Delhi Ridge

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Forest area of Delhi Ridge

Delhi Ridge, sometimes simply called The Ridge, is a ridge in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in India.[1] The ridge is a northern extension of the ancient Aravalli Range, some 1500 million years old (compared to just 50 million for the Himalaya).[2][3] The ridge consists of quartzite rocks and extends from the Southeast at Tughlaqabad, near the Bhatti mines, branching out in places and tapering off in the north near Wazirabad on the west bank of the river Yamuna,[4] covering a distance of about 35 kilometres.[5]

The Delhi Ridge is said to be the green lungs for the city and protects Delhi from the hot winds of the deserts of Rajasthan to the west. It is also responsible for earning Delhi the tag of the world's second most bird-rich capital city, after Kenya's Nairobi.[6]

Geographical segments[edit]

The Ridge today, for administrative reasons, is divided into 4 separate zones,[7] namely:

  1. The Old Delhi or Northern Ridge denotes the hilly area near Delhi University and is by far the smallest segment of the Ridge. Northern Ridge location is 28°40′52″N 77°12′57″E. Nearly 170 hectares were declared a Reserved Forest in 1915. Less than 87 hectares remain today, which is slated to develop as Biodiversity Park by the Delhi Development Authority.
  2. The New Delhi or Central Ridge was made into a Reserved Forest in 1914 and stretches from just south of Sadar Bazaar to Dhaula Kuan. It extends over 864 hectares, but some bits have been nibbled away.
  3. The Mehrauli or South-Central Ridge is centred on "Sanjay Vana", near JNU and Vasant Kunj, and encompasses 633 hectares. Large chunks have been encroached and built upon.
  4. The Tughlaqabad or Southern Ridge sprawls across 6200 hectares and includes the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the least urban of the 4 segments of the Ridge, but a lot of it is village-owned or privately owned farmland.

Buddha Jayanti Park[edit]

Buddha statue in the Buddha Jayanti Park

The Buddha Jayanti Smarak Park is situated in the central part of the Delhi ridge in New Delhi, India. It occupies a stretch of almost a kilometre on the eastern side of Vandemataram Marg, also known as Upper Ridge Road.

It was created on the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of Gautama Buddha's enlightenment by Indian architect M. M. Rana.[8] A sapling of the Bodhi Tree from Sri Lanka was planted here by the then Prime Minister of India Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastri on 25 October 1964

On an artificial island in the park stands pavilion with a gilded Buddha statue in it. It was dedicated by the 14th Dalai Lama in October 1993.

Each year in May on Vaisakha Full moon day the Buddha Jayanti festival is celebrated here.


In 1993, parts of north Delhi, central Delhi, south West Delhi and south Delhi covering 7,777 hectares was declared a reserve forest. Thereafter in 1994 and 1996, a major part of the ridge was notified by the Government, thus stopping all construction.[9][10]

Over the years, pressures of urban development, have seen forests of Delhi ridge under threat. In many areas, landscaped public parks, and public housing have come up, plus the area also faces dumping of construction waste.[11]

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, South Central Ridge, Delhi[edit]

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon
Northern Palm Squirrel in 'Aravalli Biodiversity Park', Delhi

The Aravalli Biodiversity Park[12] is an area spreading over 692 acres (2.80 km2) on the South Central Delhi Ridge within the Aravalli Range. The area is confined by JNU, the Mehrauli - Mahipalpur road, NH-8, Vasant Kunj, Masoodpur and the Palam road and the southern boundary of Vasant Vihar, Delhi. Delhi Development Authority and University of Delhi, under the joint Biodiversity Parks Programme, maintain the area. Every year a substantial amount of money is spent in restoration, development and maintenance.

The land under Aravalli Biodiversity Park was once a site for mining. Martha Shinde (Scindias) had a mining lease for the 2.3 km² area. They plundered out whatever they could. For years Shinde exploited forest resources including minerals, mica, sand, stone, rocks and water. Land, which once was covered with a dense forest, soon turned into pits and hillocks. A systematic planting program is carried out and every year native trees and bushes are planted to remove unwanted weeds, i.e. Prosopis juliflora. Scientists from the Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, University of Delhi have so far got over 10 ecosystems reintroduced with over 40 biotic communities. Portions of Aravalli, which come under Gujarat, are covered with natural dense forest. However, the land on which Aravalli Biodiversity Park is being developed, was devoid of such natural growth of forest due to extensive mining of the area. The Centre for Environment Management & Degraded Ecosystem (Delhi University) works closely with Delhi Development Authority and has plans to revive native flora and fauna of Aravalli hill ranges. The planting of native species like dhau (Anogeissus pendula), babul (Acacia nilotica), kair (Capparis decidua), and dhak (Butea monosperma) has been carried out. A rangeland with native grasses has been developed. A conservatory of butterflies, orchidarium and fernery has been developed.

It is believed that the Aravallis are one of the oldest mountain ranges in India which evolved around 2.5 billion years ago in the Archaeozoic times. Range extends from Gujarat through Rajasthan to Haryana-Delhi. In Delhi the spurs of the Aravallis are commonly called as the Delhi Ridge which is divided into the Northern, Central, South Central and Southern Ridge. The Aravali Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon, on Gurgaon-Delhi border, developed by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, was inaugurated on 5 June 2010, World Environment Day.[12]

Historical monuments in North Ridge[edit]

The North Ridge, a part known as Kamala Nehru forest, is home to several historical monuments, including the Flag Staff Tower, built in 1828.[13][14]


  1. ^ Bindhy Wasini Pandey, Natural Resource Management, Mittal Publications, 2005, ISBN 978-81-7099-986-7, ... The Ridge and its neighbouring hilly tracts represent the natural flora. The major natural forests in Delhi are generally restricted to the Ridge. The natural flora is a tropical, thorny and secondary forest.
  2. ^ Geological Survey of India, Records of the Geological Survey of India, Volumes 5-7, Government of India, 1872, ... These ridges are prolongations of the Aravali mountain system, and are approximately on the line of the Indo-gangetic watershed ...
  3. ^ Lindsay Brown, Amelia Thomas, Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra, Lonely Planet, 2008, ISBN 978-1-74104-690-8, ... Delhi lies on the vast flatlands of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, though the northernmost pimples of the Aravallis amount to the Ridge, which lies west of the city centre ...
  4. ^ "Delhi Ridge". Parks and Gardens in Delhi. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
  5. ^ "Geology Details". Centre for Science and Environment. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Trees of Delhi: A Field Guide". Dorling Kindersley.
  8. ^ "Buddha Jayanti Park". Government of NCT of Delhi - Delhi Tourism. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  9. ^ Darpan Singh (4 September 2013). "Govt assures to demarcate Delhi ridge boundaries by mid-October". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
  10. ^ Darpan Singh (3 September 2013). "Forest dept prepares plan to save the Delhi ridge". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
  11. ^ Shivani Singh (9 September 2013). "Land rush spoils Delhi's enviable green records". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
  12. ^ a b Aravali Bio-Diversity Park Curtain Raising On World Environment Day 5 June 2010 Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon.
  13. ^ "Flagstaff Tower, Old Delhi". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Flagstaff Tower - Northern Ridge, Delhi". Indian Express, Expresstravel. Retrieved 5 September 2012.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°40′52″N 77°12′57″E / 28.68111°N 77.21583°E / 28.68111; 77.21583