Books that take you on a walk around Delhi’s historic neighbourhoods

Historians speak of the many cities of Delhi; with the help of these books, you can discover them yourself
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Invisible City

by Rakhshanda Jalil

About the book:  A book about Delhi's secret and seldom-visited monuments.

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Where Stones Speak: Historical Trails in Mehrauli, the First City of Delhi

by Rana Safvi

About the book:  Mehrauli is the oldest of Delhi's seven cities. Once the thriving capital of the Tomar and Chauhan dynasties and the Dar ul Khilafat of the slave dynasty, today it lies forgotten. Its congested lanes and crumbling ruins are lost in a mishmash of history and modernity, the living and the dead rubbing shoulders with each other. Blending stirring Urdu couplets with haunting visuals, author Rana Safvi walks us through the oldest of Delhis, describing the religious diversity of Mehrauli's monuments: from the rocky Qila Rai Pithaura to the dargah of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, from Zafar Mahal, the last great monument built by the Mughals, to the holy waters of the Hauz e Shamsi; each structure a living memory of an era dissolved in history. Embellished with stories and legends of a bygone era, and soaked in the sights and sounds of Sufi dargahs, mosques, temples, churches, gurudwaras and Buddhist monasteries, Where Stones Speak effortlessly reveals a little known, bewitching Mehrauli.

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Delhi 14 : Historic walks

by Swapna Liddle

About the book:  Delhi: capital of India and a walker's paradise. This book shows you how, in 14 easy steps.

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Delhi 360°

by J P Losty

About the book:  "This publication features the panorama in detail, with 94 close-up photographs of the sites, an overview of the historical context, information on the patron and artist, as well as a section devoted to the inscriptions and commentary on each building fe

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Delhi

by Narayani Gupta,Laura Sykes

About the book:  First published in 1943, Percival Spear's Delhi: Its Monuments and History has long been recognized as one of the best guides to Delhi. Written in an engaging and wonderfully informal manner, Spear's guide, bringing alive the Delhi of the sultans and their ruined buildings, of tongas and lazy picnics, is a classic in its own right. Narayani Gupta and Laura Sykes revisited the places described by Spear and updated the original book, which was issued with annotations in 1994. The third edition includes a foreword by Narayani Gupta describing the changes that the city has undergone since. The book, apart from acting as an up-to-date field guide for those interested in exploring and rediscovering the city, will appeal to students and teachers of history and cultural studies.

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Old Delhi 10 Easy Walks

by Gaynor Barton

About the book:  The book is a ready reckoner for exploring the bewildering Old Delhi places with its crowded pavements, fragile rickshaws and noisy buzz of people and traffic.

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Delhi, a thousand years of building

by Lucy Peck

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Beato's Delhi

by Jim Masselos and Narayani Gupta

About the book:  Beato’s Delhi offers a pictorial history of Delhi, brought vividly to life through the visual virtuosity of Felice A. Beato, the famous nineteenth-century photographer who came to India to record the last embers of the 1857 ‘Mutiny’, and Jim Masselos who, in 1997, retraced Beato’s footsteps and photographed the same sites as far as possible. By the time Beato reached Delhi in January 1858, the British had already subdued the city, so he could not record the military campaign itself. However, his lens was perhaps the first to capture the battleground and other places of note in that campaign, providing for posterity some unique views of Old Delhi before substantial parts of it were demolished in the aftermath of 1857, or radically redeveloped as the years progressed. Beato’s luminous views are juxtaposed with Masselos’s present-day photographs of the bustling metropolis, shedding light on how the face of Delhi has transformed in the intervening 154 years. Supplemented with an illuminating text by Masselos and Narayani Gupta, Beato’s Delhi is a moving testament to the resilience of this ever-evolving city.

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