PHOTOWALK – DELHI HERITAGE PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB
10 January, 2015 – Saturday
On 10th January, we did our first Heritage-Photowalk of 2015. It was a chilling Saturday and we knew that people might be hesitant to slip out of their beds, get ready and drive to the oldest city for a walk. So we decided to keep the walk at 11 AM. Me and Tauseef reached Mehrauli village and parked our car behind the Tomb of Adham Khan. It was 10:30 and we had 30 minutes before the walk starts. So it was good time for a cup of tea. And what better place than a Bus Terminal can serve roadside tea. While we were sipping the ginger-masala tea, we found that Heritage and Photography enthusiasts have started gathering at the Tomb. We spent 15 minutes chit-chatting and knowing each other and then started the formal walk+talk.
Adham Khan’s Tomb aka Bhool Bhulaiyya
God know why this is called Bhool Bhulaiyya. Several stories prevail. Some claim that an entire marriage party lost their way inside this Tomb (which actually is a plain simple hall with several entrances) while some say that it has a labyrinth in the corridors on upper stories. However, our stories focussed more on what is written on medallions and why is there a Hexagram (six pointed star) on the entrance. We also quickly touched upon Swastika and 5-pointed Star during the discussion and ofcourse, learned about the history of this place and its permanent occupants.
We are around 25-30 people (few more joined later). After clicking photographs, we started moving towards our next destination
Chaumachi Khan’s Tomb
As we sneaked into a congested street, I could see the amusement on everyone’s face when they learned that this tomb is an irregular octagon. Which means, not even a single side matches the other in size. Still, it stands firm and strong. There was no access due to bad encroachment, so we could not go inside. But after few clicks, we started heading towards our next destination
Hijro’n ki Khanqah
We were lucky that we found the graveyard of eunuchs open. It is usually kept closed but when we reached, the caretaker was there, so we entered the complex. We learned about the eunuch, that Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (ra) considered as sister. After spending some time here, we started moving towards the major water body of Mehrauli
Hauz-i-Shamsi & Jahaz Mahal
We approached Hauz-i-Shamsi and discussed the water distribution back in Iltutmish’s period. We saw various other structures in the vicinity and then understood the concept of Arches. We looked at False & True Arch, Corbel Arch and how domes were built. Like always, concept and power of Keystone was a surprise for those, who heard it for the first time
Now was the time for our Durbar. We reached Sardgah inside Zafar Mahal and discussed about Zafar and his end. We checked out the Moti Masjid and then climbed Hathi Darwaza to enjoy the sunny day. We sat there for more than an hour, discussing the evolution of Delhi. During this discussion, several other small stories were discussed. We discussed about communal harmony during Mughal days and about Sair-i-Gulfarosha’n (Phoolwalon ki sair). Finally, when everyone was satisfied, we planned to head back. But wait, everyone wanted more. So we decided to visit the Dargah.
Dargah, Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (ra)
Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki’s dargah is one of the prominent shrines of Mehrauli. Everyone was feeling blessed to have visited here. We checked out almost every corner of Dargah, discussed religion and sentiments, and headed towards exit
Gurudwara Baba Banda Bahadur
While we were passing the Gurudwara on our way out, I asked everyone if they are tired. To my surprise, energy was still high in most of us and they wanted to explore more. So we entered the Gurudwara and I told them the story of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, and how he was brutally tortured and murdered by Mughal soldiers at this Naubat Khana. We saw the mini exhibition at the Gurudwara and started walking towards the Haveli of Kale Sahab.
Gandhak ki Baoli
After crossing Haveli of Kale Sahab, the spiritual master of Bahadur Shah Zafar, we reached Gandhak ki Baoli and discussed the concept of Baolis & Sedimentation. We discussed the lifestyle around baolis back in historic days.
Now everyone was tired and hungry. So we decided to raid the Aggarwal sweet shop and taste some Chhole-Bhature there. But as we reached the shop, some of us changed their minds and decided to have Paranthas instead. So 8 of us headed to IIFT and ordered over a dozen Paranthas and few Veg Maggis. We have been walking for 5 hours and I was speaking all this time. We were diving deep in those amazing stories that until now, no one felt the need of food. But now, the stories were over and only thing we knew was “Butter+Curd+Paranthas+Tea+Maggi+Lots of fun”
And that was another walk by Delhi Heritage Photography Club.
See you in the next one
Vikramjit Singh Rooprai