On this walk, we go through the streets of Old Delhi, not only to learn about its rich history but also to focus on the stories of a few remarkable women who dared to challenge the norms during the Mughal Era.
The streets that we will walk through had once impressed the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan enough to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi.
Our first stop is the Red Fort. An interesting fact about the Red Fort is that at one point of time, the famous Peacock Throne, studded with rubies, emeralds, pearls and diamonds stood here, in Diwan- i- Khas. The Peacock Throne was also studded with the world’s largest diamond- The Kohinoor.
The story of Nadir Shah, a Persian King, who invaded Delhi, looted its markets, killed its people and watched it all from the top of Sunehri Masjid. The story of intelligent Jahan Ara, the favorite daughter of Shah Jahan, and her successful efforts in creating the largest wholesale market in Asia. This market sells almost everything now. These are few of the stories that we want to tell you through this walk.
Moreover, we talk about the famous Town Hall that was originally designed as a rest house for the Persian and Uzbek merchants by Princess Jahan Ara. We also discuss the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, which shows the changing attitude of the British Monarchs towards Indians.
An interesting character that we discuss is Begum Samru, a nautch girl from Kashmir. She stole the heart of an Austrian mercenary chief who fought in fierce battles and won them. Begam Samru had received a palace as a gift from the Mughals. However, it was forcefully taken from her by the British after the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ was passed.
We cover the markets, some of which date back to as early as the 17th century.
Last but not the least, we stop at a Mosque which was commissioned by one of Shah Jahan’s wives, Fatehpuri Begum, princess of Fatehpur Sikri. The mosque is surrounded by a market, which was also set up by her and is considered to be one of the largest wholesale dairy markets in the city.
Meeting Point: goStops Hostel, Delhi
Distance Covered: 3.7km
Duration: 3 hours
Scheduled for days: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Price: Rs. 299 (Resident)
Rs. 599 (Non-Resident)
(Including transportation, guide fee and tea)
What to carry: Water Bottles
Comfortable walking shoes
How to get there:
Nearest metro station- Delhi Gate Metro Station on the Violet Line
Nearest bus stop- Delhi Gate Bus Station