Old Delhi is a fantastic location to trace different phases of Indian history. This Sunday our heritage walk focused on exploring Chandni Chowk, the main street of the city of Shahjahanabad, to understands the ups & downs, changes in Mughal rule & the arrival of British. We started near the mouth of Chandni Chowk, near Red Fort. The first stop is two old temples: Digambar Jain Lal Mandir and Gauri Shankar Temple. Former is a Jain temple of the Digambar sect while ltater is a Shaiva temple dedicated to main Hindu deity Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati or Gauri.
Our next stop is the State Bank of India building whose large façade, round arches, Roman pillars and high ceilings are typical of colonial architecture. However, it is interesting to note that it is built over an estate of Kashmiri dancing girl-Begum Samru who was very influential in the eighteenth century. Her palace still exists and is part of Bhagirath Place which is Asia’s biggest electronic market today. A few steps ahead is Dariba Kalan which is a popular street for jewellery. The market has some traditional businesses which manufacture &s sell itra, i.e perfumes or essence. (more…)
This Sunday morning was a spent rambling around the historic street of Chandni Chowk. Our heritage walks here focus on discovering discreet phenomenon which were responsible for shaping up this place the way we see it today. Shahjahanabad has seen affluence and as well as the crises of the Mughal Empire. Further, the creeping in of British influence is also evident in the Mughal capital city. (more…)
The crowds at Chandni Chowk are an amazing sight, even on a Sunday morning when the market is officially closed. It is natural to be overwhelmed by the hustle-bustle of the people and traffic. From Digambar Jain Lal Mandir till Gurdwara Sisganj there were cars lined all along the road-of devotees to the Jain Mandir, Gauri Shankar temple, Central Baptist Church and Sisganj Gurdwara. Friends who visit the area are often surprised to find places of worship of all faiths so close to each other. But perhaps it is not such an unusual thing in the closely knit urban population as in our Purani Dilli. (more…)
Last Sunday morning was an attempt to explore and discover Chandni Chowk neighborhood which has seen a history of more than three hundred years. We started our heritage trail at Digambar Jain Lal Mandir which is the oldest Jain temple of old Delhi. What is today old Delhi for us was Shahjahanabad, the capital established by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan & it remained the capital till 1857. (more…)
This Sunday morning we marched out for a walking tour of the city of Shahjahanabad. The focus of the walk was the main street of Chandni Chowk, which runs perpendicular to the Red Fort. I started with a brief introduction about the history of what is today called old Delhi. The first landmarks of interest are two very old temples: the Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, the oldest Jain Temple of the city & adjacent to it was a Shaiva temple called Gauri Shankar Mandir. Braving the chaos and traffic we reached State Bank of India building which is built on the estate of Begam Samroo. (more…)