Education is incomplete if it is only practiced inside closed classrooms. Any knowledge gained without practical experience can never be 100% enlightening. Having said that, being in Delhi, the national capital of India, which has its roots in a rich architectural heritage since the 12th century, we feel its mandatory to give our students an exposure to the wonderful architectural masterpieces of Old Delhi.
A combination or heritage and culture, a walk around the streets of Old Delhi is much more than just a casual outing. Believing in the concept of “learning through experience, our principal, Architect Anurag Roy organized a memorable “Heritage Walk” for the students through the captivating sights of the Old Delhi lanes.
With remarkable support by Architect Aishwarya Tipnis, who is also well known for being honoured by French Government for her excellence in the field of conservation architecture, we had an incredible understanding of the prehistoric sights from the interiors of “Chandni Chowk”. She can also be considered the ideal and most dependable guide for the students, because of her achievements of reinstating the “old trams” in the area of Chandni Chowk, while working under Architect Abhimanyu Dalal, as apart of the while being a part of the urban plan.
The walk was for around two hours of engaging and scholarly insights from the streets of Chandni Chowk, Delhi-6, the oldest and most important part of Old Delhi. With the fresh morning breeze, we started our journey for understanding the decades of architectural heritage at 7:30 am. Comprehending the complex concepts of ancient architecture requires free environment and free state of mind. Hence, the morning time was best suited for our “heritage Walk”.
Our mentor and guide Architect Aishwarya started this journey by giving us a brief introduction to the history of Chandni Chowk during the Mughal era and how it changed with time and changing reigns.This beautiful description took us on a knowledgeable and inspiring journey from the era of Pandavas to Ashoka, The Great and from the ruling era of Khalji to the Mughals.By now we were quite clear about the historical importance of Old Delhi in the architectural sector of India. Also, we were sure that the journey ahead would be much more interesting and enticing for the next two hours.
From various historical monuments that proudly display a royal era to the oldest houses holding decades of experience through the chipped walls and rugged look, every step on the streets of Delhi-6 enhanced our interest in the compelling facts about the architecture all around. We were able to cover almost every corner of that area and gather some unforgettable knowledge, and experience. Some of the most memorable architectural wonders we saw were The Red Fort, Begum Samru's palace, Jahanara's Serai, Gurudwara Seesh Ganjh, Kotwali Chowk, The Octagonal Shaped Pond (existed in the Mughal era), Town Hall, Fatehpuri Masjid, Asharfi Bazar and Nau Ghara. But this was not it. The journey was still on and there was yet a lot to discover.
We were able to explore some of the oldest temples of Delhi, which helped us understand the differences that have occurred in the designs of regional structures since ages. Maybe we are not born and brought up in that part of the city, but still, this two hours walk was able to rejuvenate our minds, body, and soul. The massive designs were enough to understand the royalty our ancestors possed and their rich sense of measurement and designing.
To make this walk even more memorable we took a turn towards the famous Paranthe Wali Gali, to have the meal of a lifetime. To be precise, how can you come to Chandni Chowk and not experience the famous delicacies localities offer here. While walking through the famous Masala Market, we were able to connect with the lifestyle of people living there and made our “Heritage Walk” a complete success.