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:
The rows of commercial/residential buildings along Sadar Thana Road, moving northwards from the Idgah Road intersection:
Looking into one of the streets that enters into the Basti Harphool Singh neighborhood, which lies immediately to the west of Sadar Thana Road:
Looking into Basti Harphool Singh neighborhood
Back along Sadar Thana Road:
As we move north along the road, from the Idgah Road intersection towards Bara Tooti Chowk, the structures become somewhat more run-down:
Looking back at the row of buildings from close to Bara Tooti Chowk
A few more photos: