Way back in November 2009 I had posted the previous in my Dilli Darshan series of posts, covering the Khari Baoli and Katra Neel areas of Shahjahanabad. That was the first in what was to be a set of posts covering Shahjahanabad, which I am now continuing!
That first Shahjahanabad post gives a bit of an introduction to the old walled city, and the rest of these posts will mainly be a visual tour of the different parts of the city as they exist today, representing it’s layered history. Most of the photos in this current post were taken in 2009, so technically they represent what the area was like in 2009! These photos are also on flickr.
This post covers the length of Chandni Chowk road, which along with the Jami Masjid are probably the best known parts of Old Delhi. Chandni Chowk used to be the name of a particular intersection/square, but now the entire main thoroughfare of Shahjahanabad – which formed the main axis leading to the royal palace – has been given that name.
The layered urban history of this area includes many buildings from the late 19th c. and early 20th c., with a few structures from before that time (like Sunehri Masjid) and a few later structures. Additionally, most of these structures have been added on to and “renovated” (mostly haphazardly) over the last few decades of the 20th c., till the present. Since this has been an important commercial road throughout this time, many of the structures are larger commercial buildings than we find in other parts of Old Delhi.
These photos follow the numbered progression shown in the map below, from one end of Chandni Chowk to the other, and then a few photos are from the area around Begum Samru’s House (known today as Bhagirath Palace and a major electronics market).
.Location of Chandni Chowk and Begum Samru’s House in Shahjahanabad
.The sequence of areas photographed follow the general numbered progression below
Netaji Subhash Road and Lajpat Rai Market
Netaji Subhash Road today separates the old city area from the royal palace, and Chandni Chowk starts here.Temples at the head of Chandni Chowk
.Lajpat Rai Market on Subhash Road
Between Subhash Road and Fountain Chowk
Photos along Chandni Chowk between Subhash Road and Fountain Chowk.
At this chowk are located the historically significant Sunehri Masjid and Sisganj Sahib GurdwarasFountain Chowk
Between Fountain Chowk and Town Hall
Town Hall/Chandni Chowk
The intersection in front of Town Hall was the original location of “Chandni Chowk”, which is why the British constructed the Town Hall and other administrative buildings here.Town Hall
Between Town Hall and Fatehpuri ChowkThe expansive haveli of Lala Chuna Mal
Begum Samru’s House Area
The area around Begum Samru’s House/Bhagirath Palace.The 19th c. colonial bungalow of Begum Samru, which is now inundated with modern construction all around
To end this post are a few photos of the Old Delhi railway station and Hardayal Municipal Public Library (early 20th c.)Old Delhi railway station