Summer hoilday at Lansdowne

Lansdowne is primarily a cantonment town. It houses the command office of the Garhwal Rifles. Originally known as Kaludanda, after kalun (black) and danda (hill) from the Garhwali language, Lansdowne was founded and named after the then viceroy, Lord Lansdowne, in a supreme act of vanity in 1887 – the viceroy presided over the fate of India from 1888 to 1894. The town was developed by the British to cater to new recruits of the Garhwal Rifles. More than half of the hill station is still made up of the cantonment area with British- era Army quarters and offices dotting the streets and corners. The cantonment’s presence has saved Lansdowne from being spoilt by unbridled development.

Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Sunset in Landsdown

Sunset in Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Lansdowne is about six hours and a half by car from Delhi (it is 245km away). Plan your journey in such a way that you complete it before sunset, so that you can catch glimpses of some of the most beautiful locations on your way to the quaint little town. The quality of the road is pretty good too – the entire stretch from Delhi to Lansdowne is covered by national highway (NH- 58 and NH- 119), but don’t expect a smooth flow and room for manoeuverability (it becomes a two- lane highway from Meerut) as on the Jaipur and Agra highways.

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Unknown facts about Delhi city – Part1

Age old baolis

Visiting back in time, several magnificent age old Step well (baolis)  are still visible  in Delhi. The history of Delhi, its rise & fall, victories and defeat would remain incomplete without the presence of these baolis.

Rajon Ki Baoli

Rajon Ki Baoli

Agrasen ki Baoli

Located midst of busy marketplace of Connaught place surrounded by office towers and shopping malls, the Agrasen ki Baoli, named after Raja Agrasen of the Mahabharata, is believed to have been built during the 10th century BC. But historians feel that the Baoli was built in the 14th century AD by the Agarwal community. The well was surrounded by cool corridors where the locals lounged on hot summer afternoons

Agrasen ki Baoli: Located off Hailey Road. Nearest metro station:  Barakhamba Road.

Hazrat Nizamuddin ki Baoli

Dedicated to the legendary Sufi saint who made generous use of this water tank, it lay in ruins and was all but forgotten till the year 2009. The Delhi administration in consultation with the Dargah officials undertook a massive cleanup exercise and repaired the crumbling edifices of the Baoli. This drive exposed the blocked passage and underground springs which had been choked with garbage and filth. Today this is one of the few remaining baolis which despite its 800+ years of history has an active underground spring. You can find it next to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah.

Hazrat Nizamuddin ki Baoli : Nizamuddin West, New Delhi-13

Rajon Ki Baoli

The Rajon ki Baoli, deriving its name from the word masons is a 3 story step well, that has made its own niche among various monuments, as a relic of the last pre-Mughal dynasty, the Lodhis.. It is believed to have been built by Daulat Khan during the time of Sikander Lodhi. The first impression you get of this baoli is of a medieval courtyard surrounded by many-pillared verandahs, arches done in a stylized fashion.

Rajon Ki Baoli : Mehruli Archelogial Park,  Mehrauli, New Delhi-30 ,  Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Gandhak ki Baoli

Currently used by neighborhood, the Gandhak ki Baoli was built by Iltutmish for Bakhtiar Kaki (a Sufi mystic responsible for establishing the Sufi order in Delhi). The Gandhak ki Baoli got its name from the smelly sulphur springs that fed the well. It is located at one edge of the vast Mehrauli Archaeological Park and remains a trailer to the ruins of a settlement that had developed in the 16th & 17th Century.

Gandhak ki Baoli :  Mehrauli, New Delhi-30 , Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Anangtal Baoli

Located in Mehrauli, on record it is the oldest existing baoli in Delhi, dating back to the 10th century. It was built by the Rajput King Anang Pal II of the Tomar Dynasty. Legend has it that the king commissioned the construction of many such baolis, big and small, all over his kingdom, at the behest of his favourite courtesan whose family of meagre means died of thirst and impoverishment.

Anangtal Baoli : Near Jogmaya Temple, Mehrauli, New Delhi-30,  Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Tughlaqabad Fort Baolis

Out of the 13 Baolis which were constructed in the 14th century on the order of Ghazi Malik, only 2 survive in the fort. The remaining baolis have died in the human made smoke, some ruins still lie in the background of the rural villages but it is strictly prohibited for the locals. In the current scenario, the existing two baolis are situated on either side of the fort – at the east or west side.

Tughlaqabad Fort Baolis : Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi-19, ,  Nearest Metro Station :Tughlaqabad

Lal Qila Baoli

This opulent baoli dating back to the Mughal period witnessed a lot of havoc until it was restored by the ASI. It is quite a unique structure made of Delhi Quartzite with perpendicular staircases from two sides, lined with chambers at the intersection of which lies a pit, attached to the well. The water was fresh and clean and there were fish inside it.

Lal Qila Baoli :  Red Fort Complex, Netaji Subhash Road, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi-06, Nearest Metro Station : Chandni Chowk

Hauz Khas Village, Delhi

Hauz Khas Village is a glamorous village with Pubs, Night clubs , Narrow colorful streets and street arts all around. The ambience of this place is simply amazing with narrow streets, graffiti walls, crowded with foreigners, cafes and lounges, numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques, restaurants, antique shops added to the beauty of the place. A variety of food options ranging from the street foods (rolls, momos, pani puri) to traditional South Indian and North Indian and continental food are available here.
Apart from the cafe’s lane you have hauz khas lake to see, which is very fascinating lake amidst surrounding greenery. The water tank (Hauz Khas Lake) was excavated during Alauddin Khilji‘s reign (1296–1316) in the second city of Delhi to meet the water supply needs of the newly built fort at Siri. Now the tank size has substantially reduced due to encroachment and siltation but is well maintained in its present state.
Hauz khas village also houses an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. It was part of Siri, the second medieval city of India of the Delhi Sultanate of Allauddin Khilji Dynasty (1296–1316).

Picture journey through the street of Hauz Khas :

Tomb of Feroz Shah

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Hauz Khas Lake

View of Lake from the tomb


Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas