Things to Do in Delhi: A Heritage Lover's Guide

1st Oct 2013
Photo of Things to Do in Delhi: A Heritage Lover's Guide 1/4 by Naina Kataria
Ugrasen ki Baoli
Photo of Things to Do in Delhi: A Heritage Lover's Guide 2/4 by Naina Kataria
Jahaz mahal
Photo of Things to Do in Delhi: A Heritage Lover's Guide 3/4 by Naina Kataria
Khirki masjid
Photo of Things to Do in Delhi: A Heritage Lover's Guide 4/4 by Naina Kataria
Zafar Mahal

Dilli and Delhi. So close, yet so far.

Being a defense kid, I’ve travelled and lived in quite a few places and of all the places I’ve lived in, I’ve stayed in Delhi for the longest time. After staying here for 6 years and exploring the place, I’ve realized that Delhi is a conjugation of two entirely different cities, Dilli and Delhi. While the malls and famous monuments of Delhi boast of flamboyance, the underdogs of Delhi exist in silence and let the aura speak for themselves. Already well-acquainted with Delhi, the idea behind this trip rose from the fact that college students like me love food and hate spending money. Good company, good snacks, a few cans of beer, and a cool place to hangout are all we need to have a good time!

So with an intention of chilling out, me and two of my friends set out with an aim to discover Dilli. On the first day, we decided to discover the idea around the Mehrauli. As it is close to Qutub minar, we felt that there would be a lot of visitors around anyway. The two places we ended up discovering were Jahaz mahal and Zaffar mahal. Needless to say, both places are ruins of Mughal architecture, but nevertheless the silence and serenity they offer makes them worth a try.On day 2, we decided to explore Saket. Being the area that has Delhi’s largest mall, Saket is now synonymous to Select city mall! What nobody realized was the presence of the deserted Khirki masjid, looking right into the eyes of the mall. So ironic, isn’t it? Half a Kilometer further was another spot called Satpula dam. Another deserted hangout, I personally loved it because of its greenery and the solitude it provided. It is undoubtedly the best place to enjoy with friends food and music.Come day 3, we decided to sneak around one my favourite hangout spots in Delhi: ‘The’ Connaught Place (Yes. I wrote ‘the’. That is the level of respect it deserves.), and discovered the awesomeness that is Agrasen ki Baoli. My friends and I found the place fun to explore and managed to cover it within 30 minutes. Be it running around the corridors and climbing the roofs, it was great fun!At the end of this trip, I’ve realized one thing for sure : Dilli and Delhi are two sides of the same coin. No matter which one you choose, you’re going to love the place!

This was built by Lodi dynasty, the mahal was built almost 200 years after the reservoir but completely gels in with the surroundings. Constructed to serve as an inn (sarai) for travelers and pilgrims. Jahaz Mahal is the venue of the annual colorful festival of the Phool Walon Ki Sair (means a procession of the florists) or Sair-i-Gulfaroshan held in October every year. It is a potential place for photography and history enthusiasts.

Photo of Jahaz Mahal, Talaab lane, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Naina Kataria

Zaffar Mahal is a palace that was built by Akbar Shah II in 18th century. Then it was called Lal Mahal or Rang Mahal. Later, Bahadur Shah Zafar II renovated it and it was renamed to Zaffar Mahal. This place is great for photography and hanging out. But beware of the collapsible roofs. The structure is one of the last to be built by Mughals, yet is the first one to collapse!

Photo of Zafar Mahal, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Naina Kataria

The architecture of this place is beautiful and it is a great place for photo-shoots as well. The structure is vast and has an array of hundreds of pillars orderly aligned is a treat to watch. Even in the summer heat we found to be windy and calm. it just soothes one's senses. It is a brilliant place to spend time and be at peace. The view around is so contrasting. Here stands on a 14th century structure, looking at the biggest mall of Delhi right in front of you!! It's so ironic, and yet it's legacy never ceases to amaze!

Photo of Khirki Masjid, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Naina Kataria

This was a dam built around 1343 to aid irrigation facilities and provide a defense from enemy armies. Even after six centuries of wear and tear, there is no major damage in the structure. Apart from being a dam, this was also used for defense from enemies. You can notice tall towers on both banks which give you a feel of being watched. If you get down to the plain ground in front of the structure, you can see the seven openings that once functioned as the gates of the dam to let water out. This is a great hangout place and if you take a few friends along, you'll have an awesome time together !!

Photo of Satpula Dam, Khidki Village, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Naina Kataria

It is a three tier structure and the well is now dried up. However as you walk down, last 5 - 10 steps and surrounding walls show traces of rain water that fills up there every monsoon.My friends and I found this place to be a ten on ten hangout. It is close to CP, well connected via public transport, and is really fun to explore. Whether it is running along the corridors or climbing the roofs or navigating narrow staircases to reach the top of the well, it was great fun. We had a great time at this place and plan to visit it more frequently now, maybe every time we go to CP !!

Photo of Ugrasen ki Baoli, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Naina Kataria

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