STUDY OF HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD OF NEW
DARYAGANJ
THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW DELHI

FILLING IN THE GAPS :WORLD HERITAGE
...
Introduction
This paper is being presented
for session 4, focusing on the
historic urban landscape of
the 20th century Ind...
This paper attempts to trace the significance of this area
in the history of the city and its present day role in the
urba...
Location plan

Its proximity to two very prominent monuments necessitates this, Otherwise in the years to
come the larger ...
View of the fort and its environs in , the neighborhood of Daryaganj with the
Yamuna flowing against the city walls is vis...
Scheduling of this precinct as a heritage area falls in line with the article
1.3 of ISC 20C Madrid document which clearly...
It is essential to appreciate the cultural significance of Daryaganj and the nature
of transformations impacting its cultu...
Significance
The literal meaning of Daryaganj is `the mart by the river’. When Mughal Emperor Shahjahan
established his ne...
The main street connecting the Delhi darwaza of the palace with Delhi gate of the city
wall which almost constitutes the p...
Some of the important buildings in the area were: the dak bungalow the Akbarabadi Mosque, the
Ghata maszid and the Sunheri...
Sunehri Masjid:
This small mosque stands near the Delhi gate of Red Fort. It was constructed in 1751 during the
reign of t...
1857- 1947
The mutiny of 1857 had a drastic effect on Daryaganj, it was here that the largest Christian
population resided...
There was yet another demographic shift in Daryaganj. It glimpsed its former glory, being
patronized by the rich and famou...
The Modern school Delhi was established in house no 23, Daryaganj and operated from there for
13 years while its present b...
Another landmark building was the Dr shroff eye hospital. It was started by Dr. S. P.
Shroff, the first Indian ‘Fellow’ at...
As the capital of New Delhi was being built , Daryaganj along with Paharganj were only
two buffer areas between the new ci...
1947- Present
‘In 1947, after independence and partition of India, Delhi witnessed one of the largest immigration of
peopl...
The influx of immigrants created newer area of interest, the immigrants brought with them winds of
change which demanded w...
Dr Shroffs eye hospital and the presence of some more important names in the field of medicine
gave it a reputation of bei...
The next phase of development in the city of
Delhi was the expanding of the city in all
directions gobbling up the green l...
This changed the use from being residential to
commercial. The erstwhile havelies and mansions
were converted to warehouse...
The way forward
To manage change in a historic area the most important aspect is awareness about significance. It
calls fo...
As a very first step we need to acknowledge the contribution of this area in the urban sprawl of the
city and spread this ...
Filling in the gaps historic percents of 20th century
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Filling in the gaps historic percents of 20th century

  1. 1. STUDY OF HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD OF NEW DARYAGANJ THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW DELHI FILLING IN THE GAPS :WORLD HERITAGE &THE 20TH CENTURY
  2. 2. Introduction This paper is being presented for session 4, focusing on the historic urban landscape of the 20th century Indian cities. The subject of this paper is the historic precinct of Daryaganj in the vicinity of Redfort a world heritage monument and Jamamasjid one of the largest Moslems in the world. It lies within the city of Shahjahnabad. This area has played a significant role in the history of city and yet is its importance as a historic precinct is most often neglected and more often is not even very well known, It has a pin code of New Delhi 110002 , in spite of falling within the old city walls!!
  3. 3. This paper attempts to trace the significance of this area in the history of the city and its present day role in the urban landscape of Delhi.  This area though a part of the walled city has always had an individual identity. There is an urgent need to understand and appreciate both the tangible and the intangible heritage of this area And focus on developing a conservation plan for this area, urban pressures and changing demographics are enthusing unrestricted and unplanned growth of this area, resulting in irreparable loss of historic details especially since now we are coveting the world heritage status for the city of Delhi.
  4. 4. Location plan Its proximity to two very prominent monuments necessitates this, Otherwise in the years to come the larger relevance to these monuments would be lost.
  5. 5. View of the fort and its environs in , the neighborhood of Daryaganj with the Yamuna flowing against the city walls is visible on the upper left corner .
  6. 6. Scheduling of this precinct as a heritage area falls in line with the article 1.3 of ISC 20C Madrid document which clearly states Identify and assess the setting and associated landscapes. To understand the contribution of context to the significance of a heritage site, its associated landscape and setting should be identified and assessed. For urban settlements, the different planning schemes and concepts relevant for each period and heritage site should be identified and their significance acknowledged. The article 1.4 further elaborate Proactively develop inventories of the architectural heritage of the twentieth century.The architectural heritage of the twentieth century needs to be proactively identified and assessed through systematic surveys and inventories, thorough research and studies by multidisciplinary teams, with protective conservation measures established by the responsible planning and heritage authorities. Rising land values, population pressures and increasing FAR’s in the master plans is resulting in rapid urbanization of the area and historic environment and thus a corresponding need for a broader consideration of social, economic and cultural issues in urban conservation processes. This area has always experienced change and therefore is a soft target for fragmentation and deterioration.
  7. 7. It is essential to appreciate the cultural significance of Daryaganj and the nature of transformations impacting its cultural, social and economic order. This paper ambitiously aims to highlight a suitable approach to prevent any further deterioration to the area and means of restoring it, its rightful place as the viaduct between the Old and New Delhi. A bridge of boats across the Jumna, or Yamuna River, as viewed from Delhi, circa 1858.
  8. 8. Significance The literal meaning of Daryaganj is `the mart by the river’. When Mughal Emperor Shahjahan established his new capital in Delhi, Daryaganj, just south of Red Fort was where much of the river’s traffic docked, loading and unloading grain and other produce that came via the river to feed the capital. Originally the river Yamuna flowed, along the eastern walls of the city connecting the fort and the Delhi gate. In the 17th century, this area was an important wholesale market. A number of prominent noblemen, such as the Nawab of Jhajjar, Nawab of Balabhgarh, Nawab of Kishenganj etc had also built palatial mansions in Daryaganj. It was in one of these mansions that William Faser the British resident to the Mughal court had dined on the day of his murder. Daryaganj was marked as the area between the fort and Delhi gate. On its one edge was the city wall running adjacent to Yamuna and on its other side was the road connecting the palace with Delhi darwaza. This was the second most important street of Shahjahanabad after Chandni Chowk
  9. 9. The main street connecting the Delhi darwaza of the palace with Delhi gate of the city wall which almost constitutes the present day netaji subhash marg, was the second most important street in the city of sahajhanabad after chandani chowk. The section up to midway from the fort was called the Urdu or the Military Bazaar; from the bazzar to Kotwali, or the Head Police Station of the city, was the Phul ka Mandi or the flower market. It was a tree lined avenue with a water canal in the center. By the 1700’s, Delhi had started losing its former glory due to a succession of weak-willed rulers and a series of disasters—the bloody invasion of Nadir Shah in 1739; the conquest of the city by the British. These developments also resulted in Daryaganj losing its prestige. The British settled in, making Daryaganj a cantonment. The Mortella Tower and the City Wall
  10. 10. Some of the important buildings in the area were: the dak bungalow the Akbarabadi Mosque, the Ghata maszid and the Sunheri maszid etc. During the course of time important government offices of the East India company were also established here, with the passing over of the crown to the East India company in 1803. There was a demographic change in Daryaganj and it became a Christian suburb. There were a number of houses along the city wall and were occupied by the Baptist minister, conductors, clerks and pensioners. Zeenat-ulMasajid: or ghata masjid Located near Ansari road built by Aurangeb’s daughter in Zeenat Begum in it is a smaller scale replica of the jamma masjid.
  11. 11. Sunehri Masjid: This small mosque stands near the Delhi gate of Red Fort. It was constructed in 1751 during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah. The persons responsible for its construction were Qudsia Begam, the mother of the emperor and the real power behind the throne; and her trusted courtier Javed Khan. This mosque was used mainly by the Mughal royal family, and after the suppression of the Revolt of 1857, passed into Army control
  12. 12. 1857- 1947 The mutiny of 1857 had a drastic effect on Daryaganj, it was here that the largest Christian population resided within the city walls and it was here that they were massacred. On return of power to the British they were as ruthless as the mutineers. The entire muslim population was displaced and their places of worship mutilated or razed to ground prominent among them was the Akbarabadi mosque, and others—such as the Sunehri Masjid ,and the Zeenat-ul-Masajid were confiscated by the British. The area continued to be a cantonment albeit with difference, the idyllic surroundings were however lost. The trees along the faiz bazzar were cut and the water canal filled up. The urban structure of Delhi went through a major change both in physical and social terms after 1857, the railways came in and with it there was an additional influx of people and goods to the city. This further increased the pressure on the urban land and infrastructure. The durbar of 1911 increased this manifold as then it was also declared that the capital of british India would shift to Delhi. The growing population was creating a demand for more habitable land. There were planned extensions on the western side of the city in the karol bagh area the patparganj area. The municipality of Delhi was trying to make more land available for the residential areas. It was around this time that the garrison and cantonment in Daryaganj were shifted to the ridge thus making available this very important land close to the city for civic development.
  13. 13. There was yet another demographic shift in Daryaganj. It glimpsed its former glory, being patronized by the rich and famous of the city. The new royalty the Rais, the rich merchant and business scions close to the British administrators had their properties in this new planned suburb. In 1915, Daryaganj north was developed for the residential plots while Daryaganj south was developed for schools and charities. Some of the prominent schools were : Anglo Sanskrit Senior secondary School with the objective of synthesizing Sanskrit pathshala culture with the English system of higher education. Anglo Sanskrit vidyalaya. Was established in 1869 in a haveli donated by Lala Chunamal near Katra Neel in Chandni Chowk, the school was a witness to history being created. There was a time when wearing a Gandhi topi was compulsory for students. It later shifted to its present location. It present building has an imposing façade with a neo classical colonial façade.
  14. 14. The Modern school Delhi was established in house no 23, Daryaganj and operated from there for 13 years while its present building was being constructed. It was started by Lala Raghubir singh in 1920, with the primary aim of providing quality education to the Indian children. An orphanage and children’s home and temple belonging to the jains was also constructed during this time. Original Modern school building
  15. 15. Another landmark building was the Dr shroff eye hospital. It was started by Dr. S. P. Shroff, the first Indian ‘Fellow’ at of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, U.K .He started Ophthalmological work in Delhi in 1926 making it the first hospital of its kind in India. The residential plots were also auctioned and taken up by prominent traders and businessmen The plots had a planned system with parallel streets and green areas in between them. Their layout was obviously influenced by the philosophies of Patrick Geddes who visited Delhi in 1914 and gave a report on planning of walled city as well
  16. 16. As the capital of New Delhi was being built , Daryaganj along with Paharganj were only two buffer areas between the new city, and older city, which was by then being called the “walled city” The netaji subash marg lined with buildings in neoclassical style was the continuous link between the old and the new delhi. The area continued to grow in a planned manner till 1947, when another major event brought drastic demographic changes in the area.
  17. 17. 1947- Present ‘In 1947, after independence and partition of India, Delhi witnessed one of the largest immigration of people in its history. Millions sought shelter in Delhi and its population was doubled in just months. There were some Muslim families as well who had left Delhi and gone to settle in the new state of Pakistan. The evacuee properties were given to the new immigrants. The demand for housing and rising values of urban land resulted in the big mansions being divided into smaller parcels of land for private development by individuals.
  18. 18. The influx of immigrants created newer area of interest, the immigrants brought with them winds of change which demanded which introduced newer concepts of urban entertainment. One of them was setting up of cinema halls in the city and one of the early ones was the Golcha cinema inaugurated in 1954.It was designed by W.M. Namjoshi in the art deco style. It represented a landmark in the development of urban and social ethos of the time. The urban elite from the walled city and surrounding areas came to Daryaganj for entertainment. Watching a movie in the movie hall and a dinner at Motimahal, one of the first commercial eateries in Delhi became elitist and became synonymous with social status.
  19. 19. Dr Shroffs eye hospital and the presence of some more important names in the field of medicine gave it a reputation of being a doctor’s area. At one point of time any doctor with a reasonable practice had to have his clinic in Daryaganj otherwise his practice was not considered worthy. It is evident even today with the great many stalwart of medicine having their clinics in this area. Till the late 1960’s this area was an elite suburb of Delhi having a professional and educated populace or the other section of society were the business families which had their works within a desirable distance in the chandani chowk area which continued to be the business hub of the city.
  20. 20. The next phase of development in the city of Delhi was the expanding of the city in all directions gobbling up the green lands to lay down yet newer colonies. The city infrastructure also expanded in terms of roads and transportation network. These expansions and rising facility of transport availability of cars and private vehicles fueled further growth of city. Now there was a steady movement of the populace from the old city to the newly established colonies. Increasing land values decreasing infrastructural support in the city center prompted this new development. This new trend was the single most reason responsible for the decline of the old city area.
  21. 21. This changed the use from being residential to commercial. The erstwhile havelies and mansions were converted to warehouses and offices. This change in land use further congested the area already facing huge urban pressure. It was onset of a cyclic process of deterioration and congestion one phenomenon feeding the other, resulting in a chaotic condition. The next few decades saw a slow and steady change in the land use pattern of Daryaganj. It changed from being a posh suburb of Delh to a convenient business location in the heart of city. More and more residential population was moving out vacating their properties to the highest bidder who were subdividing and parceling smaller units fit for the commercial use. The changing F.A.R values further added to the woes of the area, because the new regulations permitted an extra floor the old buildings were loaded with haphazardly constructed barsati floors.
  22. 22. The way forward To manage change in a historic area the most important aspect is awareness about significance. It calls for making aware more and more populace about our shared heritage. Awareness about the historic significance of the area among a wider audience shall generate more sympathizers. It is desirable to hold dialogue with the key audiences and stakeholders in the area and make them an active and willing participant the change. Before intervening the cultural significance shall be assessed, and all components defined and their relationship and setting understood.
  23. 23. As a very first step we need to acknowledge the contribution of this area in the urban sprawl of the city and spread this awareness on various public platforms. The local population needs to be involved in the conservation process. Apart from the protected monuments a further listing of buildings needs to be done to identify historic buildings which retain their architectural and cultural significance and lend the historic flavor to the neighborhood. These buildings need to be granted a protected status where any further construction to utilize the extra F.A.R. and construct an additional floor is negated. Instead the owner should be compensated for the lost F.A.R, and also given more incentives to conserve and preserve the historic properties. Once the process of change has been suitably managed, the land use pattern shall become comfortable and the land mafias shall be diverted from the area. There is also a need to bring back the cultural ethos of the area. Its central location should be used as an advantage and the entertainment areas that already exist need to be given a face lift. The connectivity of the area is increasing with the coming of metro to Daryaganj in the next phase, which shall add to the footfall. Heritage walks should be arranged which have the involvement of locals. There is an imperative need to highlight this area as it proximity to the world heritage site of red fort and Jamma masjid makes it imperative focus on the historic area of Daryaganj. Especially more so now as we covet the world heritage status for the city of Delhi.

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