Home Sweet Home – Rooftop Views, Mehrauli
The story of a home.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It’s hard to imagine getting a better sense of Delhi than by viewing it from on high. And particularly a panoramic view of a favoured neighbourhood like Mehrauli. Featuring countless ruins going back multiple centuries in time.
Now: In theory you’d want to view Mehrauli from the very top of the impressive 13th Century Qutub Minar tower.
Sadly, it’s locked up.
But there are any number of multi-floor apartment complexes offering views. Not everyone can access these private spaces but here you are—on your way upstairs to this 5th story roof and gaze down upon Mehrauli, all lushly green.
A clear view of the noted Mehrauli Archeological Complex reveals various monuments, though from this height they tend to look the same.
Even so. Each and every ruin, as a mishmash of stone walls and roofs, constitute works of splendour unto themselves.
Overall, Mehrauli, you will discover here, is thick with thousands of trees, a kind of inner forest here in Delhi. But as you continue to gaze down upon the district you’ll also spot vast mounds of garbage piled up into a hill. That is is one of the places where Delhi dumps its refuse. The hill isn’t in Mehruali though, but further beyond.
There’s also the overland metro train track, the silver grey coaches chugging to the Yellow Line’s Qutub Minar station after every few minutes.
And on the left is a kind of tower shooting up straight into the air, and looking so fragile that you fear a strong wind might topple it down.
It is the famous Qutub Minar.
The impressive panorama from this rooftop is complemented by the rooftop itself, as a kind of shrine to urban civilization. It’s crammed with just about everything: from black water storage tanks, TV antennas, cats and dozens of flower pots lovingly tended by the residents.
Mehrauli is a part of Delhi that’s older than Old Delhi. And standing on this roof, you see the best of the area’s present and past.
The privacy of an aerial survey