When the sun sets at Shahjahanabad the city rises!

Shahjahanabad was the ‘seventh’ city which reflected the Mughal magnificence of Shah Jahan’s vision of 1639.The city is a beautiful amalgamation of religions, culture, food, people and heritage. The best time of the day to witness its beauty is at night, when the city gears up to unwind it the colours of the place. This memorable experience in the walled city of Delhi is curated by ‘Delhi Walks’, a flagship brand of India City Walks that strives to provide unique, memorable city experiences.

The Old Delhi experience begins after sunset at Jama Masjid, one of Shahjahanabad’s most prominent architectural landmarks. A walking tour with ‘Delhi Walks’ will help you understand the grandeur of Shah Jahan’s vision and the kind of resources that the Emperor had at his disposal. You will not be able to go inside the mosque at this hour of the day, but since the mosque is at an elevated area, you can see the grandeur from a distance as well. The elaborate Indo-Islamic architecture and the magnificent courtyard where people still sit and pray, is an exquisite sight to watch.
Stepping out of Shahjahan’s imperial Mosque, you straight enter into the lively alleys pf Old Delhi. Discover the gems of the main streets of Chandni Chowk, when we tell you the stories related to them. It was said that the main street was called as Chandni Chowk because the a tank at the center of this historic street once reflected a moonlight.
This walk promises to enthrall history buffs with the magnificent view of Red Fort on one end, Fatehpuri Masjid on the other and an array of heritage buildings on both ends.
The road staright ahead from Jama Masjid takes us to the most opulent bazaar loaded with a wide array of precious, semi-precious stones which can easily give competition to other streets in India. The street which was once a street lined with jewellery from various corners of the world, has looters eyeing on the wealth that the empire had in terms of Jewellery, which has gone through enough ransack to let it now sell only silver jewellery. But the designs offered here are unmatched to any other place.
A walk through DaribaKalan, would lead you to a small alley called Kinari bazaar which is a haven for those who love to shop till they literally drop with the weight of the bags that they’re carrying. At night, the lanes glitter, pop and shine with the colourful borders, laces and colorful embellishments
Tucked away in the heart of Kinari is a lane that’s easy to miss. This tranquil lane is known as Naughara, which contains nine traditional havelis that belong to the Jain community. Not very from Naughara lies a popular lane called galliparantheywalli. Pack a parantha or two from this alley only to head back to Naughara, to enjoy your moment of peace!

At the extreme end of this symmetrical street lies KhariBaoli, Asia’s largest spice market. A walk through the spice market lets you experience the smell of freshly ground spices, which is a mesmerizing feeling!
The Charm of Old delhi is intoxicating, and charismatic. A walk around Old Delhi is letting yourself immerse into the culture, the history and all that the city has to offer!

The House of Knowledge, a 14th century Complex!

Hauz Khas is probably one of the most elegantly designed structures in Delhi’s architectural history, which nestles amidst a beautiful landscape and calm quiet ambience, with immense greenery and the effervescent beauty of the lake, this is the most popular hangout for the youngsters and photographers. Built in 13th century, it is one of the oldest structures of Delhi, which is still vibrant because of the heart throbbing activities that happen in the place.

Hauz Khas was known as Hauz-e-Illahi when it was constructed by Allauddin Khilji, was further raised by Feroz Shah Tughlaq as a knowledge city and a center of excellence which also served as the city for the servants where refugee intellectuals would take shelter, while fleeing from the onslaught of the Mongols.
The entire beautiful complex of Hauz Khas consists of a madrasa, which is L shaped, three domed structure, conspicuously called as the Assembly Hall for a lack of better understanding of its use, a Mosque which is near the Assembly Hall, all of which is overlooking the Hauz-e-Illahi later, when renovated by Feroz Tughlaq was called as Hauz Khas. The Madrasa built almost 25 years after Tughlaqabad was abandoned.
A unique feature about the complex, is the madrasa has a protruding mihrab wall onto the lake where the scholars can overlook the calm waters.
A poet from the Tughlaq court writes about the madrasa “The moment I entered the blessed building..its fragrance possessed the odour of amber, hyacinths, basils, roses, tulips.” & on the food: “..pheasants,herons, fish.. heaped everywhere & students sat cross-legged on carpets brought from Shiraz & Yemen..”
Jalal Rumi was the first principal of the Madrasa, who had a knowledge of 14 sciences and all 4 Quranic recitals. With some intense academic seminars and discussions happening among the students and the learned professors under the very roof, the place had a lively environment.
Unani medicine is believed to have originated in Ancient Greece but it had been passed on to many universities in Samarkand, Tashkent and brought to India finally by the refugee scholars, who would come to the Madrasa.
A place which would be lively with debates, discussions, Feroz Tughlaq chose this particular place for his final resting in the city of Mehrauli, away from his own city of Ferozabad. The Tomb is the most intricately carved tomb built with a band around of Quranic scriptures and stucco medallions which were later decorated by Ibrahim Lodhi, the dome especially is an exquisite site to watch. The best part about the tomb structure is the courtyard which served not for defense but for a place to sit and relax, unlike his ancestors from Tughlaq kingdom was something which catches the eye of a local.

The Guardians of the Slave dynasty fell apart: Lodhi Garden Walk

The 90 acre Lodhi Garden was initially called as Bagh-i-Jud, which suggests to us that it was a bagh even during the medieval times. But it houses the famous tombs of the Sayyids and the Lodhis, who happened to be the last of the slave dynasty, in the first part of 15th century. The garden which is now a sought after place for walks or yoga sessions, has a historical past to it.
The death of Firoz Shah Tughlaq brought with it hard times as till then, the dynasty was protected from invasions. With the onset of the Sayyid dynasty, who claimed to have an inheritance of Prophet Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima, had been in rule for approximately 37 years had been overthrown by Lodhis, who were Afghan descendants, the most loyal class who were loyal to the thrown and the responsibility which was bestowed on them.
A walk around the beautiful Lodhi Garden exposes us to the architectural intricacies of the Sayyids and the Lodhis, the only architectural contributions they had to make were the tomb structures which were as if to highlight the atmosphere of unrest, after the sudden fall of Sayyid dynasty.
The types of domes which are present in Lodhi garden can be categorized into two: octagonal colonnade tombs surrounded with a dome and square based tombs of two floors, where the window openings decorate the upper floor. The four corners of the square room is with squinches, which gives a 8 sided layout.
The BadaGumbad and the Masjid is termed as the finest gateway of the 15th century. They contain square tombs with turrets at the corners, the two levels giving a false impression of a double stories building is the most striking feature in BadaGumbad. One of the tallest structure in the complex, with the absence of grave inside the tomb suggests that it must have been a gateway to the mosque.
But the most striking architectural piece inside Lodhi Garden is the Sheesh Gumbad. It is a different feeling to see the blue tiles still on it. Originally, the gumbad was decorated with Persian glazed tiles of cobalt-blue and midnight-blue, which led to its name “Glass Dome”. It might be in a sad state, but it’s an architectural marvel left for us by the Lodhis, to admire.

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