Over the years I have explored the more northerly latitudes of Old Delhi a few times, but not so the southerly areas (other than the Jami Masjid area and the kababi-ilaqa of Matia Mahal). I was therefore quite excited to venture south of Hauz Qazi Chowk along the Sitaram Bazaar road, which leads from chowk to Turkman Gate. Also included in this post is the area south of Sita Ram Bazaar road, which includes the 14th c AD Kalan Masjid that predates the founding of Shahjahanabad.
One thing I’ve noticed is the “hierarchy” of haveli entrances and sizes in Old Delhi, with large, opulently decorated stone-clad haveli entrances, leading to larger courtyards, located nearer (or on) the major roads and lanes of Old Delhi, and smaller, more plain masonry entrances, leading generally to smaller courtyards, tucked further away from the main arteries, accessed by the maze of smaller lanes that lead into the interior parts of the walled city. I wonder if there also exists a north-south hierarchy, with generally larger and more ornate havelis located in the northern parts of the city, closer to Chandni Chowk, and comparatively smaller havelis existing in the more southern areas. If such a hierarchy exists, it would have been established in the late-19th c and early-20th c, when the present fabric of the city was established, and when the British after 1857 occupied the more northerly areas of the city. Of course the Daryaganj area in the south-east of the city is a completely different situation, it being occupied by the British military till the early 20th c, and it’s development as we see today happening only after that time, which gives Daryaganj a completely different urban fabric than other southerly parts of Old Delhi.
Near Turkman Gate are also areas that became infamous for forced and violent “slum clearances” in 1976 during the Emergency.
General location of the Sita Ram Bazaar area, with Jami Masjid shown for context
General sequence of photographs
Along Sita Ram Bazaar Road
Residences on a lane leading off from Sita Ram Bazaar Road
Along Sita Ram Bazaar road again
A large, old gateway which would have been to a garden/haveli compound
Turkman Gate, one of the main gateways of the walled city
Eastern Part of the Sita Ram Bazaar Area
Deco motifs at an entrance doorway
Haveli outer facade and courtyard
Dilapidated DDA housing. This might be the housing built as replacement for “slum clearances” in the 1970s
This 14th c mosque was one of the seven mosques built in Delhi by Khan Jahan Junan Shah, wazir of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. It predates the 17th c city of Shahjahanabad, and was built at this location to be in proximity to the nearby dargah of Shah Turkman, a 13th c sufi saint.
Entrance to the mosque
A corner bastion of the mosque
Western Part of the Sita Ram Bazaar Area
Deco motif above a doorway