City Monument - Masjid Mubarak Begum, Chawri Bazar

City Monument – Masjid Mubarak Begum, Chawri Bazar

Like a wounded fairy tale. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is among Delhi’s most melancholic souvenirs. One of the domes no longer exists. The missing portion is wrapped in a blue tarpaulin, like a makeshift bandage on…

City Monument - Stranded Column, Chirag Delhi Village

City Monument – Stranded Column, Chirag Delhi Village

Littered past. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The pillar is slender, and swells up towards the top like a sonata soaring to a crescendo. It appears to be of red sandstone but the red has faded. You may…

City Monument - Nila Gumbad, Humayun Tomb Complex

City Monument – Nila Gumbad, Humayun Tomb Complex

The Humayun blue. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s 24 karat gold—the kalash , or the finial, at the top of the Humayun’s Tomb. The gilded metal glistens in sunshine. Just some steps away is a much smaller…

City Monument - Adam Khan's Tomb, Mehrauli

City Monument – Adam Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli

A hilltop memorial [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You want to lose yourself? Okay, come here then. This is Delhi’s only known Bhool Bhullaiya, a knotty labyrinth where one may easily get lost, as its thick walls enclose…

City Monument - Blue Mosque, Hauz Khas Enclave

City Monument – Blue Mosque, Hauz Khas Enclave

aka Neeli Masjid. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There’s the grand Blue Mosque in Istanbul, built centuries ago that commemorates an Ottoman Sultan. And then there’s the Blue Mosque in Delhi. It was built centuries ago too, but…

City Monument - Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

City Monument – Sabz Burj, Mathura Road

A ruin restored. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s not even cerulean. It actually is somewhere between turquoise and lapis. These tiles on the dome of the…

City Monument - Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

City Monument – Shadow Corridors, Fatehpuri Masjid

Dark side. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] These dark, shifting shapes are falling upon the walls and floor like arabesques. Every day they expand, contract, grow blurry and eventually disappear with the progress of hours. This interplay of…

City Monument - Sultanate Souvenirs, Around Town

City Monument – Sultanate Souvenirs, Around Town

Before the Mughals. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is baking in the hot sun — Ghiyas-ud-din Balban’s tomb in Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The roof has collapsed, so have parts of the stone wall. Like many Delhi monuments,…

City Monument - Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

City Monument – Chor Minar, Hauz Khas Enclave

Life of a ruin. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] History is intrusive, and always finds its way into our today. Sometimes that intrusion is barely perceptible, as the touch of a gentle breeze on the skin. Like the…

City Monument - Old Connaught Place Staircase, A Block, Inner Circle

City Monument – Old Connaught Place Staircase, A Block, Inner Circle

Finding lost time. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] A creaking wooden staircase going up one side of the hall, opening into a narrow attic, or the mezzanine floor. In the earlier landmarks of the colonial-era Connaught Place (CP)…