Purani Dilli, the heart of our capital is quite famous worldwide. Everything from its street food to colored streets reflects back a feeling of mixed culture going together side by side in harmony. Every wall speaks its own story; each building seems to keep long old secrets. We all have atleast heard about this place or visited it, while its up there on various movies, its stories are shared worldwide, the food there is amazing and the city has its own tale of achievements, you will be shocked to know how less have you known about this city’s legendary tales and facts.
It was founded by Shahjahan
While we all sing the songs of Taj Mahal, the symbol of love that was created by Shahjahan to showcase how much he loved his wife Mumtaz Mahal. You’ll be shocked to know that it’s not the only wonder he created. Among various establishments by him, there was one that most of us never bothered to find out. The Mughal Emperor found this very great city Old Delhi named as Shahjahanabad back then in 1689. It remained the capital of Mughals until the end of Mughal dynasty. Well, that didn’t come out as a shock, did it? The city still stands strong like ever even today.
The Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is India’s largest Masjid
Reports say that around 5000 workers worked together to create this great monument that adds beautifully to the city’s skyline and it consumed an estimated cost of over 1 Million Indian Rupee. Besides that, Purani Dilli is also known to have astonishing pieces of architecture that include Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Ashoka pillar, a pillar made up of iron that is resistant to rust.
Chandni Chowk was especially designed by the emperor’s daughter
Chandni Chowk in old Delhi is quite famous for its lip smacking street food. The market is always crowded. It’s said that Chandni Chowk was divided by canals to reflect moonlight, which are closed now. While just like the city was built by Shahjahan, this market was too. Chandni Chowk was specially designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, who was reported to be his favorite daughter. Even to this day, city flaunts a mix of various cultures and building dated back to many years, still reflecting the architecture based in that time making the whole place look marvelous and magical.
Shahjahanabad is the biggest wholesale market in India
In these historic streets, transactions worth thousands of crores take place every day. May be this is why the saying came; Old is Gold.
Chawri Bazaar is reported to be Asia’s largest sanitary ware market
It also is a huge crowd of small shops which sell almost everything. This place is like a magic bag that can provide you all the essentials in the form of live running busy market streets. The first wholesale market that was opened in Old Delhi was The Chawri Bazaar as a hardware market in 1840; Khari Baoli was opened then in 1850 after that, a wholesale market of dry fruits, herbs and spices.
NayaBaans is the world’s only mandi for betel leaves
Yes the market holds the honor of being the only mandi for betel leaves. Not only this due its distinct identity it finds a ready export market in Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and the U K.
The place was literally shaped like a quarter circle
Old Delhi was surrounded by a wall that was more than six kilometers long, originally made up of mud and then replaced red stones. The wall had 14 gates. Though most of it is in the ruins now, some gates still stand strong up high. In addition to those 14 gates, there were also 16 wicket gates, or khirkias (as they are called in Urdu).The city wasn’t limited to the area that was closet by the walls and gates. It was only the hub. Most of the population resided in the suburbs. The city was reported to be spread well beyond the Kashmiri and Akbarbadi gates. One of the most important suburban colonies was Paharganj, located outside Ajmeri Gate.
After coming across all these points, there is no doubt left in my mind about the songs and praises I heard regarding our beloved Purani Dilli. You have it all here. The culture and the heritage, tempting cuisines and delicious aroma of food that can’t be ignored, chat to special Mughlai food. Non veg to Jain dishes without even onions. It’s a perfect mix of different cultures and a shining example of unique diversity that our country hosts. The old mysterious walls and buildings just leave you surprised and amazed. The colors stimulate your brain senses. All those well celebrated old monuments, largest brick ‘Imarat’ to non-rusting iron pillar. A magical market that provides you possibly everything and anything you may ever need. Little tangled up crowded street and the chitter chatter of people around you, that’s how lively and festive you will feel when you step into this amazing place.