History takes a back seat in corporate hub Gurugram

Activities that introduce people to a city’s history and culture are limited in Gurugram. Heritage activists said that unlike the national Capital, Gurugram was not a popular choice for heritage walks.
The historic Dilli Darwaza in Farrukhnagar has been turned into a small market now.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
The historic Dilli Darwaza in Farrukhnagar has been turned into a small market now.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 12, 2018 09:50 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Gurugram | BySadia Akhtar

Despite sharing its border with New Delhi, a city that is popularly identified by its monuments, Gurugram scores low on the heritage space. A conversation around the heritage and history of Gurugram is missing with little awareness among the people about the subject. Why does the city have little to boast of when it comes to history and heritage?

“All I know of this city is malls, wide roads, lofty homes and the overwhelming sense of being unsafe. There has never been any focus on the cultural aspect of the city, its history, its people, the cuisine or the monuments” said Shivanee Harshey, a New Delhi-based designer who visits Gurugram almost every weekend.

“It seems like just one big settlement of metropolitan corporate crowd, what else is there?” said Harshey.

She said the only heritage site she had heard of was The Pataudi Palace, the home of the former ruling Pataudi family, but wasn’t sure about its location and had neither visited it.

Photographer Aditya Arya, a long-time resident of the city, said that citizens lack “a sense of inquisitiveness” when it comes to history. Heritage of the city has taken a back seat with an overwhelming focus on pitching Gurugram as a smart city, said Arya.

“The pressure of urbanisation is huge. The city is not planning for the future. Where is the Gurugram culture and heritage? Is it confined to the malls, pubs and clubs? Doesn’t heritage constitute a part of the city?” asked Arya.

Activities that introduce people to a city’s history and culture are also limited in Gurugram. Walking tours or heritage walks which help people to understand the nuances of heritage sites are becoming a regular affair in most cities. Heritage activists, however, said that unlike the national Capital, Gurugram was not a popular choice for heritage walks.

Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, who conducts heritage walks in New Delhi, said most heritage sites in Gurugram are owned by private individuals who don’t allow access to the spaces for heritage tours. “I once chanced upon an old haveli near Sikanderpur and decided to explore. But I was soon chased away by the custodians,” he said.

Navin Piplani, a conservation architect, blames the local government for the absence of history and heritage in the social discourse.

“The heritage structures in the city are being utilised for commercial purposes. How will the public get to know about it? Let’s take the example of Kaman Sarai. It is an important piece of history. A printing press works from there today. People dismiss it thinking that it is a rundown structure. Opportunities are being lost every day,” said Piplani.

He added the government is not doing enough to raise awareness.

“The government needs to take steps to introduce people to the city’s heritage. People will not read books or magazines to know about it. Anyway, schools and college are not teaching local history. There is one standard curriculum which ensures that people don’t even know about their local heroes,” said Piplani.

K C Yadav, a historian, who has been living in the city since 1996, said it was a matter of time before the city wakes up to its heritage.

“It takes time to develop a sense of cultural and social ownership. One can build a house in a city but attachment to the place comes after a pretty long time. After three-four generations, people start owning the city. Efforts from the government can go a long way in making the heritage of the city appealing for locals as well as tourists,” said Yadav.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Monsoon turns Hauz Khas monument into an archipelago of stony islands.

    Delhiwale: Six shades of monsoon

    Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.

  • Under the orders of the Delhi High Court, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is in the process of restoring Neela Hauz, a large pond in south Delhi. By March 2013, it is scheduled to complete the work that involves removing weed and hyacinth infestation, dredging, planting local trees and shrubs and constructing walking tracks. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times)

    Forest dept investigates complaint of fresh encroachments in Southern Ridge

    In the complaint, Akash Vashishtha, who is an environmental activist and lawyer, said fresh constructions are being undertaken at these two locations, for which trees are being felled. The ecology of the southern ridge is deteriorating due to these encroachments, states the complaint.

  • Panipat additional superintendent of police (ASP) Vijay Singh said the arrest of Ashu (accused) helped them in solving three blind murder cases reported from three different locations.(Image for representational purpose)

    Panipat man kills three within 8 hours; arrested

    The accused, Ashu, a resident of Panipat’s Nara village, killed the victims, reportedly his friends, between 8pm and 4am and travelled around 60km from the first crime scene in Matlauda of Panipat to Titawi in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli. The victims are Sonu, 26, who was working with a private contractor in a cement factory, and his two friends -- Monu, 25, of Nara village and Rakesh, 27, of Bhalsi village.

  • The Delhi government has introduced several curriculum over the past few years.

    Delhi: Tools to help schools assess mindset curriculum impact

    The Delhi government introduced the Happiness curriculum in 2018, Entrepreneurship mindset curriculum in 2019 and the Deshbhakti curriculum last year with the aim of inculcating problem-solving approaches among students and making them more self-aware, self-confident and socially responsible.

  • Delhi LG Vinai Kumar Saxena.

    Delhi LG inspects drainage at flooding hot spots

    While the LG appreciated the work done at Indraprastha and Pul Prahladpur, he was displeased at the drainage system at Minto Bridge, flagging “technical flaws” in the drainage system and warned that engineers concerned “will be held responsible and strict action will be taken in the event of waterlogging at the site.”

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, July 04, 2022