Old Delhi’s Western Suburbs: Sadar Thana Road

Visiting this stretch of road in Sadar Bazaar back in 2008 was a real eye-opener for me. It showed me that not only were there areas in Delhi (and other Indian cities) where some buildings from the early to mid 20th c still remained, but also areas where the entire building stock of certain neighborhoods, or much of it, was still from that period, albeit in dire need of repair and preservation. There is a sense of being transported back in time when we come across such scenes, where everything that the eye is taking in (in terms of the architecture and built space at least, if not other factors) seems to be from the past. This had happened to me when I stood at Fatehpuri Chowk in Old Delhi for the first time as well. And it wasn’t so much the sense of being transported back to the early 20th c, but rather the sense of being transported back to my childhood when in the early 1980s I had experienced such spaces before, I think in towns in Punjab like Kapurthala and Jalandhar.

In this instance I was specifically looking for architecture from the early to mid 20th c, and was quite amazed to find an entire stretch of this main road with a built environment from the mid 20th c. Subsequently I found that nearby neighborhoods such as Basti Harphool Singh and Deputh Ganj also had similar historic built environments. I was aware that an area called Sadar Bazaar existed, but had no idea of the modern historical spaces it contained.

On both sides of this stretch of Sadar Thana Road are rows of uniformly designed structures with colonnaded commercial spaces on the ground floor, and residential spaces on the two floors above. The basic massing of the buildings is uniform, but the decorative detailing varies.

For some more background information and a location map, go to the introduction of this series of posts.


Buildings at the intersection of Sadar Thana Road and Idgah Road:

sadar thana 01 01

sadar thana 01 02


The rows of commercial/residential buildings along Sadar Thana Road, moving northwards from the Idgah Road intersection:

sadar thana 02 01sadar thana 02 02sadar thana 03 01sadar thana 03 02sadar thana 03 03sadar thana 03 04sadar thana 03 05sadar thana 04 01sadar thana 04 02sadar thana 04 03sadar thana 04 04sadar thana 04 05sadar thana 04 06sadar thana 04 07sadar thana 04 08sadar thana 04 09sadar thana 04 10sadar thana 04 11sadar thana 04 12sadar thana 05 01sadar thana 05 02sadar thana 05 03sadar thana 05 04sadar thana 05 05


Looking into one of the streets that enters into the Basti Harphool Singh neighborhood, which lies immediately to the west of Sadar Thana Road:

sadar thana 06 01sadar thana 06 02sadar thana 06 03sadar thana 06 04

Looking into Basti Harphool Singh neighborhood

sadar thana 06 05


Back along Sadar Thana Road:

sadar thana 07 01sadar thana 07 02sadar thana 07 03sadar thana 07 04sadar thana 07 05sadar thana 07 06


As we move north along the road, from the Idgah Road intersection towards Bara Tooti Chowk, the structures become somewhat more run-down:

sadar thana 08 01sadar thana 08 02sadar thana 08 03sadar thana 08 04sadar thana 08 05sadar thana 08 06sadar thana 08 07sadar thana 08 08sadar thana 08 09sadar thana 08 10sadar thana 08 11


Looking back at the row of buildings from close to Bara Tooti Chowk

sadar thana 08 12


A few more photos:

sadar thana 09 01sadar thana 09 02sadar thana 09 03sadar thana 09 04sadar thana 09 05sadar thana 09 06sadar thana 09 07sadar thana 09 08

One thought on “Old Delhi’s Western Suburbs: Sadar Thana Road

  1. Lovely, I have been visiting the area since 1967 -when It was full of Wholesalers in Paper and electrical goods. My frequent visits were to buy India’s first Felt based pens. These were assembled here, and architects across India were crazy to buy sepia and black shades by dozens. The assembler was busy packing 12 different shades to pouch pack but changed the perception.

    Liked by 1 person

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