Chhunna Mal Ki Haveli

 5 Chandni Chowk Metro Station, The walk begins at Hardayal Library (Harding Library) we walk to the railway station and talk of the History of the building of the Station, the dislocation of a large population, the operation put in place by Chhunna Mal and four other operators that led to the development of Sadar  and Paharganj localities with Chhunna Mal     and his friends ending up owning 1/6th of all properties in Shahjahanabad, we continue walking down the  Queen’s Road,  now called Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Marg and turn left on Church Mission Road this is the Road that leads toMasjid Fatehpuriand it is here that the St Stephens Church is located. The Churchbuilt in 1862 by Anglican missionaries and known for its Gothic style architecture and its rare stain glass windows, is part of the Church of North India Diocese of Delhi, we turn left towards the old Fruit Mandi, and Bagh Deewar,   a narrow street Chhunna that runs between several impressive mansions including Chhunna Mal’s Dharmshala and a garden that was laid out next to a high wall. We return to the Church Mission road and carry on to Namak Haram Ki Haveli  so called because the owner bhawani Shankar Khatri, who was a senior officer in the employment of the Marathas had defected and joined the British during the battle of Patparganj in 1803,  we continue to Chhunna Mal Ki Haveli go on to the Town Hall  the site of the garden and Caravan sarai built by Jahanara who also built the Chandni Chowk. The walk ends at the Chandni Chowk Metro Station.

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Chandni Chowk

4  Chandni Chowk The walk begins at the Lal Jain Mandir, the digambar Jain Mandir dating bacvk to the time of Shahjahan and the Shiv Mandir built by Appa Gangadhar Rao, a Maratha chieftain on the late 18th century. After a short introductory about Chandni Chowk and Landmark events at this busiest market in all of Asia if not in all of the world, talk about Moti Cinema, the venue of many crucial conferences during our struggle for freedom, when Moti Cinema was a Hall that doubled up as a Parsi Theatre Auditorium. We carry on to Begum Samru’s Palace,  now known as Bhagirath Palace,  walk past the Central Baptist Church  built 1814, the oldest Church in Delhi, Gurudwara Sheesh Ganj The site of the beheading of Guru Tegh Bahadur and three of his disciples on the orders of Aurangzeb.Next to the Gurudwara is the Sunehri Masjid, built by one of the nobles of Aurangzeb for a wandring sifi who began living next to the Kotwali, it is from the Steps of this mosque that Nadir Shah ordered the massacre of Dilliwallahs in 1739, right opposite is the Fountain built on the orders of Lord Northbrook, the location for heated debates between Arya Samajists and Christian missionaries and this is just the beginning we have Katra Shahenshahi, Punjab opticals, Ghantewala, Annapurna,  Natraj Dahi Bhalle Waala,Town Hall, Chhunnamal’s Haveli, Gali Qasim Jaan, Ghalib’s Haveli and much more the walk takes upwards of three hours, time taken to eat the large number of delicacies on offer not included.

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Red Fort

3 Red Fort and the complex of buildings inside I do not need to expand on this but the walk tries to Link structures to events in History.

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Jama Masjid

2 This walk begins at Jama Masjid, commissioned by Shah Jahan and completed in 1656, the mosque was to emerge as the design prototype for all mosques built in the sub-continent for several centuries thereafter. We carry on to Indraprasth Girls School, the first Girls school started in 1904 and carry on to inspect the well that supplied water to the Jama Masjid walk through Chhippiwada, earlier the area where fabric printers lived but now known for several old temples and some remarkable Havelis, we retrace outr steps and walk through the Fireworks Market before entering Dareeba Kalan, the market of the jwellersDareeba is also the place where you can shop for perfumes at Gulab Singh the famous Gandhees or perfumers of Dareeba. From Dareeba Kalan we turn left into  Dareeba Khurd (Kinari Bazar), the market of the lace makers and much else besides, Within Kinari Bazar is Hazari Mal the famous Khurchan and Rabri Sellers of Khurja and some distance ahead is the  heritage enclave known as Nau Ghara, inhabited by several families of Shwetambar Jains. Nau Ghara is also the site of a beautifully preserved late 19th century temple. The walk concludes with a visit to Gali Paratheywaali  with shops that have been serving Paratha lovers from early 1870s. Beyond Gali Parathey Waali is Kunwarjis Namken and then Chandni Chowk, But that is another walk. We conclude with a short introduction to Chandni Chowk. This walk takes about Three Hours.

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Turkman Gate

1 Turkman Gate one of the 14 Gates of Shahjahanabad and named after a thirteenth century Sufi known as Shams-ul-Arifeen Shah Turkman Byabani, the saint was a contemporary of Qutub-ud-Din Bakhtyaar Kaaki and Iltutmish and died in 1240 the same year Razia Sultan, the first Woman Ruler of Delhi was killed, Razia Sultan is also buried in the same locality as the Sufi, Mausoleum of Razia Sultan in Bulbuli Khana not too far away from the shrine of the Sufi, Mid way between the two mausoleums is the Kalan (Main, Major)  Masjid, popularly known as Kaali Masjid, because the stones had turned black due to moss collected over centuries. The mosque, a fine example of Pathan Architecture has been very badly repaired and restored, loosing much of its historical character. Beyond Razia Sultan’s Mausoleum at the edge of Sarak Prem Narain  are the ruins of Haksar Haveli. It was here that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s wedding party stayed when he married Kamla Nehru, Mandir Chauraasi Ghanta earlier known as Ghanta Mahadev is a little distance away inside Bazar Sitaram, incidentally Bazar Sitaram andSarak Prem Narain are named after two Kashmiri Pandits who were real brothers and lived in this areas as did the Haksars, the  Kauls and the Zutshis, all desendents of Kashmiri Pandits who had come and settled down in Delhi at the Invitation of Shahjahan. The Original Haveli of  Lala, later Sir, Sri Ram, the Haveli known as Kotwaal Walon ki Haveli used till recently as a Barat Ghar, Gali Magazine  where the rebels stocked their gun powder during 1857, we walk through Gali Akhare Waali and Chooriwaalaan, on the way walking past the Havelis of Bhaanamal and Dhoomi Mal and visiting the beautifully carved mosque built by Nawab Rukn-ud-Daulah, the Prime Minister of Akbar Shah IInd the walk ends with a traditional Delhi breakfast of Bedmi poori and Halwa Nagori at the famous Shyam Sweets at Bad Shah-Bula Chowk.

 

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Delhi is Not Far

I am a Dilliwala. I invite you to come and discover this city of 7 cities with me, any morning of the year, unless it’s raining.

I do not have a fixed schedule and prefer to walk with groups not composed of total strangers. It is better that those who are walking together also know each other, this leads to a level of comfort and better exchanges.

I would therefore suggest that between 5-10 people, people who know each other and are interested in exploring the city, get together and I will conduct a walk for them. I have done walks with larger groups but my preference, especially within the walled city is for smaller groups. In other places, such as Mehrauli and Tughlaqabad, larger groups are also manageable.

I prefer to do my walks early in the morning; any day of the week is good, preferably beginning the walk by about 8 am in winter and around 7 am in the summer months.

Those walking should wear comfortable walking shoes (no heels please) and should carry drinking water with them. Preferably do not carry food items with you. You have to lug it around, it leads to littering and is a great incentive for monkeys.

Choose one of 16 walks and get in touch with me.

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10. Ferozeshah Kotla

Ferozeshah Kotla (The 5th Delhi),  Built by Ferozeshah Tughlaq (1351-1388)structures worth seeing include the The Jama Masjid, the Baoli and the Ashokan Pillar, the last named was brought from near Meerut and installed here, by Ferozeshah Tughlaq. It was the text on this pillar written in the Brahmi script that was deciphered by the British archaeologist Princep. This led to the discovery of Ashoka the Great, before the deciphering of this text we had no inkling that a King like Ashoka existed.

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