R K Puram Heritage Trail

Like me, if live in Delhi, you would have passed Rama Krishna Puram (R K Puram), a million times, and I bet, you did not know that there are a few Heritage buildings of Lodhi era hidden inside the R K Puram? So last Sunday, we decided to explore them with our resident expert, Vikramjit Singh Rooprai.

Our first stop was, Wazirpur Gumbad, in Sector 5 , right behind the Gurudwara.  Not much is known about this monument, like why it was built and who actually built it?, except that it was built during the Lodhi period.

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Baoli, Wazirpur Gumbad.
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Wazirpur Gumbad.
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The mosque.

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It however has a Baoli (step well), a well and five structures, tombs which are quite similar in built but are of different sizes, one is large and while the others are smaller in comparison.  The main tomb had two graves inside, with signs of a third one in the centre but the actual grave is missing.

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It appears that the locals pray here as we could find signs of offerings made, flowers, incense, earthen oil lamps and sweets.

Initially this was part of the Munirka Village but somewhere during Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s stint as a Prime Minister, the name of this place was changed to R K Puram, although not much is available in ASI’s records.

Our next stop was Munda Gumbad, but unfortunately we could not go inside the complex as the main gate was locked and the Guard on duty was missing.

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Munda Gumbad.

I really do not understand why this monument was under Delhi Government’s control whilst the other two were under ASI, but then who am I, just an ordinary citizen.

So instead of waiting for him, we proceeded to our final stop Biran Ka Gumbad. Again not much is known about it except that it was built by one Bijri Khan, a nobleman during Lodhi era. It is built on a raised platform and the structure is square in shape with a tomb on top.

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Birji Khan’s tomb.
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Birji Khan’s tomb.

Before these monuments are lost of us due to neglect and mindless restoration, it is a good idea to visit them in the near future.

 

Cloudy with a chance of Chaat in the evening

Right from the morning, Saturday was a bit cloudy. The weatherman had predicted continuous rain though out the day, but somehow the weather Gods slipped and it did not rain in Gurgaon though it remained cloudy.

In the afternoon one of my friends invited me to join a Food Walk in Old Gurgaon. I was eager to go but was worried about water logging, if it rains? I was told by my friend, don’t worry, we will include a stop at the local Pakorewallah (some rain management).

So finally seven of us, with the youngest being 11 years set out on a Food Walk. As we entered Sadar Bazar, we realised that it was brimming with more people than it is on a weekend, due to Rakshabandhan plus a 3 day weekend with Independence Day. Further spice was added by an ISKCON yatra in the old city.

Our first stop was, D K Chaat Bhandar, right under the big Hanuman murti. We asked for Aloo tikkis, which they serve with a generous helping of Saunth, green chutney, and masala. Crushed papdi are sprinkled over the tikki and garnished with curd. I asked mine to be made extra crisp, with no dahi on my tikkis. The tikki wasn’t phenomenal but had a unique taste to it, may be because of crushed Papdi and the masala. This was followed by around of Golgappas, though I did not join the gang.

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D K Chat Bhandar
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Aloo tikkis on the hot stove.
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Aloo tikki
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Sardar Jalebi walla
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Jalebis soaked in sugar syrup.

Next stop was Sardar Jalebi wallah. This shop has been in Gurgaon for the last 66 years, since 1950 to be exact. The shop is gloomy to say the least with only a few white wash coats since opening, but who is complaining. Sardarji continues to dig hot and piping Jalebis from his kadhai, for the ever hungry people who surround him.

After the sweet Jalebis, came the famous Samosas from Kishu di Hatti or KDH as Gurgaonwalas popularly refer to it. Being a weekend he had run out of chole so we had to do with meethi chutney and dahi over our Samosas.

The last stop was Mangle di kulfi. Though he now offers many flavours of ice creams too but I stuck to the good old Kesar Pista Kulfi. The ISKCON yatra had thrown the city traffic in a total mess, so we had to get out of the old city and miss Panditji’s Pao Bhaji.

Some other time perhaps.

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KDH, Kishu di hatti
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Samosas
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Mangla di kulfi