Delhi ridge

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 kilometers.[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.


Geographical Segments

The Ridge today, for administrative reasons, is divided into 4 separate zones,[6] 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. 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 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 and Bhatti wildlife sanctuaries. This is the least urban of the 4 segments of the Ridge, but a lot of it is village- or privately-owned farmland.

Aravalli Biodiversity Park

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

The Land under Aravali Bio diversity 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 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 Aravali, which comes under Gujarat, are covered with natural dense forest. However, The land on which Aravali Biodiversity Park is being developed, was devoid of such natural growth of forest due to extensive mining of the area. Center 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. Planting of native species like Dhau (Anogeissus pendula), Babul (Acacia nilotica), Kair (Capparis decidua),and Dhak (Butea monosperma)etc has been carried out. A Rangeland with native grasses has been developed. A Conservatory of Butterflies, orchidarium and fernary has been developed.

It is believed that Aravallis are one of the oldest mountain ranges in India which evolved around 1500 million years ago. 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.

Further reading


  1. ^ Bindhy Wasini Pandey, Natural Resource Management, Mittal Publications, 2005, ISBN 9788170999867,, "... 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. The greater of the reserved ..." 
  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 9781741046908,, "... 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. ^ "Trees of Dellhi". Dorling Kindersley. 

External links

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