Shahjahanabad IV: Fatehpuri Masjid & Katra Bariyan

I had put up my first Shahjahanabad post, on the Khari Baoli and Katra Neel areas, way back in Nov 2009, as part of my Dilli Darshan series (that first post also has my introduction to the Shahjahanabad series). Then in Sept 2012 I put up two more Shahjahanabad posts, of photos taken along Chandni Chowk and around Begum Samru’s palace (Bhagirath palace) and Kashmiri Gate and northern Shahjahanabad. Hopefully now I’ll complete the Old Delhi circuit, which is pretty intense if you explore the old city in detail!All the main Shahjahanabad posts can be found here.

Many of the photos in this and the next few posts were taken in 2009, a few between then and now, and many in the next few posts were taken in recent days. It has been great to return to exploring Old Delhi, which has so many interesting buildings, streets and lanes, though I wonder what residents have to say about outsiders roaming about their alleys. Photographing Old Delhi may seem a little done and cliched, but I think it is important to visually document (and present publicly) the structures that are currently existing, no matter what their condition, before many of them disappear completely, as so many already have. These old parts of town in so many cities in India are living documentations of 19th and early-20th c architecture, urbanism and lifestyles, but are uncared for as such and in desperate need for systematic conservation programs.

As before these posts focus on a visual exploration of the old city, and I want to reiterate how good a book Luck Peck’s “Delhi: A Thousand Years of Building” is as a guide to Delhi’s historical architecture, and to explore Old Delhi. I’m keeping the “long-post” format of the earlier Shahjahanabad posts for these new ones too.

Fatehpuri Masjid, Gadodia Market and Katra Bariyan

In this post I’ve covered the large Fatehpuri Masjid and the area immediately surrounding it. Fatehpuri Masjid, built in the 17th c by one of Shah Jahan’s wives, lies at the terminus of Chandni Chowk road, the main thoroughfare that cut through the city of Shahjahanabad from the time the city was laid out in the 17th c. At one end of this road was the Lahori Gate of Red Fort, the main gate of the Mughal palace which faced the city, and at the other end lay (and still lies) Fatehpuri Masjid. I had covered Fatehpuri Chowk, which is on the outside of the mosque, in the Khari Baoli/Katra Neel post. The large courtyard of the mosque, enclosed on all four sides by outwards-facing shops, is in calm contrast to the noise and crowds of the chowk and markets outside.

Location of Fatehpuri Masjid in Shahjahanabad. Chandni Chowk road leading straight from Fatehpuri Masjid to the Red Fort is clearly discernible

shah whole fateh masjid

General sequence of areas photographed, showing the locations of Fatehpuri Masjid, Gadodia Market and the Katra Bariyan area

fatehpuri masjid text

Fatehpuri Masjid

The main eastern entrance of the mosque, with Fatehpuri Chowk outside

01 01 fatehpuri 01 02 fatehpuri

Side entrances to the mosque01 03 fatehpuri 01 04 fatehpuri 01 05 fatehpuri

Mosque courtyard01 06 fatehpuri 01 07 fatehpuri

Prayer hall01 08 fatehpuri 01 09 fatehpuri

The ablution pool was being cleaned out the day I visited01 10 fatehpuri 01 11 fatehpuri 01 12 fatehpuri 01 13 fatehpuri

Looking out towards the Katra Bariyan area

01 14 fatehpuri

The southern outside wall of the mosque02 01 fatehpuri

Katra Bariyan

The area immediately to the south of the mosque.

02 02 katra bariyan

The 15th c Hauzwali Masjid in the Katra Bariyan area predates the founding of Shahjahanabad and the brackish baoli (well) that gives the Khari Baoli area its name was probably adjacent to this mosque02 03 katra bariyan 02 04 katra bariyan 02 05 katra bariyan

Buildings along Katra Bariyan road

02 06 katra bariyan

02 07 katra bariyan

Gadodia Market

Gadodia Market lies to the west of Fatehpuri Masjid, sharing a (qibla) wall with it. The building was built with commercial space on the ground floor and residences above, all facing a large courtyard that is now occupied single-storied shops/godowns.

Entrance to Gadodia Market from Khari Baoli road

03 01 gadodia

Gadodia Market with its composite architectural style, which could be considered a version of Indo-Saracenic!03 02 gadodia 03 03 gadodia 03 04 gadodia 03 05 gadodia 03 06 gadodia 03 07 gadodia 03 08 gadodia 03 09 gadodia

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