Walk through Kashmiri Gate today & the place is a thriving market for automobile parts, old shops selling all kinds of hardware, including guns! It is hard to imagine how it would have looked three centuries ago. I study in the same neighbourhood & every time I walk through it I wonder about its evolution. The traces of the past are everywhere to see: old lodges with colonial architecture, shops with English names, remains of some Mughal monuments. Our heritage walk this Sunday, gave me an opportunity to share my thoughts & questions with an enthusiastic audience. (more…)
Remember ‘khoob ladi mardani woh to Jhansi wali rani thi’ or ‘do gaz zameen bhi na mili kue yaar mein’? Rani Laxmi Bhai of Jhansi, her companion Jhalkari Bai, Tantia Tope, Mangal Pandey & Bahadur Shah Zafar: these are people from Indian history we have most often read about, their poetry of defiance or of despair, were all part of the experience of 1857. (more…)
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…)
Here’s a brief overview of our heritage walk on 1857 revolt, which was organised this past Sunday. It is great pleasure to walk around the city on pleasant winter mornings and rains only add to this experience, I think. A group of enthusiasts joined us to explore the neighbourhood of Kashmiri Gate for landmarks of 1857. Our starting point was Nicholson’s Cemetery. The cemetery is located in an area which was the battle zone between rebels in Shajahanabad & the British on the Northern Ridge. (more…)
For a small trek through Delhi’s landscapes, try Northern Ridge, in the winters. Throw in exploration of some of the sites of 1857 which played out in this area, and it is a day well spent. Our heritage walk in Northern Ridge traces a route connecting a few landmarks of 1857 in the Kamla Nehru Northern Ridge. We start at Delhi University Vice Chancellor’s office, which is a notable example of colonial building style. It used to be the Vice Regal Lodge when the new city of Delhi was under construction. One piece of gossip about this building is that it was in the Registrar’s office here that Lord Mountbatten (last Viceroy of India) proposed to Edwina. To complete the triangle & the irony, we now have a bust of Nehru looking wistfully towards the building!!