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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

The Mughal-era Barapulla

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 03, 2012
First Published: 23:49 IST(3/11/2012) | Last Updated: 09:57 IST(4/11/2012)

For the car-loving Delhiites, ‘Barapulla’ evokes images of a smooth ride from the eastern areas across to New Delhi or south Delhi. But very few know what ‘Barapulla’ actually stands for.

A stone bridge parallel to the bridge on the way towards Nizamuddin railway station is hardly noticed by the commuters. Barapulla — still solid, but showing signs of deterioration — got its name from the 11 arches and 12 piers. Built in 1621-22 by Mihr Banu Agha, chief eunuch at Jahangir’s court, the almost four-lane wide road has several minars on each of the side walls.

It has become a local subzi mandi and scores of vendors squat on the bridge with their wares. “Earlier Barapulla was used to reach Nizamuddin station. The modern one came up about 30 years ago. The subzi mandi started on the bridge much later,” said SL Sabarwal, 80, who has been staying in the neighbourhood for 60 years.

No doubt the setting has changed, especially during last two decades. Parallel to the Barapulla is its modern counterpart taking people and vehicles to Nizamuddin railway station’s main entry side. Almost perpendicular to it, but running several metres above it, is the elevated road,  which has hijacked the original’s name.

And few metres to the north of it is the latest addition, the road under-bridge connecting Nizamuddin to Sarai Kale Khan.

Farhad Suri, former Mayor and municipal councilor from Nizamuddin, said: “Unfortunately, because of urbanisation, it seems to have lost significance.”

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