Wondering where to spend a weekend in Delhi? Here are the ten best parks in Delhi for weekend picnics and outdoor photography.
As soon as the nip in the air sets in Delhi, the vibrant sweaters, jumpers, mufflers, jackets, gloves, caps, boots, and all the winter paraphernalia comes out. Healthy eating takes a break when it’s the season of gazar ka halwa, Makki ki roti and Sarson ka saag. And, how can you forget the piping hot gulab jamun and stuffed paranthas with adrakwaali chai? Besides the calorie-laden food and colourful winter wear, I like winters for one more reason. It’s the perfect time to be outdoors. And, the best place to get your fill of vitamin D while having a great time are the parks and gardens of Delhi. So whether you are looking for a picnic spot for a family or friends, couples or students or want to have a peaceful me-time amidst nature, Delhi parks are the best bet. Besides concrete buildings and heritage monuments, the capital city of Delhi is renowned for its list of gardens and parks too.
The gardens of Delhi also have a historic allure apart from their natural beauty. Some of these gardens are a product of Mughal architecture and carry forward a rich heritage like Sunder Nursery, and some are simply a delight to the eyes like the Garden of Five Senses. These parks provide a respite to city folks away from the pollution and population. Popular among people of all age groups, these parks are frequented by kids, adults and couples alike. You’ll be surprised to know more than 18000 parks and gardens in NCT spread in about 8000 hectares in various locations throughout Delhi. If you are planning to explore some of these beauties, here are the best picnic spots in Delhi:
Table of Contents
The 10 best weekend picnic spots in Delhi
Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Colony
One of the most famous gardens of Delhi, Lodhi Gardens, is my favourite park in Delhi for a weekend picnic. And I discovered it in a different light during the pandemic. Located in the heart of Delhi, this luscious garden houses the tombs of Sayyid ruler Mohammed Shah and Lodhi King Sikandar Lodhi. You can also find Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad here. The contrast of bygone-era mausoleums against the lush greenery of the gardens makes it worth visiting, especially for morning and evening exercise—also a great place to hang out with friends or take your pets out for a walk. You could play sports here or jog around on well-paved walking tracks. Lodhi Garden is undoubtedly one of the best weekend picnic spots in Delhi for all age groups. The perfectly-manicured lawns are an excellent place to bask in the warmth of the winter sun before heading to nearby Khan market bistros or high-end restaurants of the Khanna Market.
Entry Fee: No charges
Lodhi Gardens Timings: 6:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh Metro Station & JLN Metro Station on Violet Line
Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, Delhi
In the Chanakyapuri diplomatic area near Ashoka Hotel, Nehru park sprawls over 85 acres. A nicely landscaped and well-maintained garden is a popular picnic spot in Delhi and a hub for recreational and professional runners. The joggers and walkers warm up in the well-manicured grass lawns and then take rounds of the jogging path. The park became the first central park in Delhi to get a synthetic jogging track that doesn’t pressure knees while running. Also, Nehru Park has ample hills suitable for strength and conditioning exercises. There was a time when Nehru Park was used as the training venue for some of the country’s best athletes, such as the legendary middle-distance runner Sriram Singh, who held the 800m national record for over four decades.
But if you want to enjoy the sunny winter afternoon, pack a picnic basket and plank yourself in any of the lawns. As the sun sets, you can enjoy the symphony of colourful water fountains. The park blooms with indigenous flowering plants and exotic species in winters to give a European look to Lutyens’ Delhi. During that time, the endless green grounds of Nehru Park double up as the popular venue for many events and festivals such as the Nehru Place Jazz Festival, ‘Morning Ragas and Evening Ragas Concerts, the annual ‘Bhakti Festival.’
Entry Fees: Free.
Timings: Open 24 Hours on Mondays and 5 AM to 9 PM on other Days
Nearest Metro Station: Lok Kalyan Marg Metro Station – 25 min walk (Yellow Line)
Sunder Nursery, Nizamuddin
Although the renovated Sunder Nursery Heritage park opened in 2018, it remained one of Delhi’s best-kept secrets until the pandemic abruptly halted our fast-paced life. Dubbed as Delhi’s Central Park Sunder Nursery is famous for its gardens, water bodies, monuments, and biodiversity. Created and managed by the Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), once barren land, the park has quickly grown to become the city’s most sought after outdoor recreational place. The most fantastic thing about this 16th-century urban oasis is that it has risen from ruins to become the green lungs of Delhi. A decade of painstaking restoration work has resulted in a 90-acre (36 hectares) biodiversity park, dotted with 20 historical monuments including six UNESCO World Heritage sites, 27,000 saplings, 4,500 trees, 100 bird species, 40 butterfly species, two amphitheatres, a bonsai enclosure, a peafowl zone and plenty more.
The park has been winning hearts and awards all around the world. In 2018, the park was chosen by ‘Time Magazine’ as one of the 100 world’s greatest places to visit. Recently in 2020, it became Delhi’s first heritage complex to receive two UNESCO Asia-Pacific awards for Cultural Heritage Conversation 2020 – the ‘Award of Excellence and ‘Special Recognition for Sustainable Development. Its popularity can be gauged by the fact that despite a year of lockdowns, Sunder Nursery was visited by over 300,000 visitors in 2020. Within a short time, this 16th-century heritage park has become so popular that you could take half an hour to get inside the park on weekends. Therefore try to visit it either early morning or on weekdays. However, you’ll miss the Earth Collective farmers market that happens every weekend.
Entry Fee: Adults – INR 50/-, Children 5-12 years old & Sr. Citizens – INR 25/-
Timings of Sunder Nursery: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Lajpat Nagar Metro Station – 14min walk. (Pink line and violet line)
If you want to know more about Sunder Nursery and its fantastic story of sustainable development, check this story out.
Deer Park, Hauz Khas, Delhi
The Deer Park in Hauz Khas is an absolute treat not just for picnic-goers but also for joggers, walkers, couples, Instagrammers and photographers. It provides excellent opportunities to capture pretty sunsets, birds of several varieties, deer, ducks and the Hauz Khas Fort. If you are an animal lover, you would love to see many deer inside the park. Pretty gardens and simmering Hauz Khas Lake make it a perfect haunt for nature lovers. As a photographer, I’ve always liked shooting Deer Park’s historical and natural beauty. The park is green and serene and is especially pleasant towards the end of the day (during summers) and throughout the day during winters. The green cover at this park is fantastic, and it also has a skating rink for all your restless friends. It’s a vast park and can take close to two hours to explore entirely. It’s an ideal picnic spot, and if you just want to spend some alone time, then you can go with a book and sit in one of the gazebos and enjoy a quiet read. The park has four different wings, i.e. Rose Garden, Deer Park, Fountain & District Park, Old Monuments and Hauz Khas Art Market. You can reach the park from anywhere – Hauz Khas Village, Safdarjung Enclave and Delhi Lawn Tennis Associations Courts.
Interestingly, Deer Park happens to be a b-boying hub where 14-to-25-year-olds gather in the evening to practise b-boying and also show off their latest moves. There are no instructors here; the group has learnt b-boying through YouTube videos.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings of Deer Park: 5:00 AM – 8:00 PM (summers) and 5:30 AM – 7:00 PM (winters)
Nearest Metro Station: IIT Metro Station (Magenta Line)
Garden of Five Senses, Said-ul-Ajaib village
Located in Said-ul-Ajaib village close to the Mehrauli heritage area in New Delhi, the twenty-acre park was opened in 2003, and since then, it has become one of the best picnic spots in Delhi. As the name suggests, the Garden of Five Senses is designed to stimulate your senses of touch, sight, smell, sound and taste. The park has different themed zones – Mughal Baghs, pools of water lilies, cascades of sparkling water, a solar energy park, an amphitheatre, a humongous yet charming food court, in addition to umpteen majestic sculptures, rock carvings and themed decor. About 25 different sculptures and murals have been set up in the garden, making it one of the country’s largest public art collections. Earlier, there used to be Fio restaurant, an ideal place for weekend brunches. Although Fio has moved out, you can still picnic in the Garden of Five senses with your gang.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings of Garden of Five Senses: April to Sept: 9 AM – 7 PM, Oct to March: 9 AM – 6 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Saket (Yellow Line)
Buddha Jayanti Park, Delhi Ridge
Did you know that Delhi has the original Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha had done penance and received enlightenment? Yes, our very own Buddha Jayanti Park situated in the southern part of the Delhi Ridge, which lies close to Dhaula Kuan in New Delhi, has it. Sanghamitra, Emperor Asoka’s daughter, took a sapling from the ancient original Bodhi Tree to Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, where she used to preach Buddhism under this very tree that exists even today. A sapling of the Bodhi Tree in Sri Lanka was planted at Buddha Jayanti Park by the then Prime Minister of India Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri on 25 October 1964. Spread in over 81 acres, it is an absolute delight to walk in this scenic park. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by lush green trees of Keekar and Jamun and a lush green carpet of grass. This garden houses almost all types of trees found in Delhi NCR, such as Kelkar, Babool, Gulmohar, Amaltas and Kareel, which attracts many species of birds like Woodpeckers and Barbets Herons and Peacocks. Also, there’s an elevated platform resembling an island, right in the middle of an artificial lake with a beautiful golden statue of Lord Buddha surrounded by water and long shadows of trees, which makes it a mystical sight.
Although Buddha Jayanti Park is one of the most popular picnic spots in Delhi, it is equally popular among joggers, walkers and fitness enthusiasts. The park regularly organises Buddhism classes for people who want to know more about the religion.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings of Buddha Jayanti Park: 5 AM – 7 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Rajendra Place station (Blue Line)
Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Sector 95, Noida
This place comes alive during winters when plenty of migratory birds are seen in bulk. Roughly 4 square kilometres in size, the Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS) is situated at the entrance of NOIDA in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The Sanctuary is located at a point where the river Yamuna leaves the territory of Delhi and enters the state of Uttar Pradesh. A hit for all the Delhi and Noida-dwellers, you can chill with your picnic blankets and baskets. Remember to carry your cameras along since winter is the time of the year when you will spot plenty of migratory birds here. More than 324 bird species have been reported from Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Out of these, about 50% are migratory birds. Forty per cent of the total birds are common locally, and the rest are uncommon or rare. The complete bird list includes two Critically Endangered, nine vulnerable, seven Near Threatened and one Conservation Dependent species.
Due to the unique positioning of the Sanctuary, you can see different bird species from different habitats – thorny scrub, grassland and wetland. This wetland was formed due to the creation of the Okhla Barrage. In 1990 the Uttar Pradesh Government notified this as Sanctuary, and it is now one of India’s 466 important Bird Areas (IBAs).
Besides birds, this place is also rich in flora – more than 188 species of plants are recorded here. About ten species of mammals include nilgai, Indian mongoose, blacknaped hare, jackals, 08 species of reptiles, and 02 species of amphibians, have also been recorded here.
Wear comfortable shoes when you visit this place, and don’t forget to bring in your telephoto lens and binoculars.
Entry Fee – Free
Timings of Okhla Bird Sanctuary: April to Sep: 9 AM – 7 PM, Oct to March: 9 AM – 6 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Okhla Bird Sanctuary (Magenta Line)
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, Tughlakabad Institutional Area
Imagine coming face to face with leopards, mongoose, golden jackal and civet cat. Yes, you can see all of them in your very own city – Delhi. Asola Bhati Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique habitat reclaimed from mining activity. Even today, you can see deep gorges where mining activity once happened. With an area of 32.71 km², the Sanctuary lies on the Southern Delhi Ridge of Aravalli hill range at the tri-juncture of three cities – Southern Delhi, Faridabad and Gurugram. Asola boasts of a healthy avian life and butterflies. When it comes to wildlife, striped hyena, leopards, mongoose, golden jackal jungle cats, hog deer, Indian hare, nilgai, blackbuck and spotted deer, porcupines, and the crested Grebe (a migratory bird) have been sighted here along with reptiles. Besides the wildlife, the most feature of Asola Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1.5-kilometre lake called the blue lagoon. The Sanctuary comprises the semi-arid forest area, and the nature trail here is a must walkthrough. Still, it can get a big thorny and lonely. So, be careful when you get here. Asola Wildlife Sanctuary is worth a visit for lovers of nature and Delhi Ridge!
Entry Fee: INR 100 (approx.) for the tickets.
Timings of Asola Bird Sanctuary: April to Sep: 9 AM – 7 PM, Oct to March: 9 AM – 6 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Tughlakabad Metro Station (Violet Line)
Millennium Park, Sarai Kale Khane
Millennium Park, also known as Indraprastha Park, is a popular weekend picnic spot for Delhites in the heart of New Delhi. Established in 2004 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the most remarkable thing about this 34 hectares park is that it was built by transforming a stinking garbage dumping landfill site into a breath-taking landscape. The eco-friendly park is well-maintained and has a children’s playground, amphitheatre, and the 30 feet high Shanti Stupa built in white marble. The statue of Buddha adds to the serenity and positivity of the place. The Japanese garden is next to the stupa, perfect for relaxing and meditating. The park is centrally located and is well connected by bus and metro to all parts of the city. Being located near the prominent tourist attractions of Delhi like Humayun’s Tomb, Akshardham Temple, India Gate, Connaught Place, and Jantar Mantar, it draws many tourists – both Indian and foreign. Several food courts around the park offer various mouth-watering snacks and local delicacies.
Entry Fee: INR 50 for adults and INR 25 for children.
Timings of Millennium Park, Delhi – 6 AM to 7:15 PM
Nearest Metro Station – Hazrat Nizamuddin station (Pink Line)
Astha Kunj Park, East of Kailash
You would see some places every day, but you would never notice them. Astha Kunj Park, next to the Nehru Place Metro station, is on such a park. I discovered this park by chance when I was sitting at one of the cafés in Epicuria Mall with a friend. He asked me to take him anywhere outdoors, which is close by. And, so I took him to Astha Kunj Park. While I had seen it several times from outside, I never explored it until December 2020. And then I loved it so much that I had visited it several times. Situated in South East Delhi between the neighbourhoods of Lotus Temple, ISKCON temple and Nehru Place, Aastha Kunj Park sprawls over 200 acres of land peppered with lush green lawns, flowering shrubs and green trees. Bejewelled with huge boulders and green cover, this park is on a hillock from where you can get a panoramic view of the high rises and religious places around. There is an amphitheatre, well-paved pathways and ponds inside. The park has a vast area to maintain and could be maintained better, especially the pond. People visit the park for a morning walk and yoga and meditation. Because of the large spacious garden, this place is also the best picnic spot for families and children.
Astha Kunj Park is definitely one of the most underrated picnic spots in Delhi. You can either get your picnic basket or order in from the cafeteria inside the park, and it serves piping hot drinks along with your favourite snacks.
Entry Fee: Free
Timings: 4 AM – 9 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Kalka Ji mandir metro station (Violet and Pink line) and Nehru Place metro station (Violet line)
Besides the above ten parks, there are many more popular picnic spots in Delhi, such as Mughal Gardens, India Gate Lawns, Jahanpanah Forest, Sanjay Van, Japanese Garden, and many more. You’d be surprised to know that Delhi itself has seven biodiversity parks spread over an area of 1000 hectares in Delhi – Yamuna Biodiversity Park, Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Neela Hauz Biodiversity Park, Northern Ridge (Kamla Nehru Ridge), Tilpath Valley Biodiversity park, Tughlaqabad Biodiversity Park, and Kalindi Biodiversity Park. Nestled away from Delhi’s bumper-to-bumper traffic snarls and high-rise buildings are lush green pockets of carefully planned nature retreats that are helping maintain the ecological balance of the national capital. Moreover, they have been helping to bring back the lost fauna and flora of Delhi.
So, if you are wondering where to go this weekend, why not check out any of the above best picnic spots in Delhi?
I hope you liked the post. Have you been to any of these parks? How was your experience? Please do leave your comment in the below comment box.