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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Delhiwale: Mehrauli’s aerial survey

Historical sight-seeing tour from a rooftop

delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2019 14:49 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
There are any number of multi-floor apartment complexes offering a panoramic view of Mehrauli.
There are any number of multi-floor apartment complexes offering a panoramic view of Mehrauli. (HT Photo )

It’s hard to imagine getting a better sense of Delhi than by viewing it from a high. And particularly, a panoramic view of a favoured neighbourhood like Mehrauli. Featuring countless ruins going back multiple centuries.

Now in theory, you’d want to view Mehrauli from the very top of the impressive 13th century Qutub Minar.

Sadly, it’s locked up.

But, there are any number of multi-floor apartment complexes offering views. Not everyone can access these private spaces, but here you are—on your way upstairs to this fifth storey roof and gazing down upon Mehrauli, all lush and green.

A clear view of the noted Mehrauli Archeological Complex reveals various monuments, though from this height they tend to look the same. Even so, each and every ruin, as a mishmash of stone walls and roofs, constitutes works of splendour unto themselves.

Overall, Mehrauli, you will discover here, is thick with thousands of trees, a kind of inner forest here in Delhi. But as you continue to gaze down upon the district, you’ll also spot vast mounds of garbage piled up into a hill. That is one of the places where Delhi dumps its refuse. The hill isn’t in Mehrauli though, but further beyond.

There’s also the overland metro train track, the silver grey coaches chugging to the Yellow Line’s Qutub Minar station after every few minutes.

And on the left is a kind of tower shooting up straight into the air, and looking so fragile that you fear a strong wind might topple it down.

That is the famous Qutub Minar.

The impressive panorama from this rooftop is complemented by the rooftop itself, as a kind of shrine to urban civilisation. It’s crammed with just about everything: from black water storage tanks, TV antennas, cats and dozens of flower pots lovingly tended to by the residents.

Mehrauli is a part of Delhi that’s older than Old Delhi. And standing on this roof, you see the best of the area’s present and past.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 14:49 IST

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