See, breathe, hear: a three-hour walk along Yamuna to remember

NEW DELHI: Ever heard of a flower shower? On Sunday morning, in one green corner of the capital, Delhiites had the opportunity to witness one.

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As part of Delhi Spring Walk, a three-hour walk from Rajghat through Veer Bhumi, Shakti Sthal and finally Shanti Van, participants got a whiff of the beautiful flora and fauna in this natural stretch along the Yamuna. As the group stood beneath a moulmein rosewood tree, a strong yet pleasant morning breeze caused a light pink flower shower.

According to 29-year-old Madhavi, it was an overwhelming experience. “We keep wasting our time by going out for movies or other events. Instead, we can indulge in such interesting initiatives that turn into memorable experiences. The sights, sounds and smells sooth your senses,” the financial analyst from Shalimar Bagh said.

As the walk started at 7am, apart from the towering trees with myriad colours, in a small waterbody in the area, a family of ducks was spotted. Squirrels galore were seen crossing the narrow path fearlessly. Barbets, parakeets, mynas, doves and crows — all made certain sounds that were akin to music. People were also feeding the fish in the small lake and food was kept outside the ant hills.

“We need to slow down in life and take a look at the beauty around us. Delhi was once the garden city and there are still spaces like these where one can feel close to nature,” Syed Mohammad Qasim, a photographer and travel writer and the organiser of the walk, said.

“The question was how to make these dust-laden trees of the city look glamorous. In the flowering stage, these trees look gorgeous,” said Qasim. “The other option in terms of location for this walk was Buddha Jayanti Park. We can see a small glimpse of Delhi spring here. As long as flowers are blooming in abundance, spring is here. This was organised to make you experience the sights and sounds of nature... rustling of leaves, chirping of birds, etc,” he added.

The area that is spread across 40 acres has a total of 2,776 trees, which include 65 species. The landscaping and planting was planned and curated by the last British gardener in India, Percy Lancaster, the organisers said. Some of the majestic trees here include sheesham, eucalyptus, weeping fig, bougainvillea, amaltas, khirni, pilkhan, moulmein rosewood, palash and mahua, among others.

Kumar Vaibhav, a 35-year-old Lawrence Road resident, wants to go for similar walks more often. “This is the first time I am out for such a nature walk. I know that I will come back here and visit similar green areas as well,” Vaibhav, who works with a multinational company, said.

The organisers want to make the participants feel the sound of rustling leaves, the smell of golden champa, which is a natural disinfectant and fragrance, and the light breeze that makes one forget the blistering heat of the city.

Sibilla, an Italian national, felt the attention to details was quite unique. “If you ask any question about a particular tree, you get a detailed answer even on their origin. I loved the flower shower and the champa grove,” she said.

Similar green areas in the city are at Asola Bhati, Sanjay Van, Buddha Jayanti Park, Lodi Garden, Talkatora Garden, Sunder Nursery and Roshanara Bagh, among others.

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