If you want to know how the city looked like about 100 years ago, there’s no need to search the internet. Instead, you can pay a visit to an exhibition of drawings to get a glance of colonial-era Delhi.
The sketches, done by artist Vikram Kalra, in the exhibition titled, From Red Fort to Raisina Hill, showcase the Mughal period, the British period from 1800 to 1911, and the important buildings around Raisina Hill.
"I have portrayed the transfer of power from the dusty lanes and bylanes of Shahjehanabad to Raisina Hill. My sketches of Chandni Chowk, buildings and cemeteries built by the British during the twilight phase of the Mughal rule, as well as those of the then Viceregal Lodge, bring to life an era gone by. It is a journey in time," says Kalra, who has done two Delhi-themed exhibitions earlier.
The sketches of historical buildings at the exhibition include the Residency building, Flagstaff tower, James Skinner’s haveli, Nicholsan’s cemetery, British Commander-in-Chief’s house (now called Teen Murty), Connaught Place, and Old Secretariat (now called the Vidhan Sabha).
"Even the Indian motifs, such as lotus and elephants, which were used by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in the President’s house as well as the north and south blocks, take pride of place in these sketches," says Kalra.
The artist, who is also a senior consultant at FDDI (Footwear Design and Development Institute), says that Delhi has been his passion since 1977. Talking about his next venture, he says, "I would call it my dream project and name it - a tale of two cities - Lahore and Shahjehanad."
Catch it live
What: Red Fort to Raisina Hill
When: December 10-15
Where: Foyer, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
Nearest Metro Station: Khan Market on the Yellow Line