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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

April 2006 Issue

Playground for the Senses
A garden in India seeks to provide a soothing antidote to the bustle of the nearby capital city.

By Minhazz Majumdar

Playground for the Senses
Amit Mehra/indiapicture.com

Whether you like it or not, whether you consciously seek it or not, being in India is a true wakening of the five senses. India lunges out to you—everywhere you go there is too much of everything—color, noise, touch, taste, and smell. There is no escape from the sensual experience India offers, an experience made even headier by the deep spiritual moorings of this ancient country.

New Delhi, the capital city of 10 million people, is no exception. There is visual drama in the cityscape, ancient monuments standing cheek by jowl with brash new skyscrapers. In the bright vestment preferred by most Indians, colors are feverishly combined—bright pink and yellow, parrot green and purple. The honking of cars, the cries of street hawkers, haunting folk songs, the babble of tongues—there is a definite auditory overload. Your olfactory senses are assaulted too—the fragrance of flowers, of the first monsoon showers touching the scorched earth, of decay, of exotic spices. Your taste buds tingle as you savor the regional cuisines from across the country.

So why on earth is there a Garden of the Five Senses in this city?

    

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