Giraj's Blogs

Revamping Lutyens Delhi and Glorifying Tuglaqs

The economists may be going hoarse shouting that India is in the grip of a economic slowdown (which anyways our government denies vehemently) – the powers that be have different priorities and have their own agenda. Recently, the government at the center has mooted the idea of revamping Lutyens Delhi. This blogger learnt from resources that some may classify as ‘highly unreliable’ that the ghosts of Lord Mountbatten, Lutyens and Baker have been interfering with the working of the Government (wasn’t it supposed to be Nehru’s ghost?). It is likely that other than the ghosts stories another reason could be that the new structures, besides bringing in good luck, may just accelerate the economy. And if that happens, the Ola-Uber drivers can be exculpated of the guilt heaved on them by our JNU-bred Finance Minister (it’s not without reason that the current dispensation looks at JNU suspiciously!). Just the other day my Ola-driver let go of 7 bucks of a bill of Rs 657 out of sheer empathy and, smiling, he drove off  with a lighter heart.

Having abolished the Planning Commission (replaced by an even bigger dud – Niti Aayog) it was felt that more is required to shake up the bureaucracy – so this government  proposes to retro-fit South-North Blocks and raze down buildings such as Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan (No Building, No Cry is how Bob Marley would sing). “Blasphemous!” – that’s how Dilliwalahs may react especially since Lutyens Delhi was to get UNESCO World Heritage City tag but that’s another story. The Central Government withdrew that application much to the heartburn of the people and government in Delhi. Perhaps it was a price Dilliwalahs paid for giving 67 seats to AAP! Or, more scandalously, was it to scuttle criticism and circumvent objections over the construction of Garvi Gujarat Bhawan at Akbar Road in Lutyens Delhi?

While Lutyens-Baker structures may be out of favour, a thirteenth century wonder – the Qutab Minar complex has been restored and lit up. The complex is now open to public till 10 pm and offers a great sight for people driving around the area as also the privileged ones whose flights take that path in the evenings. So one wonders what’s so special about the Tuglaqs ( it took three of them to built the minaret!) that Lutyens lacked? Is it that Khan Market is nestled right in the center of Lutyens Delhi with its famed Khan Market Gang conspiring against that temporary resident of Lok Kalyan Marg? Anyone?!

StateOfDelhi Suggests: Drive up the Sri Aurobindo Marg towards Race Course Club and just after the flyover is this wonderful seventeenth century structure – Safdarjung Tomb. Get in here by paying a measly Rs 25 and you are in for a pleasant surprise. The structure with its manicured lawns and water bodies is enchanting. There is adequate parking outside and since the Tomb too has been lit one can gain access till as late as 9.00 pm. This eighteenth century structure is arguably, the last monumental tomb garden of the Mughals – who allowed it to be constructed as a mausoleum for the ruler of Oudh.  Safdarjung was, incidentally, also referred to as Prime Minister of Hindoostan. Some coincidence that 7, Lok Kalyan Marg is a stone’s throw from here!






  1. While the politics of AAP continues, it will be a treat to see sardar Jung tomb and Qutab minar in the evening

  2. Safdarjung not sardar Jung- sorry

  3. So one wonders what’s so special about the Tuglaqs ( it took three of them to built the minaret!) that Lutyens lacked? Needs to be looked at factually.

  4. It’s so damn true Giraj, and love the way you put things in perspective. Keep up the good creative work! And, I being regular visitor of the magnificent and recently renovated Safdurjung, will urge the readers to visit this elegant n peaceful wonder

  5. Delhi needs to take care of its historical treasure more seriously. Great that Safdarjung and Qutub have been getting some attention. But I was rather disappointed at the Humayun Tomb. The restoration is limited to the gardens and features in it. The main structures have not been restored yet. I know that is a big job. Meanwhile, if there is no love for Lutyens but love for Mughals and Sultans, does one read a shift in the thinking of the ruling dispensation?

  6. What is the purpose of all this bakwas construction. To waste more public money and enrich the ministers personal wealth. Is this our priority guys while millions die without food and basic common amenities like water, electricity, schools, hospitals, hygenic facilities, roads and other infra is lacking?.

  7. bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

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