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Delhi Ridge

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This green lung within the confines of our capital, the Delhi Ridge Reserved Forest is truly a getaway from the blaring sounds and dizzying heights of rising towers that characterise the city.

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  • Wild life
  • Habitat
  • Places to See
  • Useful Tips
  • History

Transport

The easiest way to access this area is by the first road. It is located off Willingdon Crescent and soon after the Sardar Patel Road junction.

Mammals such as the leopard, Rhesus macaque, palm-squirrel, fox, jackal, wolf, blackbuck, chinkara, nilgai, wild pig, porcupine and a myriad lesser denizens make themselves at home here.

The bird life in this region is rich and varied, inviting both casual birders and seasoned birders alike. Passerine species like flycatchers swooping time and again to catch a juicy meal, brightly coloured birds such as the Rose Finch and Green Heron, woodpeckers, barbets, Leaf Warblers and others like the Crested Serpent Eagles, Booted Eagles, Oriental Honey-buzzards, vultures and Great Horned Owls known to be magnificent raptors are among the 200 species of birds found in this insect-rich region.

The Ridge comprises the tail end of the Mewat branch of the Aravallis. Thick thorn scrubs and patches of woodland characterise this jagged tableland located towards the southern region of the city of Delhi, and heads northwest towards the west bank of Yamuna. It is a combination of thick thorn scrub and rocks and patches of woodland.

The region is divided into four distinct zones. About 6,200 ha. of the Southern Ridge, which extends beyond the city limits, towards Haryana includes 1,900 ha. of the recently notified Asola Wildlife Sanctuary (1,900 ha.). The South Central Ridge 626 ha. in extent, includes the Kishangarh forest (or Sanjay Van), one of the best preserved patches of forest in Delhi. Central Ridge or New Delhi lies within the heart of the city and is approximately 869 ha. The smallest section, the 87 ha. Northern Ridge lies like an emerald scimitar between Civil Lines and the University Campus in north Delhi. The area is home to several species of trees including kirar, the healing neem, babul, ber, amaltash, dhok and the magnificent gulmohar among others.

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It was in the early 14th century that emperor Feroze Tughlaq fenced off a region, today referred to as the Northern Ridge, where he planted several trees, in order to improve the hunting potential of the region. This was the first record of an attempt to afforest the region. When Delhi became the capital in 1912, afforestation began in full swing. According to Municipal records, as many as 3,000 indigenous trees were transplanted. The region was declared as a Reserved Forest when the Lutyens took charge. Unfortunately, a section of the Ridge was blasted in the 1920s and 1930s, when city developers decided to give ‘development’ a priority.

 
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