Unlike more formal parks (even the not-too-far off Nehru Park among them), Buddha Jayanti Park is a cross between the wild and the tamed. It is located in part of what is known as the Central Ridge of the Delhi Ridge, and while the more intrepid of Delhi’s naturalists would do best to wander right off the roads and into the forested scrub, for those of us who are less adventurous but would like to experience at least some of the Ridge, this is a good place to start.
Buddha Jayanti Park, of course, draws its name from the Buddha, and so there is some presence of the Buddha and his teachings. Every now and then, there are stone slabs with excerpts from his teachings inscribed on them, and close to Gate No. 1, there is even a large gilded Buddha statue in a pavilion. Unfortunately, in an attempt to protect this, the authorities have surrounded it on all sides with clear plastic, which robs it of its beauty.
My husband, daughter and I visited on a monsoon afternoon. It was not raining, but it was quite humid, so perhaps that was why there were very few people around: we pretty much wandered where we liked after we’d parked in the (paid) parking lot inside Gate 1. Paths make their way all through the park, and there are lots of trees, both endemic as well as exotic: fried egg tree, plumeria, amaltas, sicklebush, gaub persimmon, dhak (palash or flame of the forest), gulmohar, peepal, agave, several species of cactus (in a separate cactus patch), several species of palm (in a palm grove) and so on. For a tree lover, this is a very rewarding place.
It’s also worth visiting if you love nature in general: there are plenty of birds around (in the brief while we spent here here, we saw lapwings, kingfishers, barbets, parakeets, and more), and the very fact that you can get right in amongst the trees makes it an adventure.
No entry fee is charged. There are benches and some scattered dustbins. Just inside Gate 1 is an ice cream cart (the vendor informed us that further on, near Gate 2, there’s also a restaurant, but we didn’t confirm this, since we didn’t go that far).