The Garden of five senses is a garden located in the posh area of Saket in New Delhi, India. The garden is away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Only a single kilometer away from the metro station and the bus station, this garden fulfills its motive of providing a leisure place for family outings. It is a space which supports a lot of activities, exhibitions, and cultural events. Created by the Delhi Tourism Transportation Corporation, this 20 acres garden, located in Said-ul-Azaib village is a beacon for the people living in the darkness of anxiety and boredom.
As one reaches the garden further we see majestic rocks standing upon the earth showing the structural ingenious of nature. Upon reaching the garden one come across a completely stone paved area with circular punctures from which trees spring out. A lot of attention is brought upon the details, making the design even more lovable. The curvilinear stairs and ramps create harmony with the curved wall of the ticket counter. Now heading towards the entrance, one sees the variety in the type, color, and materials used in tiles and pavers. The garden makes full use of the natural slopes present over here and creates undulating and spiral walkways. These walkways are delighting and energy supplier.
Just at the entrance is an expansive plaza. It’s lovely to see the trees when they shed all their leaves during the winters and have only pink flowers which shed gradually with the flowing winds. One sees a sketcher sketching the views and portraits of visitors, a palm reader ready with his equipment and small shops selling bracelets and armlets. Heading towards the right, one reaches another plaza with a number of elephant sculptures taking a water bath. These massive structures look gentle with their smooth edges and water springing upon them.
The principle of Mughal gardens is used to create a garden known as Khaas Bagh. There are a number of straight paths with terraces. The walkway is at different levels with a water cascade on each side and trees on both sides. There is a fountain just in front of the central axis. Then, one walks through the curvy paths to Neel Bagh. Around a circular pond with lovely lilies in it, chimes made up of ceramics are placed. The pond is surrounded by palm trees and further by two curved pergolas with climbers climbing upon it. These pergolas provide a subtle enclosure to the pond. It is pleasing to hear when the soft breezes blew the chimes and the awesome to feel when the breeze touches you.
The Arch and the Maze
Going forward one reaches a rather odd site. It’s the Arch of Labna which is inspired by the ancient architecture of Mayans. The first thought which would be like a spaceship has landed on earth. But it has its unique charm; the plain arch with several moldings, niches, and pillars over the facade is able to attract a lot of people to click selfies over there.
Now ambulating through the path, one relishes sauntering over the curved ramps. Black slates and grey stones are used in this ramp. Also, there are small pillars with a small ceramic sculpture placed on a podium. Also, the whole spiral walkway is punctuated with trees planted on a small square shaped platform. Although the walkways become confusing sometimes and but they are enjoyable. At specific points, there are small lights placed under ceramic lanterns.
The Public Art
Then one reaches the lawns with statues of children lined up in a row with their hands joined together and eyes closed, summoning God in their prayers. In front of the children is another statue of an open book. Palm trees and ceramic lanterns cover this area. Strolling ahead one reaches a walkway with pergolas. It’s pleasant to see the lights filtering in and creating shadows around the space. The floorings are made up of black tiles and stones. The design is supposedly based on the charbagh pattern with four straight walkways. The walkway then further leads to a curved end which has pillars encircling bamboo shoots emerging out of an eight-pointed star just like the Islamic motifs.
Sculptures and Sundial
Moving forward there are a number of structures like bamboo shoots placed in between stone pillars. These pillars have statues of birds at the top of it. It is a wonderful combination of how the two components of the landscape, the hardscape, and softscape have been integrated into a single unit. There are artistic sculptures like a serpent on the rock and fish on pyramids, inspired from nature. A subtle enclosure is created by arches covered pathways. Now traipsing forward one reaches an informal seating space. Space has stone and brick tiled curved seating cum pathways. There is a romantic repetition of grassy meadows and brick tiled walkways. Ceramic lamps with lights and small trees punctuate these walkways at the farther end.
Now heading forward is a sundial standing in the midst of bushes and shrubs. Then one reaches the Amphitheatre, built on a natural sloping land. The cunning designer of the garden has extracted the full potential of the site by taking the slope of the site to his advantage. Seating spaces are made up of stone. The ends of the Amphitheatre are massive rocks which somewhat appears brings alluring beauty and a creative boundary.
Both rare and known trees and flowers fill the whole garden. The garden tries to activate the five sense of the human body through colors of flowers and leaves, textures of foliage of plants and material of pave stones and sculptures, fragrance of flowers and the sensuous smell of when water falls on dry earth, sound of water flowing through cascades or falling through the fountain and taste of the delicious food present at various stalls. It is a marvel for public space in Delhi when it comes to the sensitivity provided for the users. Such is the exaggerated drama of the garden that people coming out of the garden start recalling the places he saw inside and start looking at the photos he clicked inside.