Yet another foggy December morning and 12 of us assembled outside Nicholson’s cemetery to take a heritage walk down the memory lane! Nicholson was strong a British general, considered a demi-God by his Pathani and Punjabi soldiers. At the same time he has a reputation of being rude & arrogant towards the Indians. The cemetery gets its name from Nicholson, who is buried here. All around there are other small and beautifully carved sandstone and marble graves dating to the 19th century. Our next stop on this walk is the Kashmiri gate; one of the remaining gates of the walled city of Delhi! Once on its rooftop one can see the cross of St. James’ Church and if living back in 1857 one could imagine – watching the British troops coming down from the ridge to the north of walled city! In the neighbourhood is the Lal Masjid built from the red sand stone on the upper storey of a local market built by Lala Sultan Singh. Lal masjid or Fakhr-ul-masajid was built by Begum Fatima in memory of her husband Shujaat Khan in 1729. The old Hindu College and the old St. Stephen’s buildings which came up here are now being use for MCD and Election Commission’s offices! St. James’ Church is clearly the most striking building around the neighbourhood of Kashmiri gate. This bright yellow colored church came up as a thanksgiving to God by James Skinner. Completed back in 1836 this is the oldest church in Delhi. The churchyard contains graves of some very prominent British including William Fraser. As one moves ahead to Lothian Road, the Indraprastha University campus has a couple of interesting landmarks: the Delhi College which was the centre of Delhi’s Renaissance as well bore the brunt of the “Indian rebels” in 1857 was once located here. So was Dara Shukoh’s library, on top of which the residence for British Resident Ochterlony was built. The British magazine and the telegraph memorial lie of an island in the middle of the road. The heritage walk ended at Lothian Cemetery, which is undergoing restoration by ASI.
(posted by Chhavi Sharma, team member, Delhi Heritage Walks)