Going, Going, Going, Gone!

Near the Vishwavidyalay metro station (Delhi University’s north campus station) lie a set of “minor” historic structures. These small structures, along what is now Brig SK Majumdar Marg, were ammunition stores constructed by the British in the early 19th century, when they (partly) moved out of the Kashmiri Gate area of Shahjahanabad to create the Civil Lines and cantonment (where DU’s north campus is now located). These ammunition stores would have been in or near the cantonment area at the time. Continue reading

Restoration Photos

Here are a few examples of monument restoration from Agra and Ajmer, all of Mughal-era structures from the 16th and 17th c AD. The usual impression we get when we visit historic monuments is that we are looking at structures that have come down over the centuries in the state we see them in presently, but in reality many of these structures have been restored and rebuilt, some multiple times. While there are a lot of arguments and positions regarding the whys and hows of restoration among the conservation/preservation community, from an architectural history viewpoint what’s important is how we can interpret historic monuments when the monument is not all as historic as made out to be. At a general level it entails analyzing the structure keeping in mind and “seeing around” the restoration. Continue reading

Barapullah Elevated Road and Khan Khana’s Tomb

A short note to follow up on my post about construction work for the elevated road around the Barapullah bridge, in which my concluding remarks were that the separate governmental authorities need to really work together cohesively in Delhi to accommodate both conservation and development, and use Delhi’s historic architecture as a unique facet of the city. Unfortunately, it looks like another section of the elevated road construction may indicate that examples of such collaboration are pretty hard to come by. Continue reading

Barapullah In The News

An image of Barapullah I took sometime in 2009, showing its basic design and construction (and the ganda nala – dirty drain – flowing under it)

Barapullah is an early 17th century bridge close to Humayun’s Tomb and Khan Khana’s Tomb in the Nizamuddin area. The monument has been in the news recently as part of the ongoing tussle between the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) in Delhi on one side, and various other governmental bodies (such as the railways, Delhi metro, MCD, Commonwealth Games people etc) on the other, playing out an intra-government-department preservation-versus-development urban slug-fest. Continue reading

Out with the old, In with the new … Part II

I went back to the site where I’d taken the Out with the old, in with the new photo in Dec ’06 to see if the tombs there were still standing and how the area around it had developed, and was pleased to find that the tombs are indeed still there, even though the area around is developing at a pace in keeping with the rest of Delhi! Maybe these tombs are on the INTACH listing and/or are protected by ASI, though that doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent to the encroachment and demise of such monuments elsewhere! Continue reading