Fatehpuri Chowk Teardown

Fatehpuri Chowk was covered in my first post on Shahjahanabad, covering the Khari Baoli and Katra Neel areas. That was back in 2009, when I had visited Fatehpuri Chowk for the very first time. On turning off Chandni Chowk and experiencing Fatehpuri Chowk the first few times (before the place became familiar to me), I very clearly remember feeling that this was what a bustling town in India would have looked/felt like in the 1940s, 50s, 60s Continue reading

A Mosque (Okay Two) And A Dargah in Connaught Place

Mosque

There are many large and small structures within the area of “Lutyens’ Delhi” that predate the British imperial capital. This is not surprising since many villages existed in the area where the capital was built, and while most of these villages were razed, some of the religious structures – mosques, dargahs, temples and gurdwaras – were allowed to stand (and many, especially the gurdwaras, have grown in size and importance since then). Mosques were probably the most numerous religious structures, and are easily spotted today as their number and need for specific orientation made them difficult to incorporate into the new urban layout. They jut out onto roads (like the mosque on Janpath) and walkways (like the one on Baba Khadak Singh Marg) and occupy traffic circles (like on Kasturba Gandhi Marg and near Udyog Bhawan). Continue reading

Shahjahanabad III: Kashmiri Gate & Northern Old Delhi

The Kashmiri Gate area of Shahjahanabad is the small bit that lies to the north of Old Delhi railway station, while the bulk of Shahjahanabad lies to its south. A railway station in 19th c. Delhi had become a necessity due to the growing rail network of British India and the increasing British interest in Delhi (they had essentially controlled Delhi since 1803), however the location of Old Delhi station was probably dictated by retributionary passions after the uprising of 1857, since the introduction of the rail lines and station in their current alignment meant the clearing of a large swath of the city. The railway lines and station also conveniently divided Old Delhi into two, and the British began concentrating in the northern part of the city. This is also partly the reason why the original Civil Lines and cantonment lie to the north of Shahjahanabad. Continue reading

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

Delhi Cities / Historical Timeline

I recently created a timeline for Delhi and it’s various “cities”, to help me place historical figures and events and buildings in time and place (by “place” here I mean which city in the sequence of cities that make up Delhi). Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to decipher, and at least some people should find it useful, so I thought I’d put it out in public. Continue reading

Too Close For Comfort

On one of my recent visits to Hauz Khas village I had been reminded of just how close the new construction is to the 14th century madrassa there, so I thought I’d put up some earlier photos I had taken of that proximity conundrum. This situation is repeated so often in Delhi and everywhere else in India. Just too close for comfort. Continue reading