Ghosts Of Lodi Garden: How Modern India Left It’s Past To Rot

Disturbing visuals of the state in which monuments of the Lodi Dynasty in Dilli lie today.

February 7, 2022: Modern India takes immense pride in having taken huge strides forward in the backdrop of the subcontinent’s past. Living in times of nanotechnology, space warfare and cryptocurrencies, we often conclude that the India of today is far better off than what it was centuries back.

Yet, if we look at modern India’s economy, for example, which is a key metric of comparison, the India of the Mughal empire and the India before that era were remarkably wealthier than today’s India.

One such interesting phase was the spell of the Lodi Dynasty that ruled the northern Indian region in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Afghan-origin empire of the Lodis (also called Lodhis) was the last of the five back-to-back Delhi Sultanate empires.

The Lodi empire was eventually replaced by the more popular Mughal empire, which during that time took the subcontinent’s economy to even greater heights.

Let alone learning from that eventful past, modern India consistently shows disdain for that history by choosing to ignore priceless monuments and landmarks left behind by former empires. An example is Lodi Garden in the heart of Delhi, home to several tombs, monuments and a sprawling Lodi-era park.

As it is the case with many Mughal-era structures, the Lodi Garden relics are today lying in near-total dereliction. Awbuck Qandoe of Empire Diaries captured this dereliction on camera on a soft, sunny winter afternoon. Here are some snapshots.

The Lodi Garden is a prominent hangout for Delhi’s residents
Not the right place to let shrubs grow
The architectural beauty shines through despite the lack of maintenance
Weather-worn edifice. Not quite the best example of diligent maintenance
History stands tall, but clearly not in great shape
Tombs from the Lodi era
A Lodi era monument, stripped to the bone due to time as well as lack of care
Just whitewash? Not the best way to maintain a 15th-century monument
Unimpressive whitewash. ASI, are you watching this?
A slice of how lively the garden still is
Lying unattended. Take note, ASI
Pigeon poop on a tomb. No sign of even basic clean-up, forget maintenance
Deplorable sight. A booze bottle and some audacious scribbling
Looks like a bombed down place
War didn’t do this. Dereliction did
A sight that passionate historians find deplorable
Guess what this is. A dome’s ceiling left to rot for ages
Must have looked grand during its heyday
The ‘soot’ look that ASI is supposed to have taken care of
The sheer beauty of the place still shines through
A time to reflect
A Lodi era bridge called ‘Athpula’


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Ginger Johnson
2 years ago

So sad! Excellent pictures. They really bring home how magnificent this building must have been–as well as the ravages time and weather can wreak when no maintenance is done. Who owns it now?

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