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Joining hands to preserve heritage

The 17th century red stone structure left a bunch of onlookers awestruck.The sheer beauty and proportion of Ghazi-ud-din ka madrasa set the tone for the heritage walk on Wednesday, reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Sep 30, 2009 23:55 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The 17th century red stone structure left a bunch of onlookers awestruck.

The sheer beauty and proportion of Ghazi-ud-din ka madrasa set the tone for the heritage walk on Wednesday.

Equally awe-inspiring was the intricately carved in marble Ghazi-ud-din’s majar, inside the Anglo Arabic School compound.

After Ajmeri Gate, the next turn was Chowk Shah Mubarak lane, with a over 200-year-old haveli (house) that originally belonged to a Kashmiri family. An open rectangular courtyard inside the main outer walls of the house gave a glimpse of the architectural style of a bygone era.

The purpose of the walk — conducted jointly by UNESCO-UN Habitat and Department of Urban Planning (School of Planning and Architecture) in association with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) — was to involve stakeholders and decision-makers in the revitalisation of this historical area. Thus MCD Deputy Commissioner (City Zone) Vijay Singh led the walk with Ballimaran councillor Renuka Gupta.

Marina Faetanini, UNESCO’s programme specialist, said: “If we do not intervene, these areas would be gone for ever. We are not interested in just buildings but in the living heritage… the way these people live, their lifestyle.”

A diverse group of urban planning professionals, academics and civil servants explored several galis (lanes) and kuchas (neighbourhoods) of the walled city. Kucha Patiram, the bastion of old havelis drew attention, especially of those from abroad. Rukin-Ud-Din Masjid, a nearly 300-year-old mosque with stone carvings, also drew admiration.

The almost two-and-half km sojourn ended at Town Hall, after crossing Chawdi Bazar and Nai Sadak.