On the occasion of World Photography Day, we take you on a tour through the bylanes of old Delhi. We all know this part of the capital because of Paranthe wali gali, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar but there is much more to Shahjahanabad, as it was known earlier. The deep lanes can create intrigue at every step and hold many fascinating stories in them. To listen to them, you need to go very close and carefully observe the rich heritage. The crisscross lanes still preserve the oldest of time gates and buildings with a very strong foundation built centuries back. Here, we bring to you the places which are yet to see their moment of fame.
1. Chhuna Mal ki haveli
Located on the main road of Chandni Chowk, it is one of the oldest buildings of the area and also the longest one. It spreads across an area of approximately half a kilometer.
2. Mirza Ghalib ki haveli
Mat puch ke kya haal hai mera tere peechhe
Tu dekh ke kya rang hai tera mere aage
Living and growing up in Delhi, most of us have used the couplets by this legendary poet at least once in our lifetime. Once you enter the Ballimaran, around 400m take a right and there you are, the place where Mirza Ghalib spent a major part of life.
3. Jain temple
Hidden in the lanes behind the Nai Sarak, this Jain temple is a unique place. It is the only temple where any source of light is not used and fire is not lit for worship. The temple is open only during the daytime and closes as soon as the sun sets.
4. Naseem Bano ki haveli
Nestled in the lanes of Sita Ram bazaar is the haveli of Naseem Bano, the late mother of legendary actor Saira Bano. She lived in this haveli after migrating from Pakistan during the partition, Saira Bano also spent her initial years here. It is now inhabited by the local residents of the area.
5. Razia Sultan ka makbara (tomb)
Last and the most intriguing is the tomb of Razia Sultan, the only woman ruler in the Mughal sultanate. Razia refused to be addressed as Sultana because it meant “wife or consort of a Sultan” and hence would answer only to the title “Sultan.
Text and images by Supriya Aggarwal