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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Mapping the past

Planned cities are all the rage these days. But planned cities are hardly a new phenomenon. Shahjahanabad is the only planned Mughal city extant largely in its original form

Srimoyee Bagchi Published 15.09.23, 10:29 AM

Book: Shahjahanabad: Mapping A Mughal City

Author: Swapna Liddle

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Published by: Roli

Price: Rs 2,495

Planned cities are all the rage these days. But planned cities are hardly a new phenomenon. Shahjahanabad is the only planned Mughal city extant largely in its original form. A splendidly detailed, hand-drawn map of this city from the collection of the British Library (dated 1846-47) is the basis of Swapna Liddle’s book, SHAHJAHANABAD: MAPPING A MUGHAL CITY (Roli, Rs 2,495).

Liddle has broken down the map into 13 zones to include such precincts as the Red Fort, which was known then as Qila-e-Moalla, Faiz Bazaar, known to us today as Dariyaganj, and important historical locations like the Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk.

Painstaking research has gone into overlaying the Mughal city with Delhi as we know it today and Liddle’s in-depth knowledge, both of history and the city, is apparent. The book is embellished with miniatures, paintings and a rare photograph curated by Pramod Kapoor and Sneha Pamneja. The large, pull-out replica of the original map which comes with the book is a stunning collector’s item.

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