Archive

Author Archive

The Mutiny Memorial, Kamala Nehru Ridge (North Ridge), Delhi

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

The Mutiny Memorial

Kamala Nehru Ridge (North Ridge), Delhi

A strange, displaced Gothic spire, illegitimate first cousin to the Albert Memorial, it still stands today above the swirl of domes, rooftops and bazar sacks that is Old Delhi.

William Dalrymple, City of Djinns

Mutiny Memorial, Kamala Nehru Ridge (North Ridge), Delhi

Mutiny Memorial, Kamala Nehru Ridge (North Ridge), Delhi

Delhi Ridge, or simply The Ridge, is a an extension of the ancient Aravalli Range and runs through the heart of the National Capital Territory (NCR) of Delhi.

The Delhi Ridge covers a distance of about 35 km and refereed to as the green lung of Delhi and protects the city from the hot winds of the deserts of Rajasthan. It is divided into four zones.

North Ridge or Kamala Nehru Ridge is one of the four zones. It is a hilly area near the Delhi University. It was declared a Reserve Forest in 1915. It initially covered an area of 170 hectares but have now shrunk to 87 hectares, making it the smallest of the four ridge zones if Delhi. (See also: Historic trail along the North Ridge or Kamala Nehru Ridge)

The North Ridge, officially known as the Kamala Nehru Ridge, houses an interesting mix of monuments. Scattered along the forested region of the ridge are monuments ranging from the Tughlaq era right up to  the days of the Mutiny.

The monument that stands out among the monuments of the ridge is the towering Mutiny Memorial. It is located at the site of Taylor’s Battery during the siege of Delhi in 1857. It was built in 1863. The Gothic styled red sand stone tapering tower rises from a two tired platform and looks totally out of place.

Read more…

Advertisements

Unveiling of Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata

November 29, 2017 6 comments

Unveiling of Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial

Balu Ghat (Suriname Jetty), Garden Reach, Kolkata

Also see: Suriname Memorial

“My ancestors must have stood here for the last time before leaving India forever. The men carried two dhotis and two kurtas each. The women carried two saris each. Apart from this, some carried religious books like the Ramayana, Mahabharata or Quran,”

Aashna Kanhai Ambassador of Suriname

Unveiling of the Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata. L - R: Dave C Prasad (High Commissioner Trinidad & Tobago, Aashna Kanhai (Ambassador of Suriname), M J Akbar (Union Minister of state for External Affairs), Alphonsus Stoelinga (Ambasador of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Vinit Kumar (Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust) and Kajari Biswas (Branch Secretary, Kolkata, Ministry of External affairs)

Unveiling of the Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata. L – R: Dave C Prasad (High Commissioner Trinidad & Tobago, Aashna Kanhai (Ambassador of Suriname), M J Akbar (Union Minister of state for External Affairs), Alphonsus Stoelinga (Ambasador of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Vinit Kumar (Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust) and Kajari Biswas (Branch Secretary, Kolkata, Ministry of External affairs)

Suriname Memorial, a small non – descriptive memorial, on the banks of Hooghly River in Metiabruz and Garden Reach area was unveiled, on 7 Oct. 2015, by the Union External Minister Sushma Swaraj, in the presence of  Aashna Kanhai, Ambassador of Suriname.

Read more…

84th All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament, CCFC Kolkata

November 15, 2017 2 comments

84th All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament

 

2nd All India Women’s Rugby XVs Tournament

Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CCFC), Kolkata

It was the dyeing moments of the final of the 84th All India and South Asian Rugby and the score board read Army Red: 24 and Delhi Hurricanes: 20. Army Red was heading for their 9 th title but an unexpected try from the Delhi Hurricanes turned the table and at the final whistle the score board read Delhi Hurricanes: 25 and Army Red: 24. Thus crowning Delhi Hurricanes as the maiden champions of All India and South Asian Rugby.

W-Hurricane-JungleCrows-3 copy

Women’s Semi final. Delhi Hurricanes vs Jungle Crows. 2nd All India Women’s Rugby, CCFC Kolkata

Rugby in Calcutta has a long history and it all started on the Christmas Day of 1872. On this day Calcutta witnessed the first official rugby match of the country was played on that day between England and a combined team of Scotland, Welsh and Ireland.

Read more…

Tracking the flight of the Fanush (ফানুস)

November 3, 2017 10 comments

Tracking the flight of the Fanush (ফানুস)

Compilation of home made hot air balloons

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

Fanush (ফানুস, also spelt as Phanush or Phanus), paper made hot air balloon, was once the integral part of North Calcutta (Kolkata) “Babu” Culture. Today the art of Fanush making is a dying art as the new generation has shifted its attention into other sources of entertainment.

The Fanush operates in the same principle of a hot air balloon. The air inside the Fanush is heated by a cloth rag ball (locally called Luti) soaked in spirit. The Nuti is attached to the base of the Fanush.

Fanush Ajay C1

Fanush (ফানুস) at Bholanath Dham, Beadon Street, Kolkata

Probably started by the Dey family of Darjipara of North Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1912 Fanush flying was a regular activity on the late afternoon of Kali Pujo in the Darjipara and Beadon Street areas.

Read more…

Feroz Shah Kotla or Firozabad, the 5th city of Delhi

September 30, 2017 4 comments

Feroz Shah Kotla or Firozabad

The 5th city of Delhi

Feroz Shah Tughlaq (Reign 1351 – 88), the third ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty  was embarked on a vigorous campaign of construction activity, consisting mainly of public buildings of utilitarian nature.

Gate of the citadel of Feroz Shah Kotla or Ferozabad, Delhi

Gate of the citadel of Feroz Shah Kotla or Firozabad, Delhi

He made 1200 garden around Delhi and is credited with the erection of 200 towns, 40 mosque, 30 villages, 30 reserviors, 50 dams, 100 hospitals, 100 public baths and 150 bridges.

Read more…

Dwarka Baoli, a recently discovered stepwell

September 13, 2017 8 comments

Dwarka Baoli

A recently discovered stepwell in Dwarka

Monsoon in India has a very short duration and moreover it has always been very unpredictable, this gave rise to the necessity of water conservation. Over the centuries Indians have constructed artificial lakes and dug wells to hold the water supplied by the monsoon rains.

Dwarka Baoli (Loharheri Baoli), Delhi

Dwarka Baoli (Loharheri Baoli), Delhi

It is often said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and the necessity of conservation of water, for the dry season, led to the construction of step wells. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in Western India and in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.

Read more…

Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate), Delhi

September 6, 2017 10 comments

Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate)

A Tale of a Notorious Gate of Delhi

…… close to the walls of Delhi, and near an archway known ever after as the Khuni Darwaza, or Bloody Gate, ……………Stopping the cart, he (William Hodson) ordered the princes (Mirzs Mughal, Khizr Sultan and Abu Bakr) to get out, and strip naked. Then taking a Colt revolver, he shot them dead, in cold blood and at point blank range, one after another.

William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal

On 22 September 1857, as a retaliation of Sepoy Mutiny, General Hodson, shot dead the three Mughal princes in cold blood in front of the towering arched gateway, which later came on to be known as the Khooni Darwaza.

The three princes Mirza Mughal (fifth son of Bahadur Shah Zafar II), Khizr Sultan (ninth son of Bahadur Shah Zafar II)and Abu Bakr (grandson of Bahadur Shah Zafar II), fought along with the mutineers and were finally over powered and surrendered at the Humayun’s Tomb.

Khooni Darwaza, Delhi

Khooni Darwaza, Delhi

Hodson, who was escorting the three princes to his superiors at the Red Fort, when a crowd of about 3000 men started following them. Hodson assumed that the crowd was there to free the princes and panicked. He asked them to strip their garments in order to prove how powerless they were but even then when the crowd did not thin. Hodson panicked more and shot them in cold blood at point blank range. Such was the dejection of the public that, to Hodson’s surprise, not a person stirred or protested against the cold-blooded killing.

Read more…