Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Delhi’s Star Spangled Spring

March 2016

The twinkling stars seem to have descended to Earth and have arranged themselves neatly on the grass. The light and pollution makes it almost impossible to see the stars in the night skies over Delhi. For few days, the stars themselves come down to the green lawns of Delhi’s Nehru Park basking in the cool sunlight.

Nehru Park turns into a star spangled garden - Phlox

In these brilliant days of cool and crisp air and blue skies in March, Delhi turns a new leaf literally - and lots of colourful flowers. These are the last few days when Delhi sheds its heavy quilt (okay the winters this time were mild) and lays out a carpet of flowers to welcome the few balmy days of spring.

For all its problems of pollution, congestion and changing landscape, New Delhi has only grown prettier over the years. You have observed that even as the city gets more built up, the roundabouts, the roads and the parks have not only retained their beauty and charm but have gotten even greener and prettier.

Here is looking at Delhi spring’s constellation: 

Dianthus also known as Pink or Sweet William

Nehru Park in Chanakya Puri is still the best looking park in Delhi

Ox-eye Daisy with a Ladybird

Rose Garden in full bloom, opp Sector 15, Noida - Rows and rows of red roses

Peach Rose

The green and colourful lawns at Najaf Khan's Tomb in Lodhi Colony were a surprise alright - Assorted Dahlias

Red Salvia lining the walkways in Nehru Park

Red Poppies

Yellow Pansies

Purple, pink, magenta Petunias

Antirrhinum - commonly known as Snapdragon or Dog Flower

Indian Coral Tree or Tiger's Claws

Red with white-tipped Dahlia

Red Kalanchoe


Shaheed Smarak Park, Noida - Caribbean Trumpet Tree or Yellow Tabebuia


Lantana with bee


Amber Bougainvillea



The best feature of Lutyens Delhi - the colourful and ornamented roundabouts where the Tughlaqs and Mughals and modern leaders come meet

Red Poppy

There is a lot going on in the plant kingdom in Delhi. Flowers bloom in the parks. Trees shed leaves – some are totally bare while some have the last leaves clinging on. Some trees have fresh golden leaves sprouting. Cotton Silk trees look gloriously red. It is dangerous to stand below them looking up - every few seconds a red flower plops down! Then there are these trees that have turned into a riot of yellow flowers. Too early for amaltas or gulmohar – you need to figure out what these flowers are! It is like the entire lifecycle is playing out in a single frame here in Nehru Park.


Yellow Bells with ladybugs coming close for a huggie-buggie

Cariappa Marg in Delhi Cantt - Out of the world roads of Delhi - Yellow Bells or Yellow Elder Flowers

The beautifully blue open skies are in great contrast with the yellowing leaves and rust coloured fallen flowers...

Only Nature can be this beautiful even while withering away - giving rise to renewed beauty - Anuradha Melanaturu

Yellow Tabebuia

I loved you young, I love you now; We're living our dream of growing old; Sharing life's great moments; Keeping each other's company; You and me - hand in hand. Caption Credit - Anuradha Melanaturu

Silk Cotton Tree resplendent in red on Kautilya Marg, New Delhi

The carpet of red Silk Cotton Tree flowers on Niti Marg, Nehru Park, New Delhi

You associate the Silk Cotton Trees with your school years. As you cycled around Nehru Park on Niti Marg and Vinay Marg, the landscape would change rapidly – from green to yellow to this burst of red in March. These magnificent looking silk cotton trees (Biological name – Bombax ceiba) having lost all their leaves seemed to be decorated with these huge red flowers that would come down with a thud on the road. In few days, the landscape colour would again change as the green fruits on the branches burst and fluffy white cotton floats over the roads. You can still remember stretching your arms as you try to catch another floating wisp of cotton. It appeared as if it was snowing in Delhi. What a joy!

In the last few days, the temperature has become warmer. The few pleasant days of spring are about to end. Soon Delhi will start to sear and burn. But that does not mean Delhi will be colourless. After Silk Cotton, the amaltas and gulmohar will bloom painting the city in the most brilliant yellow. No matter what the season, New Delhi will always remain green, red, and yellow and beautiful.

Photography Locations
  • Nehru Park, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi
  • Delhi Cantonment, Dhaula Kuan
  • Najaf Khan Tomb, Lodhi Colony
  • New Delhi Roundabouts
  • Rose Garden, Sector 15, Noida
  • Shaheed Smarak Park, Sector 29, Noida
Flower Identification Credit - Botanist Gitanjali Mohanty

Related Links
Delhi 'Holi'Day

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  1. Pansies, petunias and poppies too! Your Delhi of flowers reminds me of Valley of Flowers!

    “It is like the entire lifecycle is playing out in a single frame here”…loved the vivid description of the flowers and crisp photographs. Thanks for the walk into the starry days!

    Nirdesh you promised us to take us along in your journey to the horizon. And you literally did! Words really fail to express my joy. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Anuradha,

      Yes Delhi becomes a starry city under the cool spring sun. I have seen it before but for the first time I am realizing the great work the horticulture department does all year round to make Delhi this pretty. Delhi is becoming starrier and greener every season.

      Thanks for joining me in this journey to the starry horizon.