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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Agrasen ki Baoli, the most ornate stepwell of Delhi

August 9, 2017 11 comments

Agrasen ki Baoli

The most ornate stepwell of Delhi

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.

A foreign tourist makes her way up the steps of Agrasen ki Baoli (Ugrasen ki Baoli), Delhi

A foreign tourist makes her way up the steps of Agrasen ki Baoli (Ugrasen ki 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…

Adilabad Fort & Nai ka Kot, unknown forts next to Tughlaqabad Fort

August 3, 2017 6 comments

Adilabad Fort and Nai ka Kot

Lesser known forts in the shadows Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi

Although archaeological evidences show that the region around Delhi has been inhabited for over 3000 years but it has been only in the last thousand years Delhi has been the stronghold of north India.

A panoramic view of the exterior of Adilabad Fort, Delhi
A panoramic view of the exterior of Adilabad Fort, Delhi

It was only in middle of the 11th century, during the Tomar rule, Delhi got its first fortified city the Lal Kot. Later Prithiviraj Chauhan (Reign 1170 – 92) expended the citadel and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora.

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Historic Trail along North Ridge (Kamala Nehru Ridge), Delhi

June 29, 2017 5 comments

North Ridge (Kamala Nehru Ridge), Delhi

Historic Trail

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.

Kamala Nehru Ridge (Delhi Ridge) Map (click to enlarge)

Kamala Nehru Ridge (Delhi Ridge) Map (click to enlarge)

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.

Read more…