What if we told you that there are a few secret places in Delhi that even a true-blue Delhiite may not be aware of. That’s right, we have listed five lesser-known places in Delhi that you can truly escape away to and as a bonus, not have to worry about social distancing either! By Amitha Ameen
1. Jahanpanah Forest
You will not believe the location of this beautiful mini forest in the city. Quietly nestled between prime areas like Greater Kailash, Chirag Delhi, Alaknanda, Ambedkar Nagar, Madangir and Hamdard Nagar is Jahanpanah Forest, a real treasure trove for nature lovers. While the capital continues to see rapid urbanisation in its many regions, this oasis has managed to preserve its sanctity. Apart from a few fitness enthusiasts and walkers from nearby residential areas, this huge forest is largely empty and green!
Details: Jahanpanah City Forest, Greater Kailash, Chirag Delhi
2. Bijai Mandal
A secret garden in every sense, this remote and expansive green space is often overlooked for her popular cousin — Hauz Khas Park. This 14th-century monument was established by Muhammad bin Tughlaq as his palace complex, and today it is mostly ruined. But ask anyone who has been here and they will tell you that standing atop the stairs here will make you feel like you are on top of the world, because of the uninterrupted 180-degree views of the city.
Details: Bijai Mandal, Sarvapriya Vihar
3. Jahaz Mahal
Delhi and ancient monuments go hand-in-hand. But look past the usual suspects and you will find a whole new heritage trail that is either under-explored or not known. Built between the 15th and 16th centuries, this is one of those truly hidden places in the city. The Mahal is surrounded by a reservoir and the reflection of the palace resembles that of a ship, which is how it got its name. It is said to have been built during the Lodi dynasty as a ‘pleasure resort’ or in layman’s terms a wellness resort. You can spend a good few hours here admiring the architecture and checking out the nearby lake, Hauz-i-Shamsi without having to worry about being interrupted.
Details: Jahaz Mahal, Mehrauli
4. Hijron ka Khanqah
Known mostly only to those living in the surrounding Mehrauli area, Hijron ka Khanqah with its quiet ambience and striking tombs will provide for a perfect deep-dive into the hijra (eunuchs) community from the yesteryears. Constructed somewhere around 1451 AD and during the Lodi dynasty, the tombs give an insight into how honoured the community was during the Mughal dynasty. Barring festival days, the monument is usually empty and is definitely one of the secret places in Delhi that you must visit.
Details: Hijron ka Khanqah, Mehrauli
5. Garden Of Five Senses
Last but not the least, this place is not exactly an unknown destination but it is mostly deserted and not often frequented by many. Garden of five senses stands true to its name and provides a wonderful experience for anyone looking to escape into nature within the city limits. One can spend their time enjoying a picnic, taking Insta-worthy photos that keep people guessing about the location or learn about the plethora of flora and fauna housed within the garden. Said to be one of the best beautiful places in the city, this sprawling 20-acre park will make you forget that you are in Delhi.
Details: Garden of Five Senses, Saket