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| Last Updated:: 18/10/2021

From barren land to a popular heritage park



by Archana Singh




  • With picturesque gardens, water bodies, centuries-old monuments, and diverse biodiversity, the Sunder Nursery Heritage Park in Delhi is an apt example of how barren land can be sustainably developed.



  • Built by the Mughals in the 16th century and experimented with by the Britishers in the 19th century, the place was finally redeveloped by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in 2007.



  • A decade of painstaking conservation work by the AKTC has resulted in a 90-acre biodiversity park dotted with 20 historical monuments, 300 tree species, 100 bird species, 40 butterfly species, two amphitheatres, a bonsai enclosure, a peafowl zone and plenty more.



  • The success of the Sunder Nursery project also highlighted some of the key issues stalling sustainable development projects – clear demarcation of public-private roles, the economic potential of heritage and open spaces not realised, and that conservation should be inclusive, not exclusive.







Before/after images of Sunder Nursery Biodiversity Zone and Sunder Burj.

Photos from Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).