The Garden of Five Senses is not just a park, it is a space with a variety of activities, inviting public interaction and exploration. The project, developed by Delhi Tourism Transportation Development Corporation, was conceptualized to answer to the city’s need for leisure space for the public, for people to socialize and unwind. Such spaces add atmosphere and life to a city and cater to all sections of the society.
The twenty-acre site, located at Said-Ul-Azaib village, close to the Mehrauli heritage area in New Delhi, is spectacular. The Garden was inaugurated in February 2003. Majestic rocks stand silhouetted against the sky, others lie strewn upon the ground in a casual yet alluring display of nature’s sculptural genius. It was the ideal ground on which to realize the concept of a public leisure space that would awaken a sensory response and thereby a sensitivity to the environment.
Soaring stainless-steel birds mounted on slate-clad pillars welcome you into the park. An expansive plaza, set on the natural slope of the site, invites you up the spiral walkway. Across, a troop of elephants, cut in stone, regaling in a water bath, tempts exploration.
The garden itself is divided into distinct areas. On one side of the spiral walkway is the Khas Bagh, a formal garden patterned on the lines of the Mughal Garden. Slow-moving water cascades in channels along its length, while flowering and fragrant shrubs and trees line its paths. The Central axis leads to a series of fountains, some of which are lit up by fibreoptic lighting systems. Encapsulating the expression here is the sculpture of ‘A Fountain Tree”.
Secluded, away from the heart of the garden, on the other side of the walkway is the food and shopping court. A series of terraces provided with seating arrangements face the food court. The heady Trail of Fragrance leads away to a rocky ridge to the north, where elevated amongst the rocks, a sculpture in stainless-steel, inspired by a pin-wheel, dances in joyous abandon. Wander down the meandering paths to Neel Bagh, a pool of water lilies encircled by pergols covered with climbing plants of different colours and textures. Overhead, hundreds of ceraminc chime, whispering secrets to the breeze, teasing you with their gentle laughter.
There are Colour Gardens – beautiful compositions of flowering shrubs and ground covers that have you looking at familiar plants with new eyes. The Courts of Specimen Plants display not so frequently seen species – of bamboo, for instance, or cactii, or herbs. Nestled amongst the natural slope of the site is the amphitheatre with blocks of sandstone to serve as seating. At the rear of the garden is an open exhibition area for displaying art and for holding art workshops.
Almost two hundred varieties of plants are introduced. In addition, there are large areas where the existing vegetation, consisting mainly of trees such as the local Kikar and the thorny Ber bush, has been left untouched. The Garden has been designed to the imagery suggested by the name Garden of Five Senses. Colour, fragrances, texture and form all come together in an evocative bouquet that awakens the mind to the beauty of life and invokes a grateful prayer for the gift of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
The Garden is designed to stimulate one’s sensory responses to the environment. An amalgamation of color and fragrance, texture and form evokes the awareness of touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. Most of the works of art are dynamic, making it more interactive to the visitors. About 25 different sculptures and murals have been set up in the Garden making it one of the largest collection of public art in the country. This Garden is located near the first city of Delhi i.e. Qila Rai Pithora and while following the approach road to the Garden from T point of MB Road one can see the massive walls of this fort. The Garden of Five senses depict the architecture of the first city including the stones used in the constructions of boundary walls and dome shaped office complex. The walk begins with a description of trees which are planted in the outer area of the garden i.e. from the steps which you take, for moving in the garden complex. The details of the trees which fall in this area have been described below with their common name, botanical name and description for the benefit of the common man who can take a walk.