Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > History > Delhi (Its Monuments and History)
Displaying 2886 of 4955         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Delhi (Its Monuments and History)
Pages from the book
Delhi (Its Monuments and History)
Look Inside the Book
Description

Foreword

 

The city of Delhi is as full of surprises as a good treasure-hunt. You may suddenly find a ruined arch many hundred years old beside a recently-built bungalow, or see the reflection of a highrise building in the waters of an ancient step-well. We all have to discover Delhi for ourselves. It is possible to spend many happy winter afternoons wandering, wondering, imagining ... but before venturing out, it is pleasant to have someone tell you where to go, and what to look for. Percival Spear’s book was written 50 years ago, and you will soon see that it is different from other ‘guidebooks’. Spear speaks to us. He was an Englishman who taught history at St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He himself became interested in Indian history and is today known as the author of Volume 2 of the Penguin History of India. He also enjoyed learning the history of Delhi, on which he wrote three books. One of them was Delhi - Its Monuments and History, which was printed in two editions (1943 and 1945) and was used as a textbook for schools. Copies of this book are not easy to find, and we have prepared this annotated edition because we think that no other book has quite replaced it. Spear’s writing is full of his love for the place and a sense of respect for the individuals who have made the city - architects, rulers, poets, pious men. These qualities are missing in more sophisticated guidebooks. As he talks to readers, he leads them through the city, on foot, on bicycle, and even by car along the long stretches of Lutyens’ New Delhi.

 

Though Spear would have been happy to have visitors to Delhi use his book, I think he was writing essentially for the children of the city. In those days, there was no TV and little cinema to make claims on children’s leisure hours, school homework was sensibly limited, and the town was small, with a few trams and only one bus- service. Places like Sultan Ghari and Masjid Moth lay in the middle of fields far out of the city. To visit the Qutb or Hauz Khas meant leisurely rides by tonga, and the time there was spent in pleasant picnics undisturbed by canned music from players or transistors, and interrupted only by the rising crescendo of the brain fever bird or the shriek of homing parakeets. The pace was slow, and allowed visitors not just to ‘see’ monuments but to spend some time there absorbing the ambience ...

 

Spear would be as bewildered by today’s Delhi as the two old village women of Munirka who said sadly, ‘Ever since the tarred roads were laid out, we can never find our way from Mehrauli to Munirka’. The town of 7 lakh people Spear knew now holds a restless 93 lakhs. Most of them have come to the city recently, and are so busy, trying to survive or push ahead that they have not had time to look at Delhi. As the population grows, many of the smaller monuments ‘disappear’ or get hidden behind housing blocks. Very few of the inhabitants of Panchsheel Park have visited the neighbouring Begumpuri Masjid, which figures as a major monument of the Islamic World (Michell, p. 268). The landscape that Spear knew - the rugged hills of the Ridge, the river, the streams and fields, also’ disappear’ under new’ colonies’. The tiny blue boards of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are obscured by gigantic hoardings and by road signs. It is easy to see the signboards for the National Zoological Park (the ‘Zoo’ to most of us) but difficult to find the nearby Humayun’s tomb, the stupendous architectural marvel which is known as the precursor of the Taj Mahal. The colours and the polish of the buildings have been worn off by time and vandalism, and stones and pillars have been stolen. Many of Spear’s students, Hindu and Muslim, could read Persian, and many monuments were a literary as well as artistic delight. Today few people can decipher the inscriptions.

 

All this makes it more important than ever before that we should know and care for our monuments. Delhi is frequently compared to Rome - and this is understandable, because both cities have an embarras de richesses as far as historic architecture goes. Between sunrise and sunset, there is so much to be seen for free (with only a nominal entrance fee at the Lal Qila, Humayun’s Tomb, and Safdarjang’s Tomb).

 

When we visit the monuments, we are treading the footsteps of visitors over centuries.

 

On Tuesday I visited the mausoleum of Nizamuddin Auliya .... The same night I circumambulated the tomb of Khwaja Kutbuddin, and visited the tombs and palaces of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban, of Sultan Alauddin Khilji, and his minaret, the Hauz Shamsi, the Hauz Khas, the tombs and gardens of Sultan Bahlol and Sultan Sikander Lodi.

 

This was a diary entry of a visitor in 1526 (obviously the monuments were not closed at sunset in those days!). His name was Zahiruddin Mohammad, popularly called ‘Babur’ (Tiger). Babur was referring to three centuries of Sultanate architecture, to which his own dynasty was to add many more monuments. Later, the British, always fascinated by the charisma of Delhi, built a capital meant to last 500 years.

 

There is no obvious way to organize a book on Delhi’s monuments. It could be done geographically, moving from south to north (the average Delhi tour ‘does’ ‘New Delhi’ in the morning and ‘Old Delhi’ in the afternoon). It could be in historical order, which means one will zigzag from place to place. Spear’s is a third pattern - he starts with the area which would have been most familiar to the children, who then all lived in what is called ‘Old Delhi’ (i.e. north of Delhi Gate). For him, as a student of the fortunes of the Mughal dynasty, the Lal Qila ofShahjahan was the obvious central reference point. Starting from the Qila and Shahjahanabad, he moves to the Civil Lines, where the homes of several Europeans were located, and the University of Delhi. He then conducts the students south to Firoz Shah Kotla, and still further to Purana Qila, Humayun’s tomb and Nizamuddin. Later they take bicycle rides out to Sayyid and Lodi Delhi, and to Safdatjang’s tomb. Whole day excursions are organized to the still further Qutb complex, and Suraj Kund. Then there is a motorcar drive through New Delhi after a fascinatingly long session at Jantar Mantar.

 

The first map at the end of this book is reproduced from Spear’s book, and gives us an idea of what Delhi looked like in 1943. The second map fills in the main roads subsequently built. Delhi has become so built up that many of the routes he describes are no longer in use. Because of his informal style of writing, some of the buildings he describes could not be identified with certainty. It is also possible that some may have been demolished in the last fifty years. We hope that this edition, annotated and also illustrated with lively sketches by a gifted young artist and student of architecture, will induce citizens and students of Delhi to follow in Spear’s footprints, and bicycle tracks!

 

This book is teeming with people. Bringing history to life by imaginative interaction with monuments can be done so easily in Delhi. Until the 1960s, students of class 10 had to answer a compulsory question on the monuments of Delhi. In Delhi University, for the compulsory English language paper, there was a frequently repeated question asking students to narrate ‘a conversation between Old and New Delhi’. Spear’s little book, and Hindi and Urdu books called Hamari Dilli were read as textbooks.

 

One of the interesting things about Spear’s style is the throwaway fashion in which he refers to incidents of history or to ‘famous’ people. He was steeped in history and assumed the students were likewise. They probably were: in those days when curricula were less burdensome, interaction between teachers and students was closer, and the reading habit more ingrained. Present-day readers will greatly benefit by reading Spear’s Twilight of the Mughals, which describes Delhi in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the present edition, the Chronological Chart is our attempt to situate in time the people and the buildings he describes. Likewise, Spear was familiar enough with Urdu and Persian terms, but for present-day readers who might not be, we have appended a Glossary.

 

Spear occasionally refers the reader to other books. In our notes, we have also cited books and authors, in abbreviated form. The full titles and other details will be found in our Bibliography. In the small city of Delhi which Spear knew, it was possible to indicate which books could be found in which libraries with a sense of certitude. The number of libraries in Delhi has grown, but the older books are difficult to locate, unless they have been reprinted. Our annotated bibliography will indicate which of the books he refers to are available. It also suggests others which should be of interest. We have also compiled an Index for easy reference and cross-reference.

 

We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this, and hope it will draw lots of Delhiwalas out into the wonderful history with which they are surrounded.

 

Contents

 

 

Fourteen Years After: Foreword to the

vii

 

Foreword by Narayani Gupta

xiii

 

Acknowledgements

xvii

 

How to Read This Book by Percival Spear

xviii

 

Foreword by Percival Spear

xix

 

Part I - The City

 

1.

The Fort

1

2.

The Mosques of Delhi

6

3.

The City

9

4.

The Civil Lines

16

 

Part II - Around The City

 

5.

Firoz Shah Kotla

23

6.

Purana Qila

28

7.

Humayun’s Tomb

32

8.

Nizamuddin

37

9.

The Lodi Tombs

43

10.

The Moth-ki-Masjid

47

11.

Safdarjang’s Tomb

50

 

Part III - The Qutb District

 

12.

The Great Mosque

54

13.

The Qutb Minar

57

14.

The Lal Kot (Mehrauli)

61

15.

Siri

66

16.

The Bijay Mandal

70

17.

Hauz Khas

74

18.

TugWaqabad

77

19.

Suraj Kund

82

 

Part IV - New Delhi

 

20.

The Jantar Mantar

86

21.

New Delhi

94

 

Part V - Architecture Of Delhi

 

22.

The Architecture of Delhi

101

 

Afterword - Fifty Years On by Laura Sykes

110

 

Glossary

146

 

Chronology

151

 

Bibliographical Note

161

 

Annotated Bibliography

165

 

Index

171

 

Sample Pages


Delhi (Its Monuments and History)

Item Code:
NAJ214
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2012
ISBN:
9780195699319
Language:
English
Size:
9.5 inch X 6 inch
Pages:
200 (30 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 265 gms
Price:
$25.00   Shipping Free
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Delhi (Its Monuments and History)

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 2070 times since 9th Oct, 2014

Foreword

 

The city of Delhi is as full of surprises as a good treasure-hunt. You may suddenly find a ruined arch many hundred years old beside a recently-built bungalow, or see the reflection of a highrise building in the waters of an ancient step-well. We all have to discover Delhi for ourselves. It is possible to spend many happy winter afternoons wandering, wondering, imagining ... but before venturing out, it is pleasant to have someone tell you where to go, and what to look for. Percival Spear’s book was written 50 years ago, and you will soon see that it is different from other ‘guidebooks’. Spear speaks to us. He was an Englishman who taught history at St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He himself became interested in Indian history and is today known as the author of Volume 2 of the Penguin History of India. He also enjoyed learning the history of Delhi, on which he wrote three books. One of them was Delhi - Its Monuments and History, which was printed in two editions (1943 and 1945) and was used as a textbook for schools. Copies of this book are not easy to find, and we have prepared this annotated edition because we think that no other book has quite replaced it. Spear’s writing is full of his love for the place and a sense of respect for the individuals who have made the city - architects, rulers, poets, pious men. These qualities are missing in more sophisticated guidebooks. As he talks to readers, he leads them through the city, on foot, on bicycle, and even by car along the long stretches of Lutyens’ New Delhi.

 

Though Spear would have been happy to have visitors to Delhi use his book, I think he was writing essentially for the children of the city. In those days, there was no TV and little cinema to make claims on children’s leisure hours, school homework was sensibly limited, and the town was small, with a few trams and only one bus- service. Places like Sultan Ghari and Masjid Moth lay in the middle of fields far out of the city. To visit the Qutb or Hauz Khas meant leisurely rides by tonga, and the time there was spent in pleasant picnics undisturbed by canned music from players or transistors, and interrupted only by the rising crescendo of the brain fever bird or the shriek of homing parakeets. The pace was slow, and allowed visitors not just to ‘see’ monuments but to spend some time there absorbing the ambience ...

 

Spear would be as bewildered by today’s Delhi as the two old village women of Munirka who said sadly, ‘Ever since the tarred roads were laid out, we can never find our way from Mehrauli to Munirka’. The town of 7 lakh people Spear knew now holds a restless 93 lakhs. Most of them have come to the city recently, and are so busy, trying to survive or push ahead that they have not had time to look at Delhi. As the population grows, many of the smaller monuments ‘disappear’ or get hidden behind housing blocks. Very few of the inhabitants of Panchsheel Park have visited the neighbouring Begumpuri Masjid, which figures as a major monument of the Islamic World (Michell, p. 268). The landscape that Spear knew - the rugged hills of the Ridge, the river, the streams and fields, also’ disappear’ under new’ colonies’. The tiny blue boards of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are obscured by gigantic hoardings and by road signs. It is easy to see the signboards for the National Zoological Park (the ‘Zoo’ to most of us) but difficult to find the nearby Humayun’s tomb, the stupendous architectural marvel which is known as the precursor of the Taj Mahal. The colours and the polish of the buildings have been worn off by time and vandalism, and stones and pillars have been stolen. Many of Spear’s students, Hindu and Muslim, could read Persian, and many monuments were a literary as well as artistic delight. Today few people can decipher the inscriptions.

 

All this makes it more important than ever before that we should know and care for our monuments. Delhi is frequently compared to Rome - and this is understandable, because both cities have an embarras de richesses as far as historic architecture goes. Between sunrise and sunset, there is so much to be seen for free (with only a nominal entrance fee at the Lal Qila, Humayun’s Tomb, and Safdarjang’s Tomb).

 

When we visit the monuments, we are treading the footsteps of visitors over centuries.

 

On Tuesday I visited the mausoleum of Nizamuddin Auliya .... The same night I circumambulated the tomb of Khwaja Kutbuddin, and visited the tombs and palaces of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban, of Sultan Alauddin Khilji, and his minaret, the Hauz Shamsi, the Hauz Khas, the tombs and gardens of Sultan Bahlol and Sultan Sikander Lodi.

 

This was a diary entry of a visitor in 1526 (obviously the monuments were not closed at sunset in those days!). His name was Zahiruddin Mohammad, popularly called ‘Babur’ (Tiger). Babur was referring to three centuries of Sultanate architecture, to which his own dynasty was to add many more monuments. Later, the British, always fascinated by the charisma of Delhi, built a capital meant to last 500 years.

 

There is no obvious way to organize a book on Delhi’s monuments. It could be done geographically, moving from south to north (the average Delhi tour ‘does’ ‘New Delhi’ in the morning and ‘Old Delhi’ in the afternoon). It could be in historical order, which means one will zigzag from place to place. Spear’s is a third pattern - he starts with the area which would have been most familiar to the children, who then all lived in what is called ‘Old Delhi’ (i.e. north of Delhi Gate). For him, as a student of the fortunes of the Mughal dynasty, the Lal Qila ofShahjahan was the obvious central reference point. Starting from the Qila and Shahjahanabad, he moves to the Civil Lines, where the homes of several Europeans were located, and the University of Delhi. He then conducts the students south to Firoz Shah Kotla, and still further to Purana Qila, Humayun’s tomb and Nizamuddin. Later they take bicycle rides out to Sayyid and Lodi Delhi, and to Safdatjang’s tomb. Whole day excursions are organized to the still further Qutb complex, and Suraj Kund. Then there is a motorcar drive through New Delhi after a fascinatingly long session at Jantar Mantar.

 

The first map at the end of this book is reproduced from Spear’s book, and gives us an idea of what Delhi looked like in 1943. The second map fills in the main roads subsequently built. Delhi has become so built up that many of the routes he describes are no longer in use. Because of his informal style of writing, some of the buildings he describes could not be identified with certainty. It is also possible that some may have been demolished in the last fifty years. We hope that this edition, annotated and also illustrated with lively sketches by a gifted young artist and student of architecture, will induce citizens and students of Delhi to follow in Spear’s footprints, and bicycle tracks!

 

This book is teeming with people. Bringing history to life by imaginative interaction with monuments can be done so easily in Delhi. Until the 1960s, students of class 10 had to answer a compulsory question on the monuments of Delhi. In Delhi University, for the compulsory English language paper, there was a frequently repeated question asking students to narrate ‘a conversation between Old and New Delhi’. Spear’s little book, and Hindi and Urdu books called Hamari Dilli were read as textbooks.

 

One of the interesting things about Spear’s style is the throwaway fashion in which he refers to incidents of history or to ‘famous’ people. He was steeped in history and assumed the students were likewise. They probably were: in those days when curricula were less burdensome, interaction between teachers and students was closer, and the reading habit more ingrained. Present-day readers will greatly benefit by reading Spear’s Twilight of the Mughals, which describes Delhi in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the present edition, the Chronological Chart is our attempt to situate in time the people and the buildings he describes. Likewise, Spear was familiar enough with Urdu and Persian terms, but for present-day readers who might not be, we have appended a Glossary.

 

Spear occasionally refers the reader to other books. In our notes, we have also cited books and authors, in abbreviated form. The full titles and other details will be found in our Bibliography. In the small city of Delhi which Spear knew, it was possible to indicate which books could be found in which libraries with a sense of certitude. The number of libraries in Delhi has grown, but the older books are difficult to locate, unless they have been reprinted. Our annotated bibliography will indicate which of the books he refers to are available. It also suggests others which should be of interest. We have also compiled an Index for easy reference and cross-reference.

 

We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this, and hope it will draw lots of Delhiwalas out into the wonderful history with which they are surrounded.

 

Contents

 

 

Fourteen Years After: Foreword to the

vii

 

Foreword by Narayani Gupta

xiii

 

Acknowledgements

xvii

 

How to Read This Book by Percival Spear

xviii

 

Foreword by Percival Spear

xix

 

Part I - The City

 

1.

The Fort

1

2.

The Mosques of Delhi

6

3.

The City

9

4.

The Civil Lines

16

 

Part II - Around The City

 

5.

Firoz Shah Kotla

23

6.

Purana Qila

28

7.

Humayun’s Tomb

32

8.

Nizamuddin

37

9.

The Lodi Tombs

43

10.

The Moth-ki-Masjid

47

11.

Safdarjang’s Tomb

50

 

Part III - The Qutb District

 

12.

The Great Mosque

54

13.

The Qutb Minar

57

14.

The Lal Kot (Mehrauli)

61

15.

Siri

66

16.

The Bijay Mandal

70

17.

Hauz Khas

74

18.

TugWaqabad

77

19.

Suraj Kund

82

 

Part IV - New Delhi

 

20.

The Jantar Mantar

86

21.

New Delhi

94

 

Part V - Architecture Of Delhi

 

22.

The Architecture of Delhi

101

 

Afterword - Fifty Years On by Laura Sykes

110

 

Glossary

146

 

Chronology

151

 

Bibliographical Note

161

 

Annotated Bibliography

165

 

Index

171

 

Sample Pages


Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items

Astronomical Instruments in The Delhi Museum
by G. R. Kaye
Hardcover (Edition: 1998)
Archaeological Survey of India
Item Code: NAL653
$15.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Lingering Charm of Delhi (Myth, Lore and History)
by R. V. Smith
Paperback (Edition: 2016)
Niyogi Books
Item Code: NAL740
$28.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi History and Places of Interest
Item Code: IDJ906
$17.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi: Unknown Tales of A City
by R.V. Smith
Paperback (Edition: 2015)
Roli Books Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAL706
$25.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Delhi Sultanate: The History and Culture of the Indian People (Volum VI)
by R.C. Majumdar
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Item Code: NAI196
$40.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi Agra and Jaipur (Chinese)
by Biraj Bose
Paperback (Edition: 1995)
Lustre Press
Item Code: NAK494
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
New Delhi Down The Decades (A Behind The Lens View of The City)
by Dhruva N. Chaudhuri
Paperback (Edition: 2013)
Niyogi Books
Item Code: NAK498
$35.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Letters of Spies and Delhi was Lost
by Shamsul Islam
Paperback (Edition: 2008)
Vani Prakashan
Item Code: NAK395
$15.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Delhi Walla Hangouts
by Mayank Austen Soofi
Paperback (Edition: 2010)
Harper Collins Publishers
Item Code: NAJ432
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur (Spanish)
by Biras Bose
Paperback (Edition: 2000)
Lustre Press Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAJ729
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi: Hindu College (A People’s Movement )
by Kavita A. Sharma
Hardcover (Edition: 2014)
Niyogi Books
Item Code: NAJ916
$45.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur (German)
by Biras Bose
Paperback (Edition: 2000)
Lustre Press Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAJ899
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Delhi Omnibus
by Various Authors
Hardcover (Edition: 2012)
Oxford University Press
Item Code: NAF486
$40.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now

Testimonials

I have been buying from Exotic India for years and am always pleased and excited to receive my packages. Thanks for the quality products.
Delia, USA
As ever, brilliant price and service.
Howard, UK.
The best and fastest service worldwide - I am in Australia and I put in a big order of books (14 items) on a Wednesday; it was sent on Friday and arrived at my doorstep early on Monday morning - amazing! All very securely packed in a very strong cardboard box. I have bought several times from Exotic India and the service is always exceptionally good. THANK YOU and NAMASTE!
Charles (Rudra)
I just wanted to say that this is I think my 3rd (big) order from you, and the last two times I received immaculate service, the books arrived well and it has been a very pleasant experience. Just wanted to say thanks for your efficient service.
Shantala, Belgium
Thank you so much EXOTIC INDIA for the wonderfull packaging!! I received my order today and it was gift wrapped with so much love and taste in a beautiful golden gift wrap and everything was neat and beautifully packed. Also my order came very fast... i am impressed! Besides selling fantastic items, you provide an exceptional customer service and i will surely purchase again from you! I am very glad and happy :) Thank you, Salma
Salma, Canada.
Artwork received today. Very pleased both with the product quality and speed of delivery. Many thanks for your help.
Carl, UK.
I wanted to let you know how happy we are with our framed pieces of Shree Durga and Shree Kali. Thank you and thank your framers for us. By the way, this month we offered a Puja and Yagna to the Ardhanarishwara murti we purchased from you last November. The Brahmin priest, Shree Vivek Godbol, who was visiting LA preformed the rites. He really loved our murti and thought it very paka. I am so happy to have found your site , it is very paka and trustworthy. Plus such great packing and quick shipping. Thanks for your service Vipin, it is a pleasure.
Gina, USA
My marble statue of Durga arrived today in perfect condition, it's such a beautiful statue. Thanks again for giving me a discount on it, I'm always very pleased with the items I order from you. You always have the best quality items.
Charles, Tennessee
Jay Shree Krishna Shrimud Bhagavatam Mahapurana in Sanskrat Parayana is very very thankful to you we are so gratefully to your seva
Mrs. Darbar, UK.
Its a very efficient website and questions queries are responded promptly. very reliable website. Thank you.
Kailash, Australia.
TRUSTe
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 © Exotic India