Shahjahanabad post 1857

, Hazrat-E-Dilli

Qila e Moalla or the Red Fort before 1857.
How many can spot the buildings  which no longer exist

From Carr Stephen’s book
Priyank Gupta a student of Archeology  in the Red Fort under the aegis of ASI says ” Yes Rana Mam. Excavation is showing a beautiful light on some structures found recently to the north of Naqqaar Khana. Anyone can visit. There are 52 structures reported missing inside Red Fort complex, Delhi Circle is going to retrieve some of them.”
80% of the Red Fort was destroyed in a fit of vengeance  by the British. It was only thanks to Lord Canning that we have whatever little remains.
The space around the Red Fort (which was occupied by British troops) was, cleared and many buildings demolished to give the British a clear view from the Fort.
A photograph by Beato in 1858.
The mosques of Delhi were seen as potential places for congregation (& therefore could breed and encourage sedition), so they became a target
Jama Masjid was in danger of being destroyed altogether but the idea was later shelved and British merely confiscated it. It was used to quarter their troops and was witness to parties instead of prayers.
It was returned for use as a nosque in 1862
However there were conditions attached. One condition was that Europeans could enter the mosque without having to remove their shoes.
The Zeenat-ul-Masajid (‘most beautiful of mosques’),made by Aurangzeb’s daughter is now known as the Ghata masjid, in Daryaganj bore the brunt of 1857.
This beautiful mosque was turned into a bakery
Fatehpuri Masjid was also confiscated, along with the rows of shops used for its maintenance and was sold to Lala Chunna Mal . It was returned in 1877 for its rightful use and alternative land given to Chuna Mal as compensation.
As the Muslims were seen as enemues of the British tjey were given 24 hours to vacate Shahjahanabad by them. In fact the Mutiny Memorial on the Ridge mentions this fact.
This was the start of the divide and rule policy of the British who wanted to prevent another coming together of Hindus and Muslims to fight under a common banber for a common cause to overtjrow a common enemy ,the British.
There was also division of the Indians into martial and non martial races.
A panorama of Delhi, taken from the Northern minaret of Jama Masjid which captures the buildings that were destroyed between 1858 and 1860

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