discussing with my female friend how much time we should spend inside the garden !
We have stopped taking our kids to neighbourhood parks for the same reasons that you mentioned in your post. On a saturday, in broad daylight, not behind some bushes, in Millenium Park, we witnessed a couple who were ready to do “it”. the guy had his hands inside his girlfriend’s dress and 4 goon looking teenagers were watching the scene from close range. I said enough is enough, we cant stop this so let’s stop visiting the parks.
Talk of a Graphic account :)
Thnaks Nisha for this wonderful post and your effort to bring it to ghumakkar forum and public notice is commendable. I would also want to share an embarassing story colligated to this. Its been few years when I was in graduation final yr. We have a guest house at Delhi University(north campus) which can be booked/managed for family members. Most of the rooms are facing PG Men’s hostel and the balcony towards so called “BONTA” the ridge. Bonta is a celestial destination for couples with such mindsets. I had booked a room for my parents on 1st floor. When we boarded the room, I thought (out of curiosity) to check in and around sphere. From balcony, To much of my surprise, I promptly sighted a couple who were in the begining/middle (not sure) of “it”. It was really embarassing and I could not stop myself from shouting on them.( I regret having done so now but could not help that time) They vanished in no delay and I had to ask my parents not to open the balcony as monkeys could sprawl in.
I am not sure what is the status of that ridge area now but I still drive through that area at times and wish the condition would be better now.
I totally agree to ur article. I visited the garden last Dec for a case study. Little did i know wat i was in for.Believe me, if you hadn’t written the article I would have coz I experienced evthin just as u’ve described (from the overpriced auto to the barely satisfying meal which ripped me off :( ) wat more I was even asked to take a pic of a couple n mail it :D . Anyways I liked the concept of the park and landscaping (where it was done)
i read all comments and article also.. i just want to ask a question..
can anyone name me any single place or park which is not expensive (entry charge) and safe and meant only for couple in delhi or even in ncr? ONLY FOR COUPLES?
Truth is that there is no place for love birds in delhi… so where we will go for spent some lovely time with each other.. hugging, kissing..
there are only such parks where we can go in low budget.. and there is lot of problems in that too.. oder peoples looks towards us in very odd manner, every time disturbing.. and some youngers even comments..
everyone here is against lovers. if we got any park only for couples we will not spoil any family’s fun.
one thing can be done is that Monday to Friday only couples and Saturday Sunday family..
By rat snake, Jerry doesnt mean rattle snake. Rat snakes are non-venomous and rattle snakes are venomous snakes (Not found in India). Buying and selling snakes is illegal. Would request Jerry to come out with the pet stores that sells them. Its a highly illegal activity.
I like the first few pics…. thanks
heared about it in 2004 when a cousin of mine living in delhi told abou it. since then always wanted to visit. my wish materialised yesterday, and after the visit, i m in sync with every word.
It’s a garden of no sense or nonsense….really embarassing….such a wonderful place turning to be garden of Eden for Adams’ and Eves’…. :(
Very well written post and discussion…m so fortunate today that i visited this beautiful garden with my wife…last week my father had come here in Delhi and i dint take him to any such famous garden otherwise it would have been my most embarrassing to me. I read and heard a lot about this garden and went there with loads of enthusiasm but disappointed like anything….being in Indian culture, i don’t even have that courage to write what i saw…we only keep on searching a single place where we could click at least one snap avoiding those love making scenes….they all were unmoved, shameless, most desperate and crazy people…
India is land of pativrathas (very honest and faithful women). So this type of parks are required, as they should not do in their home. Long live Indian hypocrisy.
i want to go that garden GARDEN OF FIVE SENSES i neer your favour is that is best place to spend time with my lover … tell me truthfully …
Lovely article! I am planning to go to the garden myself in a couple of days to click pictures of some flowers. Would like to share my experience with you. :)
This place is really awesome to visit with friends or for couples. Beautifully built with resto bars nearby. One of the best place in Delhi- The Garden of Five Senses
best lovers place in delhi