Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises-Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Shinrin-Yoku which literally means “forest bathing” in Japanese is a concept of preventive health care that developed in Japan in the 1980s and has since become a popular relaxation mechanism. It is founded on the belief that taking a walk in the forest and soaking in all the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the forest can have a rejuvenating effect on an individual; the organic compounds given off by the trees are believed to aid the immune system in fighting diseases.
Recently, I indulged in a wonderful “forest bathing” experience when I visited Deer Park, which along with the adjoining District Park and Rose Garden is known as the “lungs of Delhi” as it forms one of the largest green areas in Delhi.
The park opens at 5:00 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m. (During winter, the park closes an hour earlier at 7:00 p.m.) It is accessible from Green Park, Safdarjung Enclave and Hauz Khas. Entry to the park is free and at any given time of the day, there are lots of joggers, walkers and cyclists who frequent the park. The place is apt for runners since most paths in the park are not cemented and thus pose no risk of knee-injury.
From deer to rabbits to certain exquisite birds, the park contains a plethora of animal life. One can also expect squirrels to scamper inquisitively near the people sitting on benches. What makes the park unique however is a beautiful lake and old monuments that are situated right in the middle. One can also climb the fort-like structures or sit along the lake to enjoy the scenery around.
The park houses a beautiful restaurant called Park Baluchi. With the Hauz Khas village lining the Deer Park, one can also hope to listen to some live good music. On weekends, people perform in the park for free.
In a city that is infamous for its high level of pollution, I consider the park my refuge; it is an ideal place to escape the din of urban life and to enjoy a moment of serenity and beauty.