Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Readings on Delhi

Reading Delhi
City Library 50 Essential Delhi Books

Above Average (2006)Amitabha Bagchi
A touching coming-of-age story that moves between the IIT Campus and Mayur Vihar--with some surprisingly good descriptions of the latter.
The Bride's Mirror (2004)Nazir Ahmad
First published in 1869 as Mirat-ul-Urus, and arguably the first novel written in Urdu, this tale of family life in the walled city was certainly a bestseller. First translated into English in 1903 it's still in print.
Corridor (2004)Sarnath Banerjee
CP looms large in 'the first Indian graphic novel'.
Delhi: A Novel (1990)Khushwant Singh
A sprawling, erotic novel that moves between the modern and the ancient city.
East into Upper East (1998)Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Twelve short stories tackle the human condition in New Delhi and New York.
The Gin Drinkers (1998)Sagarika Ghose
A comedy of manners set in Delhi's high society.
The Heart Has its Reasons (2005)Krishna Sobti
Family life and a love triangle in a 1920s Chandni Chowk setting.
In Custody (1984)Anita Desai
A small-town professor tries to interview a once-great Urdu poet; marvellous descriptions of a decrepit Chandni Chowk, populated by ghosts from the past.
The Life and Times of Altu Faltu (2001)Ranjit Lal
An allegory about social alliances and political skullduggery, with monkeys as the principal characters.
Looking Through Glass (1996)Mukul Kesavan
A richly imagined novel of time travel back to the Delhi (and Lucknow and Banaras) of the tumultuous 1940s.
The Peacock Throne (2007)Sujit Saraf
A giant of a novel, set almost entirely in Chandni Chowk between the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the present day.
A Rag Called Happiness (1993)Nirmal Verma
Delhi is the stage for this novel of theatrewallas in search of real life.
Rich Like Us (1985)Nayantara Sahgal
A clear-eyed look at the ongoing drama of power and powerlessness in New Delhi from the freedom struggle to the Emergency.
Twilight in Delhi (1940)Ahmed Ali
A depiction of an entire culture and a way of life in the years leading up to Partition.
We Weren't Lovers Like That (2003)Navtej Sarna
Midlife crisis strikes a South Delhi middleman.
Ancient Delhi (1999)Upinder Singh
Back to the beginning. A fine scholarly study of our past from the stone age to the Rajputs.
The Delhi Omnibus (2002)
This omnibus edition puts together four classic works on the history of Delhi through the ages-- Percival Spear's Delhi: A Historical Sketch and Twilight of the Mughuls: Studies in Late Mughal Delhi, Narayani Gupta's Delhi between Two Empires 1803-1931 and the R.E. Frykenburg-edited anthology Delhi Through the Ages: Selected Essays in Urban History, Culture and Society.
Historic Delhi: An Anthology (1997)H.K. Kaul (ed.)
Vivid accounts of Delhi from ancient times to the early 20th century, taken from hundreds of books and documents, some long out of print.
The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 (2006)William Dalrymple
Wonderfully researched account of the Indian Mutiny, and life in Delhi during the end of one empire and the birth of another.
The Seven Cities of Delhi (2005)Gordon Risley Hearn
Originally published in 1906, long out of print but recently reissued; an excellent account of the history and architecture of Delhi.
Shahjahanabad: A City of Delhi 1638-1857 (1998)Shama Mitra Chenoy
The urban fabric of the Old City in its heyday.
Zaka Ullah of Delhi (2003)C.F. Andrews (edited by Mushirul Hasan and Margrit Pernau)
Originally published in 1929 as a personal tribute to a 19th-century scholar and citizen of the city, this little-known book offers a fascinating insight into the intellectual life of Delhi in the Mughal twilight.
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (1993)William Dalrymple
The title everyone knows. In which a still anonymous young Scotsman, recently moved to Delhi with his wife, becomes fascinated by and explores the city's centuries-old history.
Delhi: Light, Shades, Shadows (2005)D.N. Chaudhuri
A charming memoir of a lifetime in the city by Nirad C. Chaudhuri's son, illustrated with a treasury of photographs by the author.
The Delhi That No One Knows (2005)R.V. Smith
A collection of writings about the legends and myths surrounding the city's monuments, by a journalist who came to Delhi in the 1950s and became one of the city's most intrepid explorers.
Muraqqa'-e-Dehli: The Mughal Capital in Muhammad Shah's Time (1989) Dargah Quli Khan (translated by Chander Shekhar and Shama Mitra Chenoy)
A colourful diary of Delhi in Muhammad Shah Rangila's days.
Nizam Ad-Din Awliya: Morals for the Heart (Fawa'id al-Fu'ad of Amir Hasan) (1992) Bruce B. Lawrence (trans. and ed.)
A 14th-century account of daily life with Delhi's patron saint.
Zikr-i- Mir: The Autobiography of the Eighteenth Century Mughal Poet: Mir Muhammad Taqi 'Mir' (2002) C.M. Naim (trans.)
Rich with sarcasm, risque detail and the perils of Delhi in interesting times.
Birds of Delhi (2004)Ranjit Lal
An introduction to over 150 species of Delhi's birds as well as birding areas in and around the city.
Delhi: A Thousand Years of Building (2005)Lucy Peck
An accessible guide to Delhi's rich architectural heritage, with photographs, line drawings and maps of all areas covered.
Delhi: Its Monuments and History (1997)Percival Spear
A comprehensive guidebook to Delhi's many scattered monuments by the Grand Old Man and sometime Stephen's don. First published in 1949; recently updated by Narayani Gupta and Laura Sykes.
Delhi: The Built Heritage--A Listing (1999)Ratish Nanda, Narayani Gupta, O.P. Jain
The Bible. INTACH's unwieldy but comprehensive listing of over 1,200 buildings of archaeological, historical and architectural importance.
Eicher City Map Delhi (2005) S.M. Chadha
Here's a book that changed our lives when it first appeared in 1996. Still the Delhi A-Z. Don't leave home without it.
A Guide to the Birds of the Delhi Area (1975)Usha Ganguli
A comprehensive nature study, now sadly out of print, that lists over 400 avian species which can be seen in Delhi.
Lost Monuments of Delhi (1997)Sarah Sainty
A fine guide for the adventurous tourist who likes to do a lot of walking around.
Old Delhi: 10 Easy Walks (2006)Gaynor Barton and Laurraine Malone
Exactly what the title says. Written by two British ladies living in India. First published in 1988, still walking.
Rediscovering Delhi (1975)Maheshwar Dayal
A classic heritage guidebook. Everyone had it in the 1970s. Today you'll have to steal it.
Trees of Delhi: A Field Guide (2007)Pradip Krishen
A beautifully illustrated, very user-friendly guide for tree-lovers.
Delhi, A Portrait (1983)Raghu Rai
A photographic testimony to a city at the crossroads between old and new.
Delhi, Stones and Streets (1990)C.S.H. Jhabvala
Fifty gorgeous pencil sketches of the city by the architect husband of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
The Golden Calm: An English Lady's Life in Moghul Delhi: Reminiscences by Emily, Lady Clive Bayley, and by her father Sir Thomas Metcalfe (1980) M.M. Kaye (ed.)
M.M. Kaye milking Raj nostalgia on the back of The Far Pavilions but the 'company school' illustrations of early 19th century Delhi are irresistible.
Mehrauli: A View from the Qutb (2002)Charles Lewis. Photographs by Karoki Lewis
A flavour of Mehrauli's historic past and modern character, with photographs, interviews with residents and archival records.
Architecture/Urban Planning
Delhi: The Deepening Urban Crisis (1989)Patwant Singh
Essays and editorials (from Design magazine) about aspects of the city's development--and mismanagement.
Delhi: Urban Space and Human Destinies (2000)Veronique Dupont, Emma Tarlo, Denis Vidal (eds)
Contemporary Delhi gets the PoMo treatment in this eclectic collection.
Dome Over India: Rashtrapati Bhavan (2002)Aman Nath
A fresh interpretation of the controversies that surround the legacy of Edwin Lutyens, the principal designer of New Delhi.
Havelis of Old Delhi (1992)Pavan K Varma and Sondeep Shankar
An enduring document of a lost era, about mansions built in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Imperial Delhi: The British Capital of the Indian Empire (2002)Andreas Volwahsen
An expensive book but worth it for the gorgeous archival photographs and maps alone.
Indian Summer: Lutyens, Baker and Imperial Delhi (1981)Robert Grant Irving
A superbly illustrated description of the building of Lutyens' Delhi.
New Delhi (1931)Robert Byron
Lutyens' biggest fan celebrated his work in progress in a special number of the Architectural Review. It's still in print in a fine facsimile edition.
Punjabi Baroque (1994)Gautam Bhatia
A practicing architect's response to the primary building style, post-independence, of Delhi and other metros.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Delhi: Bibliography

Books and Articles
Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, ed., J. Sarkar, 1948-9. Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, 1977-8.

Acharya, Prasanna Kumar, Architecture of Mansara, trans, from the original Sanskrit, vol. 4, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, 1980. First published by Oxford University Press, London, 1934

Ahmed, Syed, Atharal Sanadid, Eng. trans. R. Nath, Monuments of Delhi, Ambika Publications, Indian Institute of Islamic Studies, New Delhi, 1979.
Alam, Muzaffar and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, eds, The Mughal State 1526-1750, Oxford in India Readings, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1998.

Archer, Mildred, Company Drawings in the India Office Library, HMSO, London, 1972.

Ardalen, Nader and Laleh Bakhtiar, The Sense of Unity-The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture, Publication of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies 9, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1973.

Asher, Catherine B., Architecture of Mughal India, The New Cambridge History of India, 1:4, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992.

Ashurst, J. and N. Ashurst, Practical Building Conservation, vol. 1, Stone Masonry, English Heritage Technical Handbook, Gower Technical Press, Aldershott, 1988.

------, Practical Building Conservation, vol. 3, Mortars, Plasters and Renders, English Heritage Technical Handbook, Gower Technical Press, Aldershott, 1983.

Bakhtiyar, Laleh, Sufi: Expression of the Mystic Quest, Thames and Hudson, London, 1976.

Basham, A.L., ed., A Cultural History of India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1975

Beach, Milo Cleveland and Ebba Koch, with trans. by Wheeler M. Thackston, King of the World: The Padshahnama, an Imperial Mughal manuscript from the Royal Library Windsor Castle, Azimuth Editions, London.

Begde, Prabhakar V., Forts and Places of India, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, 1982.

Begley, W.E. and Z.A. Desai, eds. The Shah Jahan Nama of Inayat Khan, the 19th century manuscript translation of A.R.  Fuller (B.L Add. 301777), Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1990.

Bernier, Francois, Travels in the Mughal Empire, AD 1656-68, trans. Archibald Constable, Asian Educational Services, AES, New Delhi, 1996. First published in London, 1891.

Blake, Stephen, P., Shahjahanabad, the Sovereign City in Mughal India, 1639-1739, Cambridge University Press, Delhi, 1993.

Bredin, Hugh and Santoro-Brienza Liberato, Philosophies of Art and Beauty: An Introduction to Aesthetics, Edinburg University Press, Edinburgh, 2000.

Brookes, John, Gardens of Paradise. The History and Design of the Great Islamic Gardens, Weidenfield and  Nicholson, London, 1987.

Brown, Percy, Indian Architecture (Islamic Period), fourth edition, Taraporevala Sons & Co., Bombay, 1964. First edition in 1956.

Carr, Stephen, The Archaeology and Monumental Remains of Delhi, Kitab Mahal, Allahabad, 1967; Ludhiana and Calcutta, 1876.

Cave-Browne, J., The Punjab and Delhi in 1857, vols 1 and 2, Deepak Reprints, Gurgaon, Haryana, 1993. First published in 1861.

Chenoy, Shama  Mitra, Shahjahanabad: The City of Delhi 1639-1857, Munshi Ram, New Delhi, 1998.

Clark, Roger H., Analysis of Precedent: An Investigation of Elements, Relationships and Order, Raleigh (N.C.) student publication of the School of Design, North Carolina, 1979.

Cole, Major H.H., Preservation of National Monuments in India, Delhi, 1884.

Coomaraswamy, A.K., Early Indian Architecture, Palaces, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1975. First published in Eastern Art, vol. 3, 1931.

------, Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1956.

Crowe, S., S. Hayward, S. Jellicoe and G. Patterson, Gardens of Mughal India, Thames and Hudson, London, 1972.

Dal Co, Francesco and Giuseppe Mazzariol, eds, Carlo Scarpa: The Complete Works, Electa/The Architectural Press, 1986.

Daniell, Thomas and William Daniell, Oriental Scenery, Parts 1-4, each containing 24 views of the architecture, antiquities and landscape scenery of Hindoustan by Messrs.

Thomas and William Daniell, 2 vols, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Ovme and Brown, 1812-14.

Dayal, Maheshwar, Rediscovering Delhi, The Story of Shahjahanabad, S. Chand & Co., New Delhi, 1975.

Delhi Coronation Durbar, Coronation Durbar Illustrated, Vest & Co., Delhi, Madras, 1903

Delhi Imperial Committee Proceedings for November 1916, Suptt. Govt. Press, Delhi, 1915.

Delhi Master Plan, Akalank Publications, Delhi, 1990.

Delhi, Residency and Agency, Punjab Govt. Records, 1807-57.

Ehlers, Eckart and Thomas Krafft, eds, Shahjahanabad/ Old Delhi, Tradition and Colonial Change, Erdkundliches Wissen 111, Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart,1993

Elliot, J. and H.M. Dowson, eds, The History of India by its Own Historians: The Muhammaden Period, vols 7 & 8, Kitab Mahal, Allahabad, First Indian edn., 1964.

Fanshawe, H.C., Delhi: Past and Present, AES, New Delhi, 1998, First published by John Murray, London, 1902.

Fass, Virginia, The Forts of India, Collins, London, in association with Oberoi Hotels International, 1980.

Feilden, Bernard, Conservation of Historic Buildings, Butterworth Heinemann Ltd, London, 1982.

Fergusson, James, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, revised and edited, John Burgess, reprint, Low Price. Publications, Delhi, 1994. First published in London, 1910.

Forrest, C.R. A Picturesque Tour along the Rivers Ganges and Jumma in India, R. Ackermann, London, 1824.

Frykenberg, R.E., ed., Delhi through the Ages: Essays in Urban History, Culture and Society, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1986.

Gaur, R.C. Excavations at Fatehpur Sikri, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 2000.

Gazetter of the Delhi District, 1883-4, Punjab Govt, second edition, 1989.

Gideon, Sigfried, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1941.

Gole, Susan, Indian Maps and Plans: From Earliest Times to the Advent of European Surveys, Manohar, New Delhi, 1981.

-------, ‘Plans of Indian Towns’ in Ehlers and Kraft, Shahjahanabad, 1993, pp. 4-6.

Goodman, Nelson,  Ways of Worldmaking, Hackett Publishing Co., Indianapolis, 1978, fourth printing, 1985.

Green, Bryn, Countryside Conservation: Landscape, Ecology, Planning and Management, third edition, E& FN SPON (an imprint of Chapman & Hall).

Gribbin, John, Our Changing Planet, Wildwood House, London, 1977.

Griffiths, Charles John, Siege of Delhi, ed. H.J. Yonge, Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 1995. First published in London, 1910.

Gupta, Narayani, Delhi between Two Empires 1803-1931: Society, Government and Urban Growth, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1981.

Hambly, Gavin and Wim Swann, Cities of Mughal India: Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, Elek Books, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1968.

Harvey, Paul, ed., The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1934. First published 1932.

Hassan, S. Nurul, The Morphology of the Medieval Indian City: A Case Study of Shahjahanabad in the 18th and early 19th Century, Occasional Paper Series 4, Urban History Association of India, 1982.

Hasan, Zafar, List of Monuments of the Delhi Circle, vol. 1, Shahjahanabad. First published by ASI, 1916, ed. J.A. Page et al. Reprinted as Monuments of Delhi, vol. 1, Aryan Books International, New Dlhi, 1997.

Head, Raymond, The Indian Style, George Allen and Unwin Publishers, London, 1986.

Hearn, Gordon Risley, Seven Cities of Delhi, S.B.W. Publishers, New Delhi, 1997. First published 1906.

Heber, R.R. Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India, vol. 1, London 1828.

Herdew, Klaus, Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of  Iran and Turkistan, Rizzoli Int, 1990.

Heyman, J., The Stone Skeleton: Structural Engineering of Masonry Architecture, second edition, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, 1997.

Hodges, William, Select Views in India Drawn on the Spot, 1780-3, printed for William Hodges.

Hooper-Greenhill, Eileen, Museums and their Visitors, Routledge, 1994.

Habib, Irfan, The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556-1707, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999. First Published, 1963.

Ibn Batuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354, vol. 2, trans. and selected, H.A.R. Gibb, Kegan Paul, London, 1952.

Irvine, William, The Later Mughals, vols 2, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, 1971.

Jain, Nalini and John Richardson, eds, Eighteenth Century English Poetry, The Annotated Anthology, Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hertfordshire, 1994.

Kambu, Mohammad Salih, Amal-i-Salih, ed. Ghulam Yazdani, 3 vols, Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta, 1923-39.

Kaye, M.M. ed., The Golden Calm: Memories of Emily, Lady Clive Bailey and her Father, Sir Thomas Metcalfe, Viking Press, New York, 1980.

Keene, H.G., Handbook for Visitors to Delhi, London (1874, 1878, 1882, 1899), and Calcutta, 1906, 1874.

Keyserling, Hermann Von, Indian Travel Diary of a Philosopher, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Mumbai & Kanpur Surya Foundation, New Delhi, Ist ed. 1959, 2nd ed. 1999.

Khan, Dargah Quli, Muraqqa-i Delhi: The Mughal Capital in Muhammad Shab’s Time, Eng. trans. Chander Shekhar and Shama Mitra, Chenoy, Deputy Publication, New Delhi, 1989.

Khan, Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, Eng. trans., J. Sarkar, The Asiatic Society, 1947, reprinted 1990. Koch, Ebba, Mughal Architecture, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001a. First published by Pretzel, Munich, 1991.

-------, Shah Jahan and Orpheus: The Pietra Dura Decoration and the Programme of the Throne in the Diwan-i-Am, GRAZ, 1988.

-------, Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology, Collected Essays, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001b.

Lahori, Abdul Ahmed and Mohammed Waris, Padshah Nama, ed. And trans (in Urdu) by Kabiruddin and Abdur Rahim, 2 vols, Calcutta, 1867-8.

Lal, P., The Mahabharata of Vyasa, Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1980.

Lane-Poole, Stanley, Aurangzib and the Decay of the Mughal Empire, Low Price Publications, Delhi. First published 1890.

Lapidus, Ira, Muslim Cities in the Later Middle Ages, Harvard University Press, Harvard, 1967.

Los, Sergio, Carlo Scarpa, An Architectural Guide, Arsenale Editrice Verona, Italy, 1995.

Lewis, Franklin D., Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, One World, Oxford, 2000.

Mujumdar, R.C., ed., The Mughal Empire, History and Culture of the Indian People, vol. 2, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Bombay 1994.

Malik, Jamal, ‘Islamic Institutions and Infrastructure in Shahjahanabad’ in Ehlers and Kraft 1998, pt. 42-64.

Mani, B.K., Delhi, Threshold of the Orient, Studies in Archaeological Investigations, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 1997.

Manucci, Niccoloa, Storio Do Mogor (Mughal India), 1653-1708, with Introduction and Notes by William Irvine, 4 vols, Murray, London, 1907.

Marshall, J., Conservation Mannual for the Care of Ancient

Monuments (1902-3), Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1973.

Martinelli, Antonio (Photographs) and Michell, George (Text), India Yesterday and Today, Aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell, Oriental Scenery, Swanhill Press, England, 1998.

Marx, Karl and Engels, On Colonialism, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1978.

Masselos, J. and N, Gupta; Beato’s Delhi 1857-1977.

McNeill. W.H. and M.R. Waldman, eds, The Islamic World. Readings in World History vol. 6, OUP, New York, 1973.

Metcalfe, C.T., eds, Two Native Narratives of the Mutiny in Delhi Archibald Constable Co., London, 1898.

Metcalf, Thomas R., An Imperial Vision, Oxford University, Press, New Delhi, 2002. First published by Faber and Faber, London, 1989.

Murphy, Richard, Carlo Scarpa and Castelvecchio, Butterworth Architecture, 1990.

Nath, R., Colour Decoration in India, Taraporevala, Bombay. 1970.

-----, Agra and its Monuments, The Historical Research Documentation Program, Jaipur, 1997a.

-----, The Private Life of the Mughals, The Historical Research Documentation Program, Jaipur, 1997b.

-----, The Taj Mahal and its Incarnation, Original Persian Data on its Builders, Materials, Costs, Measurements, etc., The Historical Research Documentation Program, Jaipur, 1985.

Nawab Server-al-Mulk Bahadur, My Life, Eng. trans. Nawab Jawan Yar Jung Bahadur, Arthur H. Stockwell Ltd, London. Nicholson, Louise, The Red Fort, Delhi, Taurus Parke Books, London, 1989.

Page, J.A., A Memoir of Kotla Firoz Shah, Delhi, Memories of the ASI, no. 52, ASI, New Delhi, 1999. Original edition, 1937.

----, A Historical Memoir on the Qutb, Delhi, Memories of the ASI, no. 22, ASI, New Delhi, 1998, Original edition, 1926.

Parks, F., Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque, vol. 2, Pelham Richardson, London, 1850.

Pelsaert, Francois, Jehangir’s India, ed. and trans., W.H. Moreland and P. Geyl (reprint), Delhi, 1972.

Petrocciolli, Attilio, “The Case of Fatehpur Sikri”,

Environmental Design, Journal of Islamic Environment Designs, Research Centre.

Polier, Antonie-Louis Henri (ed.) Pratul. C. Gupta, Shah Alam II and his Court, The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, first published 1947, reprint 1989.

Quisar, Ahsan Jan, Building Construction in Mughal India: The Evidence from Painting, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1988.

Renton-Dennings, J., Delhi, The Imperial City. Times Press, Bombay 1911.

Robinson, J.M., Temples of Delight. Stone Landscape Gardens. Pitkins Pictorials Ltd, Hants, in association with the National Trust (Enterprises) Ltd, London, 1990.

Rogers, Alexander (trans.) and Beveridge, Henery (ed.), The Tuzuki-Jahangiri: Memoirs of Jahangir, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, 1978.

First published 1909-14.

Said, Edward W., Culture and Imperialism, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London and Henley, 1978.

Sanderson, Gordon, Delhi Fort: A Guide to its Buildings and Gardens, Archaeological  Survey of India, Suptt. Government Printing, Calcutta, 1914.

Sarkar, Jadunath, A History of Jaipur, c. 1503-1938, Revised and edited by Raghuvir Singh, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1984, reprinted 1994.

-----, Delhi during the Anarchy 1749-1788, as told in contemporary records, Suptt. Government Printing India, Calcutta, 1921.

-----, Fall of the Mughal Empire, vol. 4, 1789-1803. First published  1950, second edition 1992.

Sharma, Y.D., Delhi and its Neighbourhood, ASI, Government of India, 1990. First published in 1964.

Shekhar, A., ‘An Approach towards Conservation—The Red Fort, Shahjahnabad’, unpublished thesis, De Montfort University, Leicaster, 1998.

Singh, Sangat , Freedom Movement in Delhi (1858-1919), Associated Publishing House, New Delhi, 1972.

Spear, T.G.P., Delhi: Its Monuments & History, Oxford University Press, Bombay, 1943.

Spear, Percival, Studies in Late Mughal Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1991.

Strang, Herbert, Stories of the Mutiny, Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 1990.

Tagore, Rabindranath, A Vision of India’s History, Visva-Bharati Publishing Department, Calcutta, 1988. First published 1951.

-----, The Centre of Indian Culture, Visva-Bharati Publishing Department, Calcutta, 1988. First published 1919.

Tandon, Banmali, The Architecture of Lucknow and its Dependencies, 1722-1865, descriptive inventory and an analysis of Nawabi types, Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi,2001.

Tavernier, Jean-Baptiste, Travels in India, vols 2. Second edition of Eng. trans. by V. Ball from the original French edition of 1676, ed. William Crooke, Oxford University Press, London 1925. First edition 1889.

Taylor, P.J.O., A Companion to the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1996.

Thackston, Wheeler, M., ed., The Baburnama, Memories of Babur, Prince and Emperor, Oxford University Press., New York, in association with Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, 1996.

Tillotson, G.H.R. Mughal India, Viking, London, 1960. Tirmizi, S.A.I., Mughal Documents (AD 1628-59), 2 vols.,

Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 1995. Topsfield, Andrew, Indian Paintings from Oxford Collections, Ashmolean  Museum in association with the Bodelian Library, Oxford, 1994.

Torraca, Giorgio, Porous Building Materials Science for Architectural Conservation, third edition, ICCROM, Rome, 1988.

Villiers-Stuart, Constance M., Gardens of the Great Mughals, Adam and Charles Black, London, 1913.

Volwashsen, Andreas, ed. Steirlin, Henri, Architecture of the World (Islamic India), Benedikt Taschen Verlag.

Weaver, M.E., Conserving Buildings: A Guide to Techniques and Materials, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1993.

 Webster, Robin G.M., ed., Stone Cleaning and the Nature, Soiling and Decay Mechanism of Stone, proceedings of the international conference held in Elinburgh, UK, Donhead Publishing, London, 1992.

Wescoat, James L. ‘Waterworks and Landscape Design’ in Elizabeth Moynihan (ed.), The Moonlight Garden, The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, in association with the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 2000.

Wheeler, Stephen, History of the Delhi Coronation Durbar, John Murray, London, 1904.

Wollaston, Arthur, N., English-Persian Dictionary, Cosmo Publications,  New Delhi, 1978. First published, 1842. Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One’s Own, Penguin Books, 1945.

Yadav, K.C., ed., Delhi in 1857, The Trial of Bahadur Shah, vol. 1, The Academic Press, Gurgaon, 1980.


Dix, Gerald and John Nelson Tarn, eds, Design and Conservation in the City, Liverpool University Press, 1985.

Shah, Ibrahim, Quarterly Journal of the Pakistani Historical Society, vol. 49, no. 1, January-March 2001.

‘Major Architectural Remains of the Time of Aurangzeb’, pp 45-7.


Belgar, J.D. and A.C.L. Carlleyle, ASI Report, 1871-2, Delhi and Agra, Assistant Superintening Archaeologists, vol. 4, Indological Book House, Varanasi, 1966.

Cameron, Sonja, D.C.M. Uruquhart, Rachel Wakefield and M.E. Young, Technical Advice Note 10, Biological Growths on Sandstone Building Control and Treatment, The Robert  Gordon University Historic Scotland, Edinburg, 1997.

 Leary, Elaine, Building Sandstones of the British Isles, BRE. Building Research and Engineering Report, 1986.

Marshall, John, ed., The ASI Annual Report, 1911-12, Superintendent Government Printing, Calcutta, 1915, pp, 1-28.

The ASI Annual Report, 1905-6, Superintendent Government Printing, Calcutta, 1909, pp. 28-42.

Shaffer, R.J., The Weathering  of Natural Building Stones, BRE Sp. Report No. 18, 1985. Facsimile of 1932 edition, Building Research Station.

Upadhyay, Raju, ‘Conservation and Revitalisation of the Physical Environment’, Katra Neel, Shahjahanabad, unpublished thesis report, 1985, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi (29245-UF) 09.711.163 (545.5). The Eighth City of Delhi, an exhibition of historical records and photos, organized by Delhi, Archives, Delhi Administration, New Delhi, October 1979.

Seminar papers

Visitor Management: 1993, Stratford-upon-Avon, Seminar papers and proceedings, English Historic Towns Forum, Publication no. 25.



Delhi, India

In 1911, the British Government of India decided to move the country’s administrative capital from Calcutta to Delhi, inaugurating New Delhi in 1931. Designed on a radial plan by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with several key buildings by Sir Robert Baker, New Delhi is not a Western-style city transported to the Subcontinent, but rather a synthesis of Indian and European civic and architectural ideals, with gracious vistas, manicured gardens, watercourses, and tree-lined avenues. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone, a 2,800-hectare area built to house government officials and their administrative offices. It gives New Delhi a distinctive and rare character.
Though the Bungalow Zone comprises less than two percent of present-day Delhi, an official lobby of politicians and builders is determined to demolish it, branding the zone’s buildings as sprawling, space-consuming, and beyond repair. Their intention is to replace them with high-rise, high-occupancy residential and commercial developments to augment the capital’s housing needs. Advocates for the preservation of the Bungalow Zone have offered to draw up alternative and adaptive proposals, noting that the uniqueness of New Delhi lay in the fact that it is a city of gardens. They hope to galvanize public opinion to preserve a unique British legacy in India. Insensitive redevelopment would sound the death knell to this magnificent district, turning it into another urban nightmare.
Shortly after the 2002 Watch announcement, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) issued a charter for the importance of the Lutyens Bungalow Zone and the threats it faces. In 2003 a 42-member delegation of the United Kingdom-based Lutyens Trust visited Delhi and participated in workshops, tours, and meetings. In October 2007 a photography exhibition on Edwin Lutyens' work was mounted at the British Council in Delhi. In 2008, a plan of the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) proposed the establishment of a protected district encompassing an area with a high concentration of bungalows. The plan also called for infill design and demolition in other bungalow precincts, and met with the approval of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Later in the same year, after DUAC, NDMC, the Delhi Development Authority, and INTACH failed to reach an agreement on this plan, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi asked that the plan be modified. These discussions took place in the context of the development of a new master plan for Delhi, MPD-2021. In May 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Delhi Chapter of INTACH and the Lutyens Trust. The first object of the partnership will be to conduct a preservation planning study for presentation to the Ministry of Culture. The two parties anticipate seeking World Heritage status for the Lutyens Bungalow Zone in the future. An international conference with the title "Conservation of Shahjahanabad and Lutyens' Bungalow Zone: Contrasting Conservation Imperatives for the Growing Metropolis of Delhi" was convened by the Delhi Chapter of INTACH in April 2010, and focused on the Lutyens Bungalow Zone as a historic precinct in need of careful management. Over the years, inappropriate alterations to historic bungalows have persisted, in spite of their protected status. January 2011

Books on Delhi

Oxford India
1. The Delhi omnibus
Thomas George Percival Spear, Narayani Gupta
Oxford University Press, 2002

2. Delhi
Patrick Horton, Richard Plunkett, Hugh Finlay, 2002

3.The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History
Peter Jackson - 2003

Penguin Books India
4. A Situation in New Delhi
Nayantara Sahgal, Rs 250

5. Celebrating Delhi
Mala Dayal, 350.00

6. City Of Djinns : A Year In Delhi
William Dalrymple, Rs 325.00

7. Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity
Sam Miller, Rs 350.00

8. Delhi : A Novel
Khushwant Singh, Rs 250.00

9. Delhi Is Not Far
Ruskin Bond, Rs 150.00

10.Delhi Metropolitan: The Making of an Unlikely City
Ranjana Sengupta, Rs 250.00

11.Essential Delhi Cookbook
Priti Narain, Rs 299.00

12.Eyewitness Travel Delhi, Agra & Jaipur
Rs 799.00

13.Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Delhi
Rs 350.00

14.Finding Delhi: Loss and Renewal in the Megacity
Edited By Bharati Chaturvedi ,Rs 350.00

15.Flavours Of Delhi
Charmaine O'Brien, Rs 299.00

16.Trees Of Delhi : A Field Guide
Pradip Krishen, Rs 799.00

17.A Gazetteer of Delhi 1883-84
Price: Rs.990

18.Delhi Iron Pillar: New Insights
By: R. Balasubramaniam, Rs.1800

19.Delhi: Historical Glimpses
R.V. Smith, Rs.595

20.Delhi: Past and Present
H.C. Fanshawe, Rs.950

Delhi: Threshold of the Orient
(Studies in Archaeological Investigations)
B.R. Mani, Rs.1500

22.Monuments of Delhi: Lasting Splendour of the Great Mughals and Others (Set of 4 vols. in 3 Bindings)
Maulvi Zafer Hasan, J.A. Page, Rs.4500

23.Prehistoric Delhi And its Neighbourhood
A.K.Sharma, Rs.450

24.The Archaeology and Monumental Remains of Delhi
Carr Stephen, Rs.1800

25.The Garden Tomb of Humayan: An Abode in Paradise
Neeru Misra & Tanay Misra, Rs.2500

26.The Seven Cities of Delhi
Gordon Risley Hearn, Rs.1500

27.The World Heritage Complex of the Qutub
R. Balasubramaniam, Rs.1800

28.Delhi Calm (Paperback)
Vishwajyoti Ghosh, Harper Collins (2010)

29. Twilight In Delhi: A Novel Ahmed Ali,
Rupa & Co

30. Delhi A Novel, Khushwant Singh

31. The Best Of Ruskin Bond : Delhi Is Not Far
Ruskin Bond

32. The Last Mughal: The Fall Of A Dynasty, delhi,1857
William Dalrymple

33. Eicher Delhi City Map
Author: Eicher Goodearth Pvt. Ltd.
Publisher: Eicher Goodearth Pvt. Ltd.

34. Delhi: Its Monuments And History
Percival Spear, Thomas George Percival Spear, Narayani Gupta
Oxford University Press, Usa

35. Delhi : Adventures In A Megacity
Sam Miller

36. Trees Of Delhi A Field Guide
Pradip Krishen
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Limited

37. Celebrating Delhi, Mala Dayal
Penguin India

38. Eicher City Map : Delhi
Author: Eicher Goodearth Pvt. Ltd.
Publisher: Eicher Goodearth Pvt. Ltd.

39. Times Food And Nightlife Guide Delhi - 2011
Author: Ms. Marryam H Reshi, Ms. Vinita Dawra Nangia
Publisher: Times Group Books

40. City Of Djinns: A Year In Delhi
Author: William Dalrymple
Publisher: Penguin

41. The Best Of Ruskin Bond : Delhi Is Not Far
Author: Ruskin Bond
Publisher: Penguin
Edition: 1stEdition

42. Delhi Durbar
Author: Krishan Pratap Singh
Publisher: Hachette India

43. Delhi On The Road
Author: Supriya Sahai
Publisher: Harper Collins

44. Delhi : Adventures In A Mega City
Author: Sam Miller
Publisher: Penguin Books India

45. Inside India Series Delhi
Author: Khushwant Singh
Publisher: Crest Publishing

46. Delhi A Thousand Years Of Building
Author: Lucy Peck
Publisher: Roli Books Pvt. Ltd.

47. Finding Delhi: Loss And Renewal In The Megacity
Author: Bharati Chaturvedi
Publisher: Viking

48. The Delhi Walla: Delhi Monuments
Author: Mayank Austen Soofi
Publisher: Harper Collins India

49. Delhi
Author: Khushwant Singh
Publisher: Kitabghar Prakashan

50. Delhi (l/m)
Author: Varma Promodini
Publisher: Roli Books Pvt Ltd

51. Delhi : Historical Glimpses
Author: R. V. Smith
Publisher: Aryan Books International

52. DELHI: A City Of Museums
Author: Satyen Mohapatra
Publisher: Rupa & Co.

53. Delhi That No-one Knows, The
Author: Smith R V
Publisher: Chronicle Books

54. The Delhi Walla: Delhi Food+Drink
Author: Mayank Austen Soofi
Publisher: Harper Collins India

55. Delhi
Author: M. R. Setty
Publisher: Indiana Publishing House

56. Delhi : Past And Present
Author: H. C. Fanshawe
Publishing Date: 2002
Publisher: Aryan Books International

57. Delhi : Kranti Ke 150 Varsh (Itihas)
Author: Aditya Awasthi
Publisher: Samayik Prakashan
Language: Hindi

58. Delhi : Threshold Of The Orient
(Studies In Archaeological Investigations)
Author: B. R. Mani
Publisher: Aryan Books International

59. The Delhi Walla: Delhi Hangouts
Author: Mayank Austen Soofi
Publisher: Harper Collins India

60. Delhi Ancient History:readings In History
Author: Upinder Singh
Publisher: Social Science Press

61. DELHI MASTER PLAN 2021: Reader Friendly
Author: Vijay Singh
Publisher: Rupa & Co.

62. Delhi Kitchen
Author: Vijayalakshmi Baig
Publisher: Roli Books Pvt Ltd

63.Details of Book: Old Delhi: 10 Easy Walks
Book: Old Delhi: 10 Easy Walks
Author: Malone Barton
Publisher: Rupa & Co.

64. Old Delhi New Delhi: My Experiences
Author: Dutta, Pushan Kumar
Publisher: Ubs Publishers' Distributors (p) Ltd.-new Delhi

65. City Improbable : Writings On Delhi
Author: Khushwant Singh
Publisher: Penguin

66. Chalo Delhi
Author: Subhas Chandra
Publisher: Permanent Black

67. Historic Delhi: An Anthology
Author: H. K. (editor) Kaul
Publisher: Oxford University Press

68. Outlook Traveller Weekend Breaks From Delhi
Author: (eds. )
Publisher: Outlook Group

69. Emergence Of The Delhi Sultanate, The
Author: Sunil Kumar
Publisher: Permanent

70. Last Mushairah Of Delhi
Author: Akhtar Qamber
Publisher: Orient Blackswan

71. Delhi : Sampurn Adhyayan
Author: Delhi : Sampurn Adhyayan
Publisher: Upkar Prakashan

72. The Delhi Walla - Portraits
Author: Mayank Austen Soofi
Publisher: Harpercollins India
Number of Pages: 96

73. Lahore To Delhi
Author: Pran Seth
Publisher: Punya Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

74. Delhi Then & Now
Author: Dilip Bobb, Narayani Gupta
Publisher: Roli Books

75. Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526)
Author: Koleshwar Rai
Publisher: Kitab Mahal

76. Remembering Delhi(pocket Art Series)
Author: Sobti Beeba
Publisher: Roli Books

77. Monuments Of Delhi : Lasting Splendour Of The Great Mughals And Others (Set Of 4 Vols. )
Author: Maulvi Zafar Hasan
Publisher: Aryan Books International

78. Delhi: Forever Series
Publisher: Wilco International
Edition: 01

79. Delhi Cholo
Author: Utpal Dutta
Publisher: Mitra & Ghosh Publishers Pvt. Ltd

80. Delhi Saltanat
Author: Koleshwar Rai
Publisher: Kitab Mahal

81. Destination Delhi
Author: S. Sanyal
Publisher: Prakash Books India

82. Imperial Delhi
Author: Andreas Volwahsen
Publisher: Timeless Book

83. Must For Mums: Delhi
Author: Rina Mehta
Publisher: Oxford & Ibh Publishing Co.

84. Shahjahans Delhi: Past And Present
Author: C Fanshawe
Publisher: Ess Ess Publications

85. A Gazetteer Of Delhi (1883-84)
Author: Classic Reprint Library
Publisher: Aryan Books International

86. The Essential Delhi Cookbook
Author: Priti Narain
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd

87. The Historic City Of Delhi
Author: Luis Fernades
Publisher: Amar Chitra Katha Pvt. Ltd.

88. Times City Guide Delhi
Publisher: Times Group Books

89. Tales Of Historic Delhi: A Walk Through Its Many Cities
Author: Premola Ghose
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Zubaan

90. Old Delhi 10 Easy Walks
Author: Laurraine Malone
Publisher: Rupa

91.Story Of The Delhi Iron Pillar
Author: R. Balasubramaniam
Publisher: Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd.

92. Lonely Planet Citiescape Delhi
Author: Sarina Singh
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications

93. Delhi Ke Ansu
Author: Radhay Shayam Goswami
Publisher: Vishv Vijay Pvt. Ltd.
Language: Hindi

94. Delhi City Of Yoginis
Author: Suphal Kumar
Publisher: Pilgrims Publishing

95. Delhi The Emperors City
Author: Vijay Goel
Publisher: Roli Books Pvt. Ltd.

96. Times Food & Nightlife Guide Delhi-2010
Author: Vinita Dawra Nangia
Publisher: Times Group Books

97. Dome Over India
Author: Aman Nath


delhi: british tourists

No games plan for Delhi Durbar
Times of India, Aug 26, 2010,

NEW DELHI: The story of modern New Delhi began at this spot. It was here the King Emperor announced with great pomp on December 11, 1911, that the capital would move from Calcutta, but barely 38 days before the Commonwealth Games, Delhi Tourism admits it has no plans for the derelict wasteland called the Coronation Memorial.

This unconcern is seen to make bad business sense, ahead of a sporting event that is themed around a commonwealth of former colonies and expects to draw thousands of tourists from countries that have had a similar experience with imperialism.

At least 7 lakh British tourists visit India every year and thousands more from other former British colonies. British expats here agree their countrymen would be happy to pay good money to see the Memorial's towering obelisk announcing the imperial Delhi Darbar of 1911 on the exact spot where King George V and Queen Mary sat. The Memorial, in the far north of the capital, hosted three imperial darbars in 1877, 1903 and 1911 and the canny English rulers of the day exploited marketing opportunities by selling souvenir guide books and hawking to Brook Bond Tea, the right to supply the Darbar's official beverage.

Delhi: A Living Heritage

Much-lived city
Gargi Gupta
New Delhi, November 20, 2010, Business Standard

An exhibition captures the many avatars of Delhi down the ages.

Delhi encompasses a number of worlds. There is the Delhi that you see around you today — a ‘world city’ with wide, well-maintained roads, numerous flyovers, landscaped roundabouts and parks; a cosmopolitan city home to 21.5 million people, most of them settlers for only a few generations. And then there’s a Delhi that rises up as you drive along Pragati Maidan — the crumbling sandstone ramparts of Purana Qila, haunting for the way it evokes a lost magnificent era.

There’s yet another Delhi, the one you encounter in, say, Chandni Chowk, places that not just look more or less the same as they did centuries ago, but also continue to be used in much the same way. Like other really old cities around the world, such as Istanbul or Damascus or Rome, “history” is not enclosed in glass cases in a museum in Delhi, or fenced off out of sight; it is a constant presence in the here and now — it is a lived heritage.

“Delhi: A Living Heritage”, Intach’s three-month-long show supported by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)and the World Monuments Fund, does a fairly competent job of capturing the many Delhis — starting from the stone age settlements around 8000 BCE down the ages to Lal Kot, the stronghold of the Rajput Tomar ruler Anangpal II; Firozabad, Jahapanah and Tughlaqabad, the citadels of the Delhi Sultanate rulers, around Mehrauli; Din Panah, Humayun’s city by the Yamuna river for the poor; the grand Shahjahanabad, whose riches were the envy of the world; and finally Lutyens’s imperial New Delhi.

The display is imaginative in parts, especially in the use of large topographical maps showing the city’s expansion over the centuries. The interactive kiosks, too, are a good idea — containing a wealth of information such as a list of Delhi’s heritage buildings, with historical details and photographs. Others, like the dioramas of the “typical” kirana shop of Dariba Kalan or of Delhi’s microhabitat (a thorny bush with an owl on a bare tree, a deer and so on) are charming and quaint.

Undiscovered Delhi

Delhi's undiscovered dimension - history
By Rebecca Dalzell
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, February 25, 2011

From the back of a honking autorickshaw on Press Enclave Road, Delhi feels nothing like Rome.

The rutted thoroughfare passes construction sites and the shiny Select City Mall and is jammed with cars, rusty bicycles hauling bananas and sari-clad women dashing from one side to the other. But if you get out across the street from the mall and walk up a short path through a cluster of trees, you'll discover a building as monumental as any on the Palatine Hill: the 14th-century Khirki Mosque.
Though it's the size of a city block, the mosque, hidden behind tall apartment buildings, is invisible from the surrounding streets. No signs point the way to it. Walking through the dusty, labyrinthine alleys of Malviya Nagar, in South Delhi, in search of it, you can easily take a few wrong turns before coming upon it suddenly around a corner. With three-story sandstone walls, tapering turrets and latticed windows, it towers like a fortress. A chain-link fence encircles the site, the long grass around it strewn with trash tossed from the garish pink and yellow balconies above.
It's not particularly welcoming. When I walked through the deserted site last fall, trailed by a stray dog, it reeked of urine. Climbing up the crumbling staircase and standing in the shadowed doorway, I heard voices at the other end, a group of young men hanging out in the opposite entrance. Alarm bells went off in my head; in most other places I would have retreated.
But heritage tourism in Delhi comes with a bit of adventure, which heightens the sense of discovery. Inside, long rows of pointed arches stretched before me into darkness, and four open courtyards splashed light on the stone floor. The thick square pillars are gray and unembellished, focusing the eye on the mosque's perfect symmetry and form. As in a Norman church, this purity and simplicity feels mystical, as if calls to prayer might echo still.
Built in the 1370s by sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, one of the great builders of Delhi, Khirki is an early example of a semi-covered mosque; most in India are open. It stood in Jahanpanah, a walled city 40 miles around with half a million people. With his productive public works department, Firoz Shah built mosques as neighborhoods needed them; Khirki clearly served a large community.
A staircase near the eastern entrance leads to the roof, which is covered with dozens of bubblelike domes, some fallen, and round towers at each of the four corners. It overlooks modern eyesores: electrical wires, clotheslines and the mall beyond the treetops. It all seems ephemeral beside the mosque.
Ruins, ruins everywhere
Delhi is filled with more than 1,200 such monuments, dating back 1,000 years. They're as ubiquitous as ruins in Rome, with Mughal tombs in neighborhood parks, half-fallen walls by the sides of roads and blackened battlements in residential enclaves. Yet protecting them has been a struggle, especially given India's rapid development. Delhi's population is growing at 4 percent each year, which will make it the world's fifth-largest city in 2015, with more than 20 million people. In the race to house them all, preservation has not been a priority.
Critics complain that the government often looks the other way when heritage sites are threatened. Urbanization has destroyed theoretically protected monuments. The Archaeological Survey of India, a government agency that monitors 3,600 sites nationwide including 174 in Delhi, has neither the funds nor the manpower to police them all. Under 1992 regulations, new construction is barred within about 100 yards of historically significant buildings, yet some of the apartment blocks near Khirki Mosque have gone up since then. Hundreds of monuments have been legally protected only since 2009.
"The protection we have is empty," says Nalini Thakur, a leading conservationist and a professor at Delhi's School of Planning and Architecture. "Delhi is under tremendous pressure of development, and it is killing our heritage."
What Delhi needs, conservationists such as Thakur say, is to become a UNESCO World Heritage city. It is their longtime goal to join the likes of Edinburgh and St. Petersburg in winning that designation, and they hope to apply for recognition this year. History would then be central to Delhi's identity.
But sites such as Khirki Mosque suggest the city's shortcomings as much as its wealth. There are rarely informational signs outside sites - you have to guess at their names or whether you've even found the right place - nor is there security or good maintenance. UNESCO requires that World Heritage cities have effective management and legal protection for its sites, and until recently, Delhi has fallen short.
It also lacks the tourist infrastructure that is a matter of course in most historic cities: information booths, maps and interpretive signs. Apart from its three World Heritage sites - the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb and the Qutb Minar complex - and major attractions such as the Lodi Gardens, Delhi doesn't publicize its monuments or make them easy for tourists to access.
That may be slowly starting to change. Spurred by last fall's Commonwealth Games, the city launched its first hop-on, hop-off bus ( - to mixed reviews - and the tourist board has teamed with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to provide informational booklets on board. INTACH also restored and lit 17 monuments near the Games sites so that they stand out at night.
These are early steps in INTACH's Delhi Heritage Route project, which would link monuments around the city with landscaping and guides, as on Boston's Freedom Trail. Supported by the World Monuments Fund, INTACH hopes that the heritage routes would make historic sites focal points for neighborhoods and give locals a sense of ownership.
"We need to project heritage," says A.G. Krishna Menon, head of INTACH's Delhi chapter. "In any other city, a place like Khirki Mosque would be a star attraction. But we have to make these sites accessible to both tourists and citizens, so they become part of the city's image."
Treasure hunt
For now, the curious are basically on their own. Though it's challenging, seeking out Delhi's lesser-known monuments is hugely rewarding and can overturn grating first impressions of the city. I arrived loath to spend an entire week there, but after finding sites recommended by conservationists, I left wishing that I had more time to explore. With a detailed Eicher city map, available in most bookstores, and a patient driver, I approached Delhi like a treasure hunt.
As at Khirki Mosque, the startling juxtaposition of old and new is everywhere. As much as purists may bemoan concrete encroachments, historic sites woven into the fabric of the modern city feel especially powerful, like humbling whispers from the past.
When the British began building New Delhi in 1911, they wiped away nearly everything that stood on the site of their modern new city. Architect Edwin Lutyens designed a gleaming city of tree-lined boulevards and perfect order, spiraling out from India Gate, the memorial to British soldiers at the heart of his plan. Now home to luxury hotels and embassies, New Delhi seems to possess nothing hinting at what came before, and little is known about the villages that did.
You would hardly expect to glimpse the area's past life at a stepwell on residential Hailey Road, two blocks from Connaught Place, New Delhi's commercial center. The stone wall on the street is easy to pass by. But then you turn into a metal gate, walk through an archway and gasp: Before you, 100 steps tumble three stories down, bounded by thick walls with pointed niches and arcades. Though mere municipal infrastructure, the 15th-century Agrasen ki Baoli is classically grand and looks far sturdier than the office blocks behind it.
Simply built by carving into the earth to reach underground water channels, stepwells can be found around Delhi but are rarely this large. There must have been a village nearby, and people would have come here not just for water but also to sit out the heat. It may also have been used for religious rituals, which perhaps explains why the British left it alone. The well's modest purpose gave me a rare sense of everyday life 500 years ago, a connection hard to feel at royal palaces like the Red Fort.
A jewel box
Though Agrasen ki Baoli and Khirki Mosque sit amid apartment buildings, neither is the sort of neighborhood focal point that INTACH hopes the Delhi Heritage Route would create. The Hauz Khas madrasa is. At the edge of chic Hauz Khas village in South Delhi, this elegant, two-story Islamic seminary overlooks a reservoir and treetops, and was built in 1354 by Firoz Shah, who is buried in an ornate tomb here.
In the Tughlaq era (1321-1398), students from around Central Asia came to the madrasa to learn about Muslim jurisprudence, astronomy and medicine. Contemporaries praised the beauty of its long, pillared halls, carved balconies and fragrant courtyard. It is still a peaceful, contemplative spot, only now the young men sitting in the archways bring guitars and girlfriends here for the romantic view. In the United States, these precipitous perches would be fenced off, made safe and austere. Kept open, the madrasa is part of the local back yard.
On my final afternoon, I went to Mehrauli Archaeological Park, behind Qutb Minar. The park's more than 300 ruins date from the 11th-century city of Lal Kot to the 19th-century Mughals. At the highest point in South Delhi, they cluster around a ridge that drains the monsoon rains, which made it a healthy place to settle. This fascinating jumble includes a 12th-century water tank and brilliant blue tiles in Quli Khan's tomb, where East India Company agent Sir Thomas Metcalfe bizarrely set up a country residence in the 1840s. His landscaping remains in the surrounding area, with small pavilions, or "follies," on hilltops.
Though you could pass days here, I had just an hour; it was hard to know where to start. Inside the main gate, I turned right up a bumpy dirt road and stopped at the 1528 Jamali Kamali mosque and tomb. As I peered through the locked gate, a caretaker appeared and motioned me inside. Leaning on a walking stick, he led me up to the sandstone prayer hall, with its five large arches and niches decorated with Koranic inscriptions. Up to 800 people would have come here on Fridays, a crowd hard to imagine in the park's pastoral calm today.
The caretaker walked across a courtyard to the simple square tomb, and we took off our shoes and stepped inside. Bright reds and blues popped before my eyes: The plaster ceiling is intricately carved and painted, arabesque shapes fanning out as in a kaleidoscope. Nearly every curve in the pointed arches is covered with blue stars or circles. In the middle of the small chamber lie two graves, one unknown and the other belonging to the Sufi saint and poet Jamali, whose verses are inscribed on the wall.
When we left and closed the door, it was like clicking shut the lid of a music box. Inside, vibrant colors swirled around us; outside was drab stone. Finding the tomb made the city feel magical. Its magnificence, like Delhi's, was utterly unexpected.
Dalzell is a writer and urban historian living in New York.