Delhi Heritage Walks’ Book Club held its second session at Lodi Garden on 6 December. The book chosen for the discussion was Romila Thapar’s Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History and Tanuja Kothiyal, a historian of medieval India at Ambedkar University Delhi, and currently Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, was the discussant. The choice of the book seemed apt for the day: 6 December is the date of destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which is believed to have been built on the birthplace of Lord Ram. The act of pulling down the mosque was to avenge the oppression faced by the Hindu community under Muslim rule. Mahmud Ghazni’s raids into India and particularly his raid on temple of Somanatha in the year 1026 is considered the beginning of foreign invasions led by fanatical Muslims who were here to attack the Hindu religion. The Rath Yatra led by BJP leader L.K. Advani which culminated in Babri Masjid demolition, started in 1990, at Somanatha. Romila Thapar’s book notes that the event has been projected as central to relations between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia and explores the interpretations of this event in the last two centuries. The author draws upon a number of sources including local Sanskrit inscriptions, Jain narratives, biographies of kings & merchants of the period, court epics & popular narratives and Persian chronicles to study the different versions of Mahmud’s raids on India.
Posts Tagged ‘Lodi Garden’
Lodi Garden never fails to amaze you with its exuberant greenery in the heart of Delhi; a more scenic and striking place couldn't have been better for our first book discussion on Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives by Rudrangshu Mukherjee. Salil Misra, Professor of History at Ambedkar University Delhi graciously agreed to be our discussant. He started with giving a brief synopsis of the book and tracking the parallel lives of these two dauntless nationalists from the point of their return home, through their unfruitful struggles to radicalise the Congress, to their final parting of ways in the late 1930s on the issue of Bose's offset victory as president of that umbrella nationalist body. In between these two personalities, fell the shadow of Gandhi in India, and of Mussolini and Hitler in Europe, and a militarised Japan to our east. The Mahatma played an important role in both of their lives and he's considered the reason behind their decision to go their separate ways.
Doing a heritage walk in Lodi Gardens is quite different from most of DHW’s other trails. More often than not, the ruins we wish to explore are empty on a weekend, and seem to be part of a distant world. But Lodi Gardens at 7:30am on a Saturday is bustling. It’s not called ‘Jogger’s Paradise’ without reason— walkers, runners, and exercise groups of all ages were out and about.
A park in Delhi’s heart, Lodi Garden has something to offer for everyone: it has a cluster of medieval structures, a bonsai park, a lake with ducks & aquatic birds, butterfly conservatory, trees, birds, butterflies- you name it. This variety is not limited to flora & fauna, but extends to people too: joggers, poets, yoga practitioners, pet lovers, families on picnics, painters & lovers all lay claim to Lodi Garden. Even the dustbins have character! (more…)
Its Christmas time, the winter chill increases everyday and everyone is in a mood for holiday. This weekend our heritage walk was planned at Lodi Garden in the evening. The park was full of people enjoying their day off. We have been leading walks here regularly and an addition to the flora, fauna & historical buildings is the colourful dustbins. They have been painted by local artists, some have slogan, others use graffiti and cartoons & are most certainly an incentive for people to use them. (more…)