The neighbourhood of Kashmiri Gate is one of the unusual trudges in Delhi. Located near the ISBT, Railway station, a bulk market for car parts, a University Campus, it is extremely busy through the day & the heritage walk is best done on a Sunday morning, when the usual activity has not yet picked up pace. Kashmiri Gate was the area where many Europeans settled in the first half of 19th century & later during the rebellion of 1857, many of its events were played out here. (more…)
On the day of separation from you in helplessness and loneliness, nothing consoles us but the sorrow we feel for you.
O Jamali! Resort to the door of the friend, for our refuge is the door of the beloved.
These are lines by poet & traveller, Sheikh Fazlullah, who went by the pen name Jamali. And his name lives on today…the park where our heritage walk was organized is locally known as Jamali Kamali. Officially, the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, very few know it by that name. The Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a minefield of archaeological remains! Everywhere the eye goes, there are remains of historic settlements, some almost devoured by vegetation. Close to the entrance is a clearing, beyond a gateway, which is a recently excavated archaeological site. I shared some of my surface finds with the group: a small clay toy shaped like a horse, bits & pieces of pottery! (more…)
This walk covers sites associated with colonial life in 19th century Delhi & the rebellion of 1857. We start at Nicholson Cemetery, named after one of the most revered British heroes of the ‘mutiny’. Brigadier Gen. John Nicholson was fatally injured while storming the Lahori Gate of Shahjahanabad. All through the summer of 1857 the rebels were inside the walled city & the British has taken position on the Northern Ridge & there was bitter fighting between the two sides. For Delhi the battle was pretty much decided in the favour of the British after breaching the city walls. Nicholson Cemetery has graves of many Europeans & some Indians as well. (more…)
The Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a part of the Aravallis bits of which is landscaped & maintained by Delhi Development Authority. Mehrauli being the oldest continuously inhabited area of Delhi has a long and fascinating history. This is where the first cities of Delhi came up. There are remains of Rajputs’ cities to monuments built by Delhi Sultans & then the Mughals. British could resist the temptation of compete with the Sultans of Delhi either. (more…)
This Sunday, a cloudy but pleasant winter morning, our heritage walk was organized at Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The Park has around 70 odd monuments, scattered around one of the oldest inhabited areas of Delhi, Mehrauli. History of Mehrauli is many layered & covers a long time span. It was first ruled by a couple of Rajput rulers in 11th and 12th centuries and towards the end of the 12th century, these were defeated by Turks from central Asia. The victors set up a dynasty which came to be called ‘slave’ kings. And then this area saw settlements throughout the ‘medieval’ period of Indian history & is now an urban village. (more…)