1518-Old Delhi – India

Old Delhi or Purani Dilli is a walled city of Delhi, India, founded as Shahjahanabad in 1638, when Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor at the time, decided to shift the Mughal capital from Agra. The construction of the city was completed in 1648, and it remained the capital of the Mughal Empire until its fall in 1857, when the British Raj took over a paramount power in India. It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.

After the fall of the Mughal Empire post 1857 revolt, the British Raj shifted the capital of British controlled territories in India to a less volatile city, Calcutta in Bengal, where it remained until 1911. After the announcement of the change, the British developed Lutyens’ Delhi (in modern New Delhi) just south-west of Shahjahanabad. At this point, the older city started being called Old Delhi, as New Delhi became the seat of national government. It was formally inaugurated as such in 1931 (stolen from the web).

Old Delhi in it’s dilapidated medieval style was one of my favorite stops we made. If we had had a little more time we would have returned to the walled city and explored more. Even in it’s wild state, we never felt unsafe at any time. But, I wouldn’t want to go there at night.

Outside the walled city is New Delhi where the streets are clean, condos and townhouses abound, modern office buildings are everywhere, and the traffic is unbelievable.

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This video was taken from a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi.

The old walled city of ancient Delhi.

The India Gate is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the
Gateway of India in Mumbai. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Everything is done by hand in Old Delhi.

We are in a rickshaw cruising through the narrow streets of Old Delhi.

And then there is this guy just standing in the middle of the road.