There are very few of us unfamiliar with the craze that seizes Delhi when cricket matches are held at Kotla cricket stadium in Delhi. But how many know of the monumental ruins that stand adjacent to it? The citadel of Kotla Firuz Shah, the remains of the capital city of Firuzabad. In fact, it is the citadel which gives the stadium its name. Built in the 14th century by Tughluq king, Firuz Shah, there are only three monuments left in this citadel. Yet, these three have spectacular stories associated with them, both of the past & the present. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Special Heritage Walks’ Category
(Nirmal Dayani is a regular at Delhi Heritage Walks)
Heritage walk in Mehrauli village, 27 May 2012
The neighbourhood of Mehrauli in south of Delhi is the oldest inhabited part of the Delhi region. Actually, oldest inhabited in terms of urban settlements. This is where the first cities of Delhi came up. Even when the capital shifted closer to the river, Mehrauli area was never abandoned. As a result one gets a continuous settlement for almost 1000 years back in history. A fact, which makes Mehrauli virtually a goldmine for a historian or an archaeologist. Continue Reading This Post
Among the many cities in Delhi one counts, our heritage walk this Sunday explored one of the lesser known of all these. The Tughluq king, Firuz Shah built a new capital city for himself, along the banks of the Yamuna and called it Firuzabad. This is present day area around ITO and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. It is believed to have been almost twice the size of Shahjahanabad (Shahjahan’s capital, the old Delhi of today) extending from Pir Ghaib in the northern Ridge to Hauz Khas in the south. Today only the inner citadel of this massive city survives, known by the name Kotla Firuz Shah. Continue Reading This Post
The rebellion of 1857 is well known in Indian history. 1857 was the largest uprising anywhere against the British and Indians call it the first war of Independence, the Uprising or the simply the rebellion. For the other side, the British, it remains the Mutiny. After suppressing the rebellion, India was brought directly under the rule of the British Crown. Delhi was one of the biggest centers of the 1857 rebellion and our heritage walk in the northern ridge explores some of the sites where events of 1857 unfolded.
The first stop on our heritage trail is the Flagstaff tower. A look out space, it would have been one of the highest points on the ridge. This is where European men, women and children took shelter when they escaped the city of Shahjahanabad, away from the attacking rebels. They waited for help and when none came they moved further to Karnal. Now the area is surrounded by trees but photographs of 1858 show this land to be barren, with the Flagstaff tower standing lonely at this height. There was a photographer, Felice Beato who travelled around the country photographing the sites of the rebellion in the year 1858. His photos are a telling account of the situation then, and help us imagine it as we see those very sites today.