Saturday, February 27, 2016

Heritage Walk – Chandni Chowk.



It was my first heritage walk organised by Travel correspondents / Bloggers Group (TCBG) under the guidance of experts “ Madhulika Liddle” and “Swapna Liddle”.
 

Madhulika Liddle :-A writer by profession, has written a series on “Muzaffar Jung’s mystery” other than that she has written a  variety of short stories , travel articles , humours articles and novels. 


Swapna Liddle :- She is an eminent historian and has been conducting Heritage walk in Delhi for more than a decade now. She has written a book  “Delhi 14 Heritage walks”.


On Jan 17th, 2016  as per plan we all the interested group members assembled outside  Chandni Chowk metro station , gate No. 5, where we all were introduced to Ms.Madhulika Liddle who handed over her autographed book “Crimson City” to everyone in the group.






After some briefing about the walk by Ms. Swapna Liddle, she led us towards the lanes of Chandani chowk  for our heritage walk . We passed through narrow lanes and reached  the main road of Chandni chowk.Early morning the view of the street  was totally different as the streets were totally deserted whereas in routine we find it crowded and extremely congested. 





Our first stop was Town hall where Ms. Swapna revealed us that earlier there used to be a canal flowing through the middle of the main street of Chandni chowk as a part of the water supply scheme. The Chandni chowk originally referred to the circle that initially was reflecting pool because of moon light just in front of Town hall. British misunderstood and named the entire street as “Chandni Chowk”




 
After 1857 the British destroyed several Mughal imperial buildings, sarai and beautiful gardens which was built by Jahanara , elder daughter of Shahjahan and built “Town Hall” which was the seat of Municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD) till 2009. 

Our expert also informed that in 1860 a new road was constructed which is known as  “ Nai Sarak”. We clicked  a group pic with Ms. Madhulika’s Book and moved ahead.


Next we stopped outside “Lala Chunnamal Hawali” it is situated at the entrance of Katra Neel which is probably one of the only Haveli still preserved and inhabited by the descendants of the Lala. Chunnamal.   



Ms. Swapna further informed us  that “Katra” means Commercial place, basically it is cluster of shops / homes with gate which used to be closed during the nights for the safety reasons.  





Katra Neel is famous for Indigo (Neel) manufacturing / trading . Today Indigo business is no more and shops are selling fabrics.The Katra Neel was mainly belonged to Khatries .


There are many Shivalayas built in the premises of many houses for personal use.

Our expert informed that at the entrance of every house there is an “Otla” a square platform on both sides of the entrance door, people used to sit and gossip with the people passing by.




We went inside a Shivalaya and clicked some pics and moved ahead. 





We walked through Gali Ghanteshwar and visited an old Haveli.  Ms. Swapna  updated us  that most Haveli’s architecture were inspired  from the Red Fort’s Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khaas.




Our next destination was Naughara for which we passed by Parathewali gali , Kinaari Bazar. 



Naughara (Nine House) , these houses belonged  to Jains who were into Jewellery business . These old houses are still very well maintained in its original structure. Doors / windows are carved with flowers , birds etc. 











We moved out of Naughara and passed through Dariban Kalan – Katra Khushal Rai and reached “Sheesh Mahal”.Here I got surprised to know that St. Stephans college was started at this particular place here in Feb, 1881 and later on was shifted to Kashmiri Gate in 1891. There is a plaque mounted on the wall by Alumni of St Stephen .




On the way to Jama Masjid we crossed through Surajwali Masjid  with Sun as its emblem which astonished  us as it is not commonly seen with a  mosque.  



Before reaching Jama Masjid we stopped at the colourful gate called “Chheepiwaada Kalan, our expert informed that it leads to street where Ustad Hamid used to stay who was the architect of Red Fort. 


We moved ahead and reached  Gate No. 3 of Jama Masjid where we clicked a couple of group photographs and moved inside. Please note that earlier cameras were allowed inside free of cost now they charge 300/- for the camera. 


Jama Masjid was built by Shahjahan  ,the construction of the mosque started in the year 1644 and completed in 1656. It has 3 gateways and 2 minarets standing 130 feet  high.




The name derived from the congregation (Jamaat). The courtyard of mosque can hold  25000 people. One can climb the southern minaret  which is chargeable and can enjoy the view from the top.



Our expert showed us the signature of the calligrapher on the corner of the calligraphic wall of mosque.

We took a round of the mosque and came out from main gate which is facing  towards Red Fort.Our expert showed us two shrines from here one is of Sarmad Shaheed and other is of his master Hare Bhare Shah. 


We again entered inside the mosque and came out from Gate no. 3 to collect our shoes. Our Heritage walk ended outside an old building where Indraprastha college was started. These days  Indraprastha Girls Senior Sec. School is running in the building inspite of the bad condition of the building. 







As our walk ended some of the group members left and few of us went to enjoy the old delicacies of old Delhi. 


Competition of Gluttons :-)

After breakfast we discussed future trips and promised to meet soon................

32 comments :

  1. चांदनी चौक मै भी बहुत बार गया हुं, पर हमेशा कुछ ना कुछ खरीदारी ही करने, लेकिन आप के माध्यम से एक अलग ही नजरीया से यह देख पाया। धन्यवाद महेश जी

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 32 साल.से देल्ही में रहने पर भी मुझे खुद बहुत सी जानकारी पहली बार सुन्नने को मिली. पोस्ट पड़ने के लिए आप का भी धन्यवाद .

      Delete
  2. चांदनी चौक मै भी बहुत बार गया हुं, पर हमेशा कुछ ना कुछ खरीदारी ही करने, लेकिन आप के माध्यम से एक अलग ही नजरीया से यह देख पाया। धन्यवाद महेश जी

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  3. Beautiful account of the heritage walk, Mahesh ji. Old Delhi is a treasure trove for heritage and architecture enthusiasts. The more one explores, the more there is to see.

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    1. Very true Ragini old is treasure for Heritage. Thanks for going through the post and liking it.

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  4. चाँदनी चौक के अतीत की बढ़िया जानकारी । खूबसूरत चित्रों के साथ ।
    धन्यवाद्....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. पोस्ट पड़ने ओर पसंद करने के लिए आप का धन्यवाद

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  5. Very well written sir, Yous pics shows how deeply you was involved with the surroundings. Remind me my old working days in delhi 6

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  6. Very interesting... no matter how many times one goes to Old Delhi something new is discovered....

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  7. Beautiful account Mahesh ji. I never knew why the Katra Neel. Now I know. :)
    What I like about old Delhi is its charm and ever delicious food.

    Thanks for sharing this walk.

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  8. बहुत उम्दा. आपने walk की। यादें ताजा कर दी.

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    1. Thanks for liking the post , looking forward to have such more trips with you.

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  9. बहुत उम्दा. आपने walk की। यादें ताजा कर दी.

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  10. बढ़िया, ऐसे तो दिल्ली ६ बहुत घुमा हूँ। एक बार आपके माध्यम से दुबारा घूम लिया। आभार।

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  11. wonderful post ...this is really a different face of chandni chowk.

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  12. Thanks Pari for liking the post !

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  13. Coincidentally my husband took me for a similar walk in 2014, he is a Delhi-ite :-)
    Lovely pictures and great narrative! :-)

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    1. Thanks for going through the post and leaving comment.

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  14. Very well presented blog. It was indeed a refreshing experience. These are the facts know one tells us about unless a heritage walk like this comes to the rescue. It was a great learning experience.

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    1. I will call it heritage cum learning walk.

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  15. Old Delhi has so much of heritage.Thanks for taking us to the lovely Heritage walk.Well presented Mahesh ji.

    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

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  16. Old Delhi is a treasure trove and a time machine rolled in one it seems :) Lovely article!

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  17. Very nice article... should go for such heritage walks for knowing the beauty and historical connections of the City... Delhi has a lot of things, no wonder it is the Capital of the country, good to know metro takes you to these places and tours are conducted, so it will be safer for tourists to tour places in Delhi.

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