Mugal Gardens

Sir Edwin Lutyens was the designer behind the building and the gardens. Lutyens’ original idea was to lay down two separate gardens, one for the Viceroy and the other for the public. However, he ended up designing the Mughal Garden for Lady Harding.

After carefully studying the Persian and Indian miniatures as well as the gardens at Taj Mahal in Agra and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore and Srinagar, Lutyens combined the formal Mughal style with that of an English garden. The gardens are a beautiful blend of Mughal canals and terraces at different levels and European flower beds, lawns and privet hedges.

mugal gardens delhi

W. R. Mustoe, O.B.E of the Horticultural Department was responsible for all the planting done in the gardens in the initial years. With his help, Lutyens was able to transform a desert into an oasis by 1929, when the building was ready for occupation.

The Garden's Features

The gardens comprise three parts: the first is the 'Rectangular Garden' immediately behind the main building. The second is the 'Long Garden', which leads on to the third section – the 'Circular Garden'.

Lutyens combined the soft English borders, small flower beds and lawns to produce a virtual paradise. The skeleton is formed of four waterways, two north to south and two running from square basins immediately below the windows of the main house. In these basins and at the four intersections are the unique fountains consisting of three-tiers of huge red-sandstone discs that draw inspiration from lotus leaves.

The slotted margins of the lotus leaves direct the water flow from step to step in alternating falls. From the four waterways a network of lesser channels extend to other areas. The waterways are patterned with red-sandstone edges and plots of lawns alternating with chequered flower beds – creating a wonderfully landscaped garden.

The garden spreads westwards from the Rectangular Garden to the Circular Garden through the Long Garden, which is the only part of the garden with no water channels. Over here, Lutyens designed a delightful Pergola, on which bougainvillaea creepers grow. On the sides, it has separate beds of roses with small trimmed hedges of Ingadulets, creating an effect of coloured knots on a vast carpet.

The gardens end quite simply in the round pool in the middle of a sunken circle. Around the pool are massed segmental and tiered flower beds attracting butterflies. This part is the Circular Garden, also called Pearl Garden and Butterfly Garden.