Purani Dilli at Ramzaan| A Photo Essay

On any ordinary day, one peek at the majestic Jama Masjid of Old Delhi will take your breath away. It will bring to your mind a picture of a royal cavalcade proceeding slowly from the Delhi Gate of the Red Fort to the entry of the royal mosque, a mighty Mughal Emperor making his way…

A Tawaif’s Palace| At Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Most of you out there must have heard about the tragic tale of Devdas, brought to life on the silver screen multiple times, played across time right from Dilip Kumar to Shah Rukh Khan. In the last version, too, the ‘tawaif’ Chandramukhi was immortalized by the lovely Madhuri Dixit, mesmerising us all with her graceful…

One thousand desires | An Ode to Mirza Ghalib

It has been more than 200 years since the birth of the great poet Ghalib but his poems continue to have a remarkable relevance to our time. His works, when recited with élan, still leave people spellbound. Born as Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, Takhallus Ghalib Ghalib (meaning, not surprisingly, ‘the most excellent’),  as he chose…

An Old Church and Many Memories… | St. James Church, Delhi

Since it’s Good Friday, I thought of sharing with you pictures of one of the oldest churches in Delhi- St. James Church, or Skinner’s Church, built by Col James Skinner in 1836, near the Kashmiri Gate. Enjoy and have a good Good Friday🙂

The Rage of an Emperor | Adham Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli

If you like old paintings, you would love to take a look at this page from court poet Abul Fazal’s Akbarnama, depicting Mughal Emperor Akbar punishing his foster brother Adham Khan by throwing him down the terrace of Agra Fort, not once but twice! Reason? Adham Khan had killed Akbar’s favorite general Atgah Khan out…

The “Delhie” Book and a Picnic atop the Qutb

I am excited as I’ve stumbled upon the “Delhie Book” of Thomas Metcalfe. Does not ring a bell? Well, Metcalfe was an officer of the British East India Company, and the Governor-General’s  Resident at the Imperial court of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in early 19th century Delhi. He ran the ‘Delhi territory’ from 1835 to…

It’s finger licking good! Karim’s, Chandni Chowk

While the Paranthe Wali Gali caters to your vegetarian tastes, right opposite Jama Masjid is the original Karim’s-a gastronomic delight for non-vegetarians. Well, vegetarians are welcome too, but at their own risk! If you love Mughlai food then this place would surely be your Mecca in Delhi. Located close to a market known as Darya…

A Fort Lost in Time | Adilabad Fort, Delhi

The one place that every child visiting Delhi is dragged to, is, of course, the Red fort. It is a monument that attracts one of the highest footfalls in the country.  That’s perhaps because it used to be the power-center of a greater part of India less than a century ago. But what of the…

Sibling Rivalry

The fascinating story of blood thirsty rivalry between two crown princesses… I know you must be wondering what’s the big deal about a little fighting here and there with your own brothers and sisters. You all fought as kids, got your parents to scold the ‘other one’, and while you smiled gleefully, your sibling secretly…

An old painting of the Red Fort along the Yamuna

Thomas Metcalfe, as Governor-General’s Agent at the Imperial court of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in early 19th century Delhi, ordered a series of images of the monuments & ruins of this city, to be created by Delhi artist Mazhar Ali Khan. Here’s one such masterpiece…a painting of the Red Fort as viewed from Metcalfe’s…

The “Window” Mosque

Have you ever heard of the “Khirki Masjid”? That’s right, the “Window Mosque”. My guess is, you haven’t. And yet, if I told you where this historic monument of the 14th century stands, you’d be surprised! Bang opposite one of the most frequented malls in present-day Delhi, the Select City Walk in Saket. Just a…

The Less Favorite Mosque

In the chaos of Chandni Chowk, in the horrific blare of horns and pushing and shoving of thousands of people going about their daily business and shopping sprees, history is often lost… What remain are yards and yards of sequinned sarees displayed on shop windows, vendors selling everything kitschy in the world, and a din like…

Poetry in Stone

Little did I know before I started my discovery of Delhi that this was once a land of many poets. Khusrau, Rahim, Zauq, Ghalib and countless others gave to this city its beautiful culture of lyrical poetry over the centuries. I owe my discovery of one poet’s grave to that of another…and each of them…

Resting Ground | The Delhi War Cemetery

There is something about a cemetery that makes me feel at peace with the world. When Death, the great equalizer, is all around me, it suddenly ceases to be frightening any more. Peace envelops me as I look around, too conscious of the impermanence and the fragile beauty of life. My friend Moony and I are visiting the…

An alternate view | Red Fort, Delhi

The first point to be ‘ticked’ off the list when a traveler visits Delhi is usually the Red Fort, the beautiful red-sandstone-and-marble citadel built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 AD. Though not much of its splendor remains, visitors are still touched by the imagined beauty of the palaces where Mughal life once…

Forgotten mosque | Madhi Masjid, Delhi

Today is World Heritage Day, or more formally, the International Monuments and Sites Day, a day dedicated to raise public awareness about the natural and cultural heritage of the world. What an apt opportunity for me to share with you some pictures of a beautiful old mosque that I came upon recently!

Gory Story | Chor Minar, Delhi

You have heard of the famous Qutb Minar, of course, but Chor Minar, huhh? Translated to Hindi, it means ‘Tower of Thieves’, but whatever does that imply?

At the end of the tunnel | Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi

Once upon a time, many centuries ago, the mighty military rulers of the Tughlaq dynasty built a fort in Delhi. They called it Tughlaqabad. And although it had walls as thick as can be- standing sternly, majestically, almost menacingly, to this day- the ravages of time have badly crumbled up the buildings within it, until…

A Village with a Tank | Hauz Khas, Delhi

A crooked lane leading through a tiny urban village. Houses, restaurants, art galleries, boutiques stacked together like matchboxes along a touristy circuit.

Patch of green, splash of royalty! Lodi Gardens, Delhi

When I moved to Delhi a few years ago, I spent the first few months in the ‘new industrial areas’ of Noida and Gurgaon, much like the countless other ‘immigrants’ to Delhi. Shortly my job would send me globetrotting for months on end…and the end effect was that even though I was a resident of…

Love is foolish | a love story from AD 1236, Delhi

It is Valentine’s Day, and the town is decked up in red ribbons, heart-shaped balloons, and teddy bears. Are you part of the crowd that laps up all the love in the air and whispers sweet nothings in the ears of their sweethearts? Or of the cynical other half, that frowns at these excesses of…

Safdarjung’s Tomb in all its glory!

If you are ever wandering in the Jorbagh area of Delhi (very close to the metro station of the same name on the yellow line), do make it a point to take in a glimpse of Safdarjung’s Tomb. USP? It’s extraordinary beauty for one, at least if you are not a stickler for architectural perfection….

Onion City

My romance with Delhi began precisely a year back. Before that, I hated the place. When I came here almost 4 years ago, all I knew about the area were the great infrastructure, the swanky malls, the office spaces and the food courts in Noida and Gurgaon. Life revolved around getting to office and back…punctuated…

Featuring ‘Irresistible India’

Recently I was on board an Austrian Airlines flight. I was pleasantly surprised to see the in-flight magazine featuring ‘Irresistible India’ as their cover story. Moreover, the main focus of the feature was Delhi and I immediately grabbed it to read up. It is so true when the article talks about how tourists somehow bypass Delhi…

Endurance

endurance  [en-doo r–uh ns, –dyoo r-] noun 1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc. 2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue,stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina. 3. lasting quality; duration. These definitions are fitting for the Bada Gumbad, or Big Dome, at the Lodi Gardens in Delhi, which…

A little bit of inspiration….

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in, A race that can’t stay still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and they rove the flood, And they climb the mountain’s crest; Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood, And…

Of Fog and Warmth

The Delhi winter is magic. It completely transforms a city that was a blazing, scorching, burning piece of earth only a few months back, into a sleepy town shrouded in white fog. The mist reduces visibility to just a few meters, every morning for two straight months! It  plays havoc with the traffic, and makes both train…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

What is the image the word “grand” brings to mind? To a Delhi-wala, there can only be one vision: towering minarets, bulbous domes and soaring arches! Ruined as they may be today, the forts of Delhi still inspire jaw-dropping amazement a thousand years after they were built. So here’s my take on this week’s photo challenge…the grandness…

The Wanderers

Originally posted on infinite satori:
Because when every single cell of your body, every piece of hair rising up on your skin, is telling you to do something. You should always listen and follow it. Less than two months ago, I was driving home, contemplating on where I stand in this part of my life…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

The Daily Post invites bloggers to participate in weekly photo challenges by prompting ideas with a single word or thought. This week’s challenge is ‘habit‘. Something that becomes customary, an everyday something which might appear mundane but sometimes behind that act, there might lie a lot of meaning and depth. At the Dargah of the…

Dance at the Purana Qila!

For all you lovers of heritage out there, how would you love to be served with a delectable combination of dance, history, and ruins? I, for one, find it fascinating. The beautiful annual show Ananya  is back again in Delhi to celebrate Indian Classical Dance against the backdrop of the magnificent Purana Qila (Old Fort)…

An Open Grave

Whose is this open tomb that bears the inscription: “Let no one cover my grave except with greenery, for this very grass suffices as a tomb cover for the poor.”

Wonder where this is?

Do you recognize this temple- widely believed to be one of the five surviving temples from the Mahabharata period in Delhi? This is the temple of Yog Maya in Mehrauli, close to Qutb complex and Adham Khan’s tomb. The current structure is a 19th century one, but a devi temple is believed to have been…

Window to the Past

Spotted this in Chandni Chowk…can’t believe it’s from this century! Wonder what goes on behind that dilapidated window…. Would it transport us to 1857, perhaps even earlier?