Chilly winter and on top of that a long spell of rain that recently enveloped the Capital. Wanna feel the bright and beautiful sun on your face without worrying about breaching social distancing norms? There are quite a few spots in Delhi-NCR that offer a chance to do just that. Here you can enjoy a leisurely stroll, indulge the photographer in you, or even have a picnic with your loved ones.

Plant lovers’ nook: Sunder Nursery

Many cracked reading the recent viral tweet that mentioned how Delhi is now divided into North Delhi, East Delhi and Sunder Nursery! The popularity of this place, since it’s revamp and from the time when the pandemic struck, has risen so much that it has become a Delhiites’ go-to spot to escape Covid-19 blues! The lush lawns beckon revellers from far and wide, with people enjoying the weekly organic market, or the cafe on its premises. You could even carry a picnic basket and revel in the beauty of beautifully manicured gardens with friends and family. Shikha Sharma, a Delhi-based postgraduate student, says, “I enjoy going to the nursery because I love plants. I go and buy small plants for my room, or just to have a day out with my college friends. We are averse to the idea of crowded places and Sunder Nursery is our slice of green haven!”

An avian photographer’s paradise: Okhla Bird Sanctuary

There’s nothing like being in the lap of nature to beat the stress that Covid-19 has brought in our lives. And if you get company of feathered beings, then it’s cherry on the cake! After spending most of the time indoors, a number of denizens have taken to enjoy the sight of migratory birds at Okhla Bird Sanctuary, which follows strict social distancing norms. Kiranmoy Sarangi, a Delhi-based doctor and avian photographer, informs that the place is teeming with wildlife this time of the year, and adds, “The winter sun makes the park literally come alive! During my recent visits, I’ve spotted Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Common Kingfisher, Oriental Darter, White-throated Kingfisher, Striated Babbler and some ducks as well. It’s a terrific place to spend a day with a pair of binoculars.”

Joggers’ delight: Nehru Park

With a face lift that the park recently got, and a 22 meter synthetic track, it has become a favourite among running and jogging enthusiasts. The greenery only adds to the charm of a morning well spent under the bright sun. “I would walk in my colony earlier, but now I prefer walking at the park since it has good paths. The morning air is also fresh especially after the rain. It’s certainly difficult to get out in the winter, but my wife and I have made it ritual to go for a jog and then get tea from a nearby stall,” says Anil Bali, a Delhi-based businessman.

Sunny side up: Garden of Five Senses

Stunning art installations and aroma of freshly-bloomed flowers make Garden of Five Senses an ideal location to soak in some sunshine on a winter morning in the Capital. Barkha Bhatia, a Noida-based corporate employee, says she likes to explore the food joints near the lush gardens after a leisurely stroll. “I often go there just to clear my head, or practise yoga. It is getting more visitors of late than earlier, but you can still find solitary spots that are ideal for meditation. Plus, a lot of really cosy eateries in the vicinity make it a perfect hangout to spend a winter weekend,” she says.

Archaeology on the side: Agrasen ki Baoli

Steeped in history, this stepwell situated in Connaught Place has been ever popular among the tourists and locals alike. But, for Delhiites, it offers a quiet and serene spot that often turns into a photographers’ paradise due to its scenic architecture. Malyaj Asthana, a regular at this place, says, “I cycle every morning, and while crossing Connaught Place I often go to Agrasen ki Baoli. Sometimes I simply race up and down the steps whereas on other days I sit and read here. In winters, the place isn’t as crowded as usually, and allows me to lose myself in history without worrying about social distancing.”

Author tweets @bhagat_mallika

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