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The Delhi That No-One Knows
The Delhi That No-One Knows
Description
From the Jacket

R. V. Smith came to Delhi as a young journalist in the fifties of the last century. His hobby for several years was to travel through the city, collecting stories about and histories of its many monuments, known and unknown.

The Delhi that No-one Knows beings together R. V. Smith's writings, presenting them as an unconventional introduction to the city. The legends, myths and folklore surrounding these monuments and how the author chanced upon these delightful teles together give the book its unique appeal. The writings are grouped into four sections, 'South Delhi', 'Shahjahanabad', 'Lal Qila' and 'Beyond the City Wall', for those who wish to follow in the author's footsteps.

Dr Narayani Gupta in her 'Foreword' explains why this book is a valuable addition to the literature Delhi.

Ronald Vivian Smith is more familiarly known as R. V. Smith. His columns, particularly 'Quaint Places', have delighted readers for several decades. His career as a journalist spans nearly four decades.

R. V. Smith is a man of diverse interests. He has written books of poetry, a romantic novel and travelogues. He continues to write for The Statesman, The Hindu and Mid-day on a wide range of subjects.

Considered by many as an expert on Delhi, particularly its forgotten monuments, R. V. Smith belongs to the rare breed of amateur antiquarians.

Foreword

In 1803, Lord Lake defeated the combined forces o the Mughals and the Marathas at the Battle of Patparganj and the city of Delhi came under the control of the East India Company. Two yeas earlier, in 1801, a seventeen-year-old Englishman called Salvador Smith had come to India and joined the army, not that of the English company, but of the Sindhias. After serving for forty years, he settled down in Agra. He married the daughter of an English Soldier who, like him, had served in the army of an Indian ruler, the raja of Jeypur (in Orissa). Salvador Smith, a colonel who was affectionately known by the more ringing title of 'Captain', lived until 1871. his children pre-deceases him, and he adopted Victoria Marian, who marred Gabriel, both Armenians, a community which had settled in Indian towns descendant was Thomas Smith, well Known in Agra for his articles which made the history of that Mughal city accessible to its inhabitants. His son is R. V. Smith.

Two thins make this book special. First, that it is not just another book on Delhi's monuments. It links the monuments, and many neighbourhoods of the city, with moments in history. The author has an acquaintance with Delhi's many-layered pasts-its early history, the centuries when the Sultanate of Delhi was known beyond the subcontinent, through the great days of the Mughals, and then the period of the Raj-which few of us can command. Second, what comes across is the sense of delight in histories discovered over the years while tramping down roads, strolling through shady galis, or glancing through a ruined arch.

It takes an effort of imagination to recall that there was a time, not so long ago, when there were few cars in Delhi and walking on the city's pavements was a pleasure. Sundays were synonymous with picnics among the ruins in the winter sunshine. Urdu was language that many people could read as well as speak. Then followed some three decades during which the population increased steadily, the skyline soared upwards, and the city's history seemed to sink under the weight of the metropolis. Fortunately, Delhi's inhabitants despite (or is it because of) the fact that most of them have no connection with it.

R. V. smith published his first article on Delhi in 1958, when he was visiting the city after completing his Masters from St John's College, Agra. Over the decades, he wrote numerous pieces abut Delhi's monuments and history, illustrated with sketches by his son Tony.

Readers will find this an enjoyable though unconventional introduction to a city that hides its history behind highrise buildings and flyovers. The writings have been grouped according to the city's geography rather than chronologically. Names encountered in textbooks of history acquire a context, and regain their place in historic buildings still around us, in streets and lanes that are still recognizable. We have reason to thank this scholar who has re-discovered India's greatest historic city for us.

CONTENTS
Author's Notexv
Glossaryxx
Introductionxxiii
SOUTH DELHI1
Peeping from a Bower2
Alai Darwaza3
Courtyard of the Imam5
The Qutb's Cupola6
Tombs Open to the Sky8
Where a Mongoose Rules9
Mantle of the Khwaja11
Zafar Mahal and Sardgah14
Adham Khan's Tomb17
Temple of the Yoginis20
Zodiac Temple22
Grave Mysteries24
Chhatanki of Bhim25
Metcalfe's Folly27
Mahipalpur and Chhattarpur29
Banda Bahadur: From Yogi To Writer30
Mughal Foster-Father33
Anonymous Official34
Dadi-Poti36
Missing Tomb38
HAHJAHANABAD40
Lalla Rookh and Zinat-un-Nissa42
Zinat Mahal43
Fakhrul Masajid46
Kauria Bridge: From Cowrie Wealth48
Relics of 185750
Scented with Nostalgia: Matia Mahal51
Shop inside a Hammam52
Bangash Stronghold54
Kali Masjid55
Ghaziuddin Mausoleum: Link with Deccan57
Vanished Lake and Well: Shahji-ka-Talab59
Well of Sisters-in-Law61
Turkman Bayabani62
'Bulbuls' Rest Here64
Sayyid Sabir Ali: Saint on the Roadside65
Hazrat Sarmad Shaheed: Armenian Fakir67
Chawri Bazar: 'Street of Sin' No More71
Chandni Chowk: The Lost Grandeur73
Hallowed Temples: Shivala of the Soldier76
Dauji-ka-Mandir78
Two Golden Mosques: Where a Sword Flashed 80
The Glitter is Lost Now81
Romantic Mansions: Haveli Sadr-us-Sudur83
Haider Quli's Haveli84
Namak Haram's Haveli86
Ballimaram: Domain of the Hakims87
Silver Street89
LAL QILA90
River Gate 92
Drum House95
Diwan-e-Aam97
Chamber of the Rosary98
Chamber of Dawn100
Secret Tower101
Torture Tower103
Moti Masjid: Architecture in Purdah104
Bhure Shah: The Fiery Saint106
BEYOND THE CITY WALLS110
The Scottish Nawab: William Fraser and
Hindu Rao Hospital
112
Landmark Cemetery: Lothian Road116
Old Mughal Gardens: Begum o Tis Hazari119
A Gate with a Past122
Qadam Shareef: Based on a Footprint123
Metcalfe House: The Matka Kothi126
The Saint who Disappeared131
Tower of Memories133
Tornado Graves134
Shalimar Bagh: Bibi Akbarabadi137
Majnu-Ka-Tila: A 500-year-old Shrine140
Jat Hero: Surajmal's Samadhi143
Index146

The Delhi That No-One Knows

Item Code:
IDI526
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2005
Publisher:
Chronicle Books, New Delhi
ISBN:
8180280209
Size:
7.2" X 4.7
Pages:
178 (B & W Figure Illus: 4, Maps: 3)
Price:
$25.00
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$18.75   Shipping Free
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From the Jacket

R. V. Smith came to Delhi as a young journalist in the fifties of the last century. His hobby for several years was to travel through the city, collecting stories about and histories of its many monuments, known and unknown.

The Delhi that No-one Knows beings together R. V. Smith's writings, presenting them as an unconventional introduction to the city. The legends, myths and folklore surrounding these monuments and how the author chanced upon these delightful teles together give the book its unique appeal. The writings are grouped into four sections, 'South Delhi', 'Shahjahanabad', 'Lal Qila' and 'Beyond the City Wall', for those who wish to follow in the author's footsteps.

Dr Narayani Gupta in her 'Foreword' explains why this book is a valuable addition to the literature Delhi.

Ronald Vivian Smith is more familiarly known as R. V. Smith. His columns, particularly 'Quaint Places', have delighted readers for several decades. His career as a journalist spans nearly four decades.

R. V. Smith is a man of diverse interests. He has written books of poetry, a romantic novel and travelogues. He continues to write for The Statesman, The Hindu and Mid-day on a wide range of subjects.

Considered by many as an expert on Delhi, particularly its forgotten monuments, R. V. Smith belongs to the rare breed of amateur antiquarians.

Foreword

In 1803, Lord Lake defeated the combined forces o the Mughals and the Marathas at the Battle of Patparganj and the city of Delhi came under the control of the East India Company. Two yeas earlier, in 1801, a seventeen-year-old Englishman called Salvador Smith had come to India and joined the army, not that of the English company, but of the Sindhias. After serving for forty years, he settled down in Agra. He married the daughter of an English Soldier who, like him, had served in the army of an Indian ruler, the raja of Jeypur (in Orissa). Salvador Smith, a colonel who was affectionately known by the more ringing title of 'Captain', lived until 1871. his children pre-deceases him, and he adopted Victoria Marian, who marred Gabriel, both Armenians, a community which had settled in Indian towns descendant was Thomas Smith, well Known in Agra for his articles which made the history of that Mughal city accessible to its inhabitants. His son is R. V. Smith.

Two thins make this book special. First, that it is not just another book on Delhi's monuments. It links the monuments, and many neighbourhoods of the city, with moments in history. The author has an acquaintance with Delhi's many-layered pasts-its early history, the centuries when the Sultanate of Delhi was known beyond the subcontinent, through the great days of the Mughals, and then the period of the Raj-which few of us can command. Second, what comes across is the sense of delight in histories discovered over the years while tramping down roads, strolling through shady galis, or glancing through a ruined arch.

It takes an effort of imagination to recall that there was a time, not so long ago, when there were few cars in Delhi and walking on the city's pavements was a pleasure. Sundays were synonymous with picnics among the ruins in the winter sunshine. Urdu was language that many people could read as well as speak. Then followed some three decades during which the population increased steadily, the skyline soared upwards, and the city's history seemed to sink under the weight of the metropolis. Fortunately, Delhi's inhabitants despite (or is it because of) the fact that most of them have no connection with it.

R. V. smith published his first article on Delhi in 1958, when he was visiting the city after completing his Masters from St John's College, Agra. Over the decades, he wrote numerous pieces abut Delhi's monuments and history, illustrated with sketches by his son Tony.

Readers will find this an enjoyable though unconventional introduction to a city that hides its history behind highrise buildings and flyovers. The writings have been grouped according to the city's geography rather than chronologically. Names encountered in textbooks of history acquire a context, and regain their place in historic buildings still around us, in streets and lanes that are still recognizable. We have reason to thank this scholar who has re-discovered India's greatest historic city for us.

CONTENTS
Author's Notexv
Glossaryxx
Introductionxxiii
SOUTH DELHI1
Peeping from a Bower2
Alai Darwaza3
Courtyard of the Imam5
The Qutb's Cupola6
Tombs Open to the Sky8
Where a Mongoose Rules9
Mantle of the Khwaja11
Zafar Mahal and Sardgah14
Adham Khan's Tomb17
Temple of the Yoginis20
Zodiac Temple22
Grave Mysteries24
Chhatanki of Bhim25
Metcalfe's Folly27
Mahipalpur and Chhattarpur29
Banda Bahadur: From Yogi To Writer30
Mughal Foster-Father33
Anonymous Official34
Dadi-Poti36
Missing Tomb38
HAHJAHANABAD40
Lalla Rookh and Zinat-un-Nissa42
Zinat Mahal43
Fakhrul Masajid46
Kauria Bridge: From Cowrie Wealth48
Relics of 185750
Scented with Nostalgia: Matia Mahal51
Shop inside a Hammam52
Bangash Stronghold54
Kali Masjid55
Ghaziuddin Mausoleum: Link with Deccan57
Vanished Lake and Well: Shahji-ka-Talab59
Well of Sisters-in-Law61
Turkman Bayabani62
'Bulbuls' Rest Here64
Sayyid Sabir Ali: Saint on the Roadside65
Hazrat Sarmad Shaheed: Armenian Fakir67
Chawri Bazar: 'Street of Sin' No More71
Chandni Chowk: The Lost Grandeur73
Hallowed Temples: Shivala of the Soldier76
Dauji-ka-Mandir78
Two Golden Mosques: Where a Sword Flashed 80
The Glitter is Lost Now81
Romantic Mansions: Haveli Sadr-us-Sudur83
Haider Quli's Haveli84
Namak Haram's Haveli86
Ballimaram: Domain of the Hakims87
Silver Street89
LAL QILA90
River Gate 92
Drum House95
Diwan-e-Aam97
Chamber of the Rosary98
Chamber of Dawn100
Secret Tower101
Torture Tower103
Moti Masjid: Architecture in Purdah104
Bhure Shah: The Fiery Saint106
BEYOND THE CITY WALLS110
The Scottish Nawab: William Fraser and
Hindu Rao Hospital
112
Landmark Cemetery: Lothian Road116
Old Mughal Gardens: Begum o Tis Hazari119
A Gate with a Past122
Qadam Shareef: Based on a Footprint123
Metcalfe House: The Matka Kothi126
The Saint who Disappeared131
Tower of Memories133
Tornado Graves134
Shalimar Bagh: Bibi Akbarabadi137
Majnu-Ka-Tila: A 500-year-old Shrine140
Jat Hero: Surajmal's Samadhi143
Index146
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