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Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk

Swapna Liddle

Category

History, Travel

Format

Hardback

Price

$399.00 $360.00

In Stock

Excerpt

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$399.00 $360.00

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(Hardback | ISBN 9789386050670 | 196 pages+ b/w and colour illustrations | January 2017)

Summary

What we know today as Chandni Chowk was once a part of one of the greatest cities of the world—the imperial city established by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the seventeenth century, and named after him—Shahjahanabad. This is the story of how the city came to be established, its grandeur as the capital of an empire at its peak, and its important role in shaping the language and culture of North India. It is also the story of the many tribulations the city has seen—the invasion of Nadir Shah, the Revolt of 1857, Partition.

Today, Shahjahanabad has been subsumed under the gigantic sprawl of metropolitan Delhi. Yet it has an identity that is distinct. Popularly known as Chandni Chowk, its name conjures up romantic narrow streets, a variety of street food and exotic markets. For Shahjahanabad is still very much a living city, though the lives of the people inhabiting it have changed over the centuries. Dariba Kalan still has rows of flourishing jewellers’ shops; Begum Samru’s haveli is now Bhagirath Palace, a sprawling electronics market, and no visit to Chandni Chowk is complete without a meal at Karim’s, whose chefs use recipes handed down to them through the ages for their mouth-watering biriyani and kebabs.

Swapna Liddle draws upon a wide variety of sources, such as the accounts of Mughal court chroniclers, travellers’ memoirs, poetry, newspapers and government documents, to paint a vivid and dynamic panorama of the city from its inception to recent times.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

‘A wonderful and much-needed introduction to the history of the Old City of Delhi and a welcome addition to the literature on Shahjahanabad.’
—William Dalrymple

‘A fascinating stroll through the crowded lanes of Old Delhi, and down the centuries of its history, where intrigue, violence and romance wait at every corner. Essential reading for Delhi lovers, and for those in search of its mystery.’
—Navtej Sarna

‘A lively and easy read, enjoyable and accurate. This glorious and inglorious past of Shahjahanabad is brought to life by a historian with a light touch.’
—Gurcharan Das

‘It is the vivid description of how the city came to its existence, its grandeur as the capital of an empire at its peak, and its important role in helping to evolve the language and culture of North India’.
— Millennium Post

‘ “The book is a wonderful and much needed introduction to the history of the old city of Delhi and a welcome addition to the literature on Shahjahanabad”, said William Dalrymple’.
— Millennium Post

‘There is a bit of something for everyone, guaranteeing Chandni Chowk a diverse readership’.
—The Telegraph

Chandni Chowk makes for an absorbing read’.
— Deccan Herald

‘Swapna Liddle, whose love for history and Delhi was evident in her first book, Delhi: 14 Historic Walks, has drawn upon various sources—poetry, memoirs, newspaper reports and Mughal court documents—to narrate the poetic journey of a grand destination’.
—Outlook Traveler


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About the author

Swapna Liddle

Swapna Liddle’s love for the city of Delhi, and in particular Shahjahanabad, led her to write a PhD thesis on its cultural and intellectual life in the nineteenth century. Today she seeks to raise awareness about the city’s historic precincts, mainly through her work for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). […]

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