The ramparts of the Humayun Gate inside the Purana Qila came alive on Thursday evening with Ishq-e-Dilli, a close-to-real-life multimedia son-et-lumière with India’s first permanent projection art installation.
Vice-president Hamid Ansari inaugurated the sound and light show recreating the exciting story of creation, rise and collapse of the many cities of Delhi.
Conceived, financed and produced by the Ministry of Tourism, the show has been executed by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) at a cost of Rs 5 crore.
The narration begins with 11th century reign of Prithviraj Chauhan and continues through several cities of Delhi till the modern day version complete with NCR and arrival of Metro. The story is told through narration, with voiceovers by Mukesh Khanna and Himanshu Sabharwal, by a zarra (a speck of dust) that has been a witness to the phenomenon. The show with narration in both English and Hindi will be opened for visitors from next week. For adults, charges will be Rs80 per head, while children up to 12 years, students, physically challenged and senior citizens will have to pay Rs40 each.
“The special Christie 20K video projector creates real-life images as we have done for showing Humayun falling off the staircase or dancing women shown at the alcoves. The Humayun Gate alcoves, parapets and stairs have been digitally mapped for this,” said Sabharwal, who is also the visualiser-cum-artistic director of the show. Sources in the Archaeological Survey of India said the final script for the show was never approved. The story shows roughly about last 1,000 years of history of Delhi. Kathak is shown with background score comprising sarangi and modern remix music.
“Mahabharat with Pandava capital and related tale, comes abruptly while showing the seventh city. How can they show Mahabharat in medieval time?” said a source.
In defence, ITDC vice-president I Majumdar said, “There were several minor suggestions/changes. Every thing evolves with trial and balance. Moreover, this is a story of 10 cities of Delhi and not a chronological write up. The site of the present day Purana Qila hosted the seventh city and hence the mention of Mahabharat at that point in the narration.”