'Woh Dilli': Website, book explores historic walled city based on erstwhile map

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New Delhi, July 11 (PTI) In a heartfelt ode to Shahjahanabad, a meticulously crafted map-based web portal and book, exploring the life and landmarks of the walled city during the 17th and 18th centuries, were launched here in the national capital.

Titled "Woh Dilli : Memories of a City", the project -- brainchild of the Advanced Study Institute of Asia at SGT University and Sanrachna Foundation -- aims to bridge the past and present while offering a comprehensive view of the city's history, culture, and daily life.

Shahjahanabad, known for its majestic Red Fort and Jama Masjid, reached its zenith during the Mughal era. The project features models, illustrations, pictures, and stories, providing an immersive experience of the famed city's historical tapestry.

It was launched by former lieutenant governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, senior Hindi journalist Ram Bahadur Rai, historian Swapna Liddle and urban planner Shubam Mishra on Wednesday.

"This is a singularly brilliant effort to bring alive and keep alive memories of a living vibrant city. This is an ongoing process and I really hope that they'll be able to carry this message not only in Delhi but develop this concept much further, and carry it to other parts of India, and internationally.

"Because people in England and Europe must see our great culture. They need to see what we had, what we have today and which, unfortunately, we will ultimately destroy," said Jung.

Co-created by Mishra, who is also the curator of the project, the map based on an erstwhile hand-drawn map from the mid-19th century is a portal to the ancient world of Delhi.

The map serves as an interactive and educational platform, inviting people to explore and uncover the rich history, culture, and lives of the people who inhabited this vibrant city during the 1800s.

It creates a contrasting image between the present old Delhi and the Shahjahanabad, showcasing how despite going through the tests of the time, the city has managed to survive and make its presence felt even today.

Veteran lyricist Gulzar, on the occasion, shared nostalgic memories of Delhi, emphasising its rich history, vibrant people, and iconic landmarks.

"One can never forget the streets of Delhi, they always stay with you. Delhi is not just a city, it has its own character. It's a lot more than just buildings, it is etiquettes, idioms, and a lot more. If you bring Delhi's evenings and days here, (at the portal) this heritage will be safe," said the wordsmith in Hindi through a video message.

The copies of "Woh Dilli: Memories of a City", which can easily double up as a travel guide, will be soon available for purchase across the capital's metro stations. PTI MG RDS RDS

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