To the north of the walled city of
To begin with, there is
Bang opposite the GPO is a small structure standing by itself, this was a part of the British Magazine, which they themselves destroyed in May 1857, lest it should fall in the hands of rebels. As you walk towards Kashmere gate from here, soon you would see the other remaining and bigger portion of this magazine. Now stand somewhere and imagine an integrated building, and then think of the amount of ammunition that it would have stored. In this second part, you can notice the architecture of this arched building. A marble plaque tells the names of the soldiers who defended this magazine from the enemies, who were none but the freedom fighters and the government of
Somewhere in the middle of the road divider, about 100 meters from British Magazine, you would see a small grey stone pillar like structure. This is the telegraph memorial, in memory of the last message that was sent from here, which informed the army units in Ambala about the mutiny in
Again as you walk towards Kashmere gate, on your right you would see
Come out of the campus and walk on the Lothian road, and notice the old Havelis with various types of facades, still maintained from the 19th century. The intricate jaali work that is on the parapets of all the houses, which are above the shops, is worth noticing. Some had mixed the styles by putting red pillars along with the Jaalis and some have just played around with the Jaali patterns. Round windows seemed to be in fashion then. There is old St Stephens College in bright red color which is now a NCC office. Interestingly the road is called Madarsa road as this building was once a Madarsa. The whole place still radiates an aura of the bygone era.
A little ahead is, what I think is the most beautiful church in
Come out of the St James Church and down the road is a beautiful white dome shining at the end of a street. Your immediate impulse is to run to it and see what is it, but you might also notice the European style market place as you step out of the church. This beautiful building was William Fraser’s Bungalow, and is now the office of Northern railway. You are not allowed inside the building and photography is a strict no-no, you are not even allowed to photograph the board that tells the history of the building. Built in 1803, this was originally the tehkhana (dungeon) of Ali Mardan, a Mughal viceroy of
Move a little ahead towards Kashmere gate and you will see another imposing white colored building which is obviously very British in nature. We had no clue, but something about that building attracted us and we stepped in to discover that it was the office of Urdu and Sindhi academy. Once upon a time this was the office of Chief Police officer, and hence the building is called CPO building. It is a heritage building, maintained close to its original style, but not many people seem to have noticed it. As told to us by an Urdu academy official that they try to underplay the heritage nature of this building, otherwise the culture ministry may take it over. Wonder if they can keep such a huge building under wraps. Behind this CPO building is a city court and you can see the advocates and their associates sitting out on their chairs and tables with their typewriters. There is another security forces building and behind that is an execution well. Remember the road behind, which is the ring road today, used to be the course of Yamuna in last century. Now when people used to get death sentence, they used to executed in this well and from here their bodies used to flow into the
Kashmiri gate is one of the many gates that lead to the walled city of
In one of the bylanes of Burra Baazar is the Madrasa Aminia Islamia Arabia, which was originally started in Sunehari Masjid in Chandni Chowk and was later shifted here. Made of Lakhori bricks the mosque adjoining this Madrasa was built by the Nawab of Panipat. There are rooms here which I think are the hostels as I could see lot of young boys there, or may be it was a Sarai at some point in time.
While walking around this area, stop by to look at interesting signs like the one we spotted advertised a Pehalwan. There are old bookshops like Atma Ram and sons, that are stuffed with books old styles and you have to make your way in the shop by jumping and hoping on smaller piles of books. Gosh, how I love to roam around in these shops. Then there may be people making snacks on the roadside in a makeshift kitchen. If the surroundings do not bother you, try and taste the fresh snacks right out of the frying pan and it may make you ask for more. You can also look at the top of buildings, where you would see kids flying kites. You may also spot some people playing with their tamed pigeons. Some of them would be training and feeding them. Some day I want to go to some of these people and see the trained pigeons.
A short walk that takes you through a long era.