Saturday, March 19, 2011

Episode 4 - Heritage walk to Mehrauli Archeological Park

The Last Saturday we went to a heritage walk conducted by the Delhi chapter of INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).They organise walks every week end to the lesser known places of Delhi which in fact in my opinion give a much more insight to our glorious past.I have visited almost all the more well known places in Delhi namely the QutabMinar complex, the Lotus temple, the Jama masjid and so on. but INTACH gave me an opportunity to visit the not so well known places as well..

We were guided by our Walk leader Ms Aradhana Sinha, a soft spoken and patient lady who illuminated us with the subtle points of the walk.e started with Balban's tomb where she showed us remnants of the blue tiles which were used extensively in their period.

But what excited me more was the remnants of what is believed to be rt now as a residential/ office complex near the tomb.From that moment on i went back in time, left 17 years behind me and enjoyed the walk in the way only a child could.Imagination soared when we saw the ruins and each one had a theory of what exactly, that particular place in the ruins would have signified. Scholars in their work rooms or a family resting together or Friends chatting in the front yard. All the complex was so closely knit , it gave the community feeling which rarely is visible now in our lives.

From there we went to the Jamali Kamali mosque and the tomb.The inner walls of the tomb still had the painted motiffs,their beautiful geometrical patterns with red white and blue paints. Thank god they were found in a much better shape.

From there we went to Mettcaffes guest house and had a tour of his estate.where Ms Aradhana described the whole setup of his estate , the Dove khana,which was converted to a boat house, the char bagh concept of his gardens and ultimately his own guest house which he had constructed on the mosque. However only the mosque itself remained and the newer construction had left no trace behind, not only because they could not withstand the test of time but also maybe due to the anti British riots which took place one a half centuries before.

After that we went to see Rajon ki Baoli, this huge huge step well which was presently undergoing restoration.But God, it was scary going even 2 foot near the huge round bottomless(or so it seemed) wells which were the main water source.The  huge well in my grandmothers backyard seemed puny compared to this.

Rajon ki Baoli was our last major stop after which we got to know some different VA says people other than who know to draw bending moment and shear force diagrams. We also got to know about another group known as Lets Walk Gurgaon.They have quite long walks and i don't think i have the stamina for it but maybe some time soon.....

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