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Delhi Dairies

Orchestra Pit: Naubat Khana

Naubat Khana or Naqqar Khana (meaning the drum house) in Red Fort built by Shahjahan inspires wide-eyed awe for unparalleled lavish grandeur. See for yourself a structure in glistening rose-red sandstone, lavishly glazed with coats of sparkling white shell-like plaster and profusely embossed with intricate floral representations, then visualize the last exquisite element that it used to be dexterously encrusted with an incredibly thin layer of glittering gold paint.

Naubat Khana a large three-storied rectangular building was technically Mughal’s gatehouse,a demarcation between the magnificent fortress palaces peripheries and its regal interior divisions. The gatehouse of Red Fort (Qila-i-Mu’alla) where all visitors except princes of royal blood, would dismount from their elephants and proceed further to the emperor’s majestic presence on foot. There are twin arcades of six lofty chambers on either side which housed royal guards and men attached with the regular routine of helping visiting notables alight from their vehicles and assemble their convoys.

Drummers would announce the arrival of princes and other esteemed dignitaries amidst a booming pronouncement of official honorifics and regal pretensions proclaimed by court attendants. Solemn music was played whenever the mighty sovereign arrived or was about to depart for a tour of his extensive territories. Five times a day tuneful compositions were rendered at propitious hour by bands of accomplished musicians. They were accommodated on the upper floor of the NaubatKhana.

Naubat Khana is divided into two halves the front painted white, sides in red. The white face is adorned with rectangular patterns and niches. While in the center is a huge arched entrance with the central niche and two small doorways leading to side chambers of the structure. The inside of this grand entrance is covered with colorful floral artwork.

After Shahjahan (reign AD 1627-57) the revenue collection dwindled, his son and successor Aurangzeb Alamgir (reign AD 1657-1707) had to content himself with living an impoverished life by sewing prayer caps and copying the holy Quran which he then sold. Court patronage of music was discontinued, the musicians were disbanded and NaubatKhana became in due course of time just an uncared-for gateway.

The gateway has witnessed not just the grandeur of an earlier reign but gruesome brutality. It was here that the emperors Jahandar Shah (reign AD 1712-13) and Farrukhsiyar (reign AD 1713-19) were murdered, the latter after having been first blinded. It was here that the mutineers prevailed on the destitute later Mughals to participate in the First War of Independence/Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. All this is today forgotten, remembered in just the literary records and modern historical documentation.
A staircase along the unpainted rear side leads to the first floor where is located the Indian War Memorial Museum, a fascinating collection, as the name suggests, of sparkling battle insignia, corrosion-stained weaponry, and numerous war-related technological breakthroughs, constituted to honor the Indian soldiers of the British army who gallantly fought in the two World Wars.

The first gallery displays medieval Indian weaponry including several sorts of curved swords, ivory-inlaid daggers, inscribed battle-axes and rust-tarnished soldiers’ armors. The second gallery exhibits modern armaments and ammunition – numerous revolvers, ferocious-looking machine guns, easily concealed pistols, golden glistening tank shells, cross section of bomb fuses, French grenades, entire sets of soldiers’ uniforms, various shoulder badges and ribbons indicating military rank and hierarchy, and original models of telegraphic receivers.

NaubatKhana at Red Fort, New Delhi even today fascinates visitors with its architectural opulence and the voluptuous flourishes of its decorative adornments.Visitors can visit between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm except Monday, by getting down at ChandaniChawk, the nearest metro station. The entry fee is Rs.10 for Indian citizens while Rs.150 for is foreigners. Rs.50 is charged for Sound and Light Show.

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Delhi Dairies

Himansh Kohli flying from Mumbai to Delhi! – May 2020

“I wanted to go home ever since the lockdown was announced, but I could not. I planned to travel via road but I wasn’t sure about the situation on the highway. But then I read that domestic flights were set to resume, and as soon as I got a notification that bookings were open, I booked my tickets.”- Himansh Kohli.

With the rules at the airport quite strict, the actor says this travel experience was quite different. “We were asked to follow social distancing while queuing up at the airport’s gate. They checked our temperature and verified our ID. We had to show our printed boarding pass and get luggage tags from home. They also asked us to show the ‘safe’ certificate on the Aarogya Setu app. Some passengers also got medical certificates from their doctor,” says Himansh, adding, “The airport itself was quite empty. People were wearing masks and gloves and carrying sanitisers with them. Since it was the first day of flights resuming, people looked a little scared.”

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The boarding process was also very different, says Himansh. “While earlier, passengers used to rush when boarding started and break the queue, now everyone was boarding and deboarding according to their row numbers,” he says, adding “Once inside the plane, everything looked just like before. However, there was no food provided; only a bottle of water. 

Himansh Kohli shares his story of flying from Mumbai to Delhi!

While lavatories were accessible, we were advised against using them. I had booked two seats for myself – the middle and window seats – to minimise contact with anyone. I felt lucky and fortunate that I reached Delhi safely. 

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Delhi Dairies

TV stars falling in love with Dilli Ki Sardi

Being a chilling capital of the country, Delhi ki Sardi has its own aura and excitement. The roasted peanuts, hot brews, bonfires, barbecues and snuggly colorful winter clothes are best what Delhi offers during winters. If you want to love at first sight with Dilli ki Sardi then there is no view like the dawn time here. We bet it’ll make your every morning a ‘Good Morning’. We have asked our favorite TV stars about their love for Delhi’s winter and their liberating experiences of the chill season. Have a look!
The very hot and talented Krrip Kapur Suri known for his role in Maharana Pratap, Sadda Haq, and Kalash, loves the cool breeze that flows during winters. He says, “I just love the breezy air of Delhi where the dust settles up with the dew in morning and one gets to wear warm clothes which give you a cozy feeling. I miss Connaught place and my chai-pakora fanatics with my friends.”

Better known for her role in Dil Mil Gayye, Muskan Mihani turns a food junky during winters. She says, “Foggy weather of Delhi doesn’t let anyone forget about the scenic view around you. During winters I become food hedonist. A cup of hot chocolate and boiled groundnuts is where I start my day. Winter feasts like Gajar Ka Halwa, Gajaak and Revadi are my favorite”.

Mrunal Jain, model turned actor and popular for his role in Nagarjuna, have a wanderlust for Dilli Ki Sardi. “I like to roam the streets of Connaught place. I still remember my experience during an event in Delhi where I witnessed the raging winter and Poha saved my life”.

Priyal Gor believes in staying home and enjoying winters wrapped under quilts. “ Delhi’s winter are my favorite because I can wrap myself in the quilts and enjoy hot chocolate. The cold breeze entering my room is enough of the chill I can have in winters. I can probably sleep whole day in bed like that. For the simmering sunny days, Connaught place makes the best hangout place in Delhi to catch up street food and hot chai”!

Navina Bole, “Delhi winters are always in talk every year. I love those warm jackets and stylish boots which I can’t slay in because Mumbai won’t let me. Delhi gives me a reason to enjoy the freezing winters and staying stylish and still do my favorite thing that is shopping in Dilli Haat, Sarojini Market, and Paharganj”.

Dheeraj Dhopar, “winter is my favorite season. Especially when the temperature drops this brings out my Chai-pakora love. Winter fashion is a bliss, you can put on comfy clothes and laze around all day. Mumbai doesn’t let us carry warm clothes so I always look forward to trips to Delhi during winters”.

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Delhi Dairies

Have a look at your favorite TV stars craving for Delhi’s street food

Delhi’s cuisine and crunches are known worldwide. From international cuisines to authentic Indian flavors, Delhi shall never disappoint your taste buds. The best part about Delhi’s food is the street food. India loves to keep savory snacks on the starter plates. Our favorite TV actors love Delhi’s street food to hamper their chaat cravings and satisfaction of spicy needs in most carefree and inexpensive ways. We also asked them about their favorite chaat corners and their experiences. Read on to know more!

Himmanshoo Malhotra: Delhi’s two place has always been on my list whenever I am I want to eat one is the Haldiram’s which has joints are all over India serves tasty Panipuri, Papdi chat and other is Bittoo
Tikki Wala which serve delicious aloo tikki, bhalla chat. The best part about their stores is that they prepare chaats in healthy cooking oils or olive oils which has no harm on your body.
Asmita Sood: I am a big time street food lover of Delhi as I have spent my college life and I have enjoyed street side momos, samosas, dahi bhalla, papdi chat. On my priority list was always parathe wali gali in Chandni Chowk, tandoori fish, and tandoori momos. Any college life is incomplete and worthless if you didn’t munched the street food.
Shardul Pandit: I am from Madhya Pradesh and paratha’s have always been my favorite so whenever I visit Delhi I look for paratha’s and Parathawali Galli- Chandni Chowk and chat at Connaught place is something I never fail to visit. I had almost every type of parantha there and couldn’t have much of it. Whenever I visit Delhi, I take a time to serve my cravings.

Jasmin Bhasin: I can never forget Delhi food because I have actually lived there for a year and half. Sometimes, I crave for Delhi street food a lot and I can never forget my most favorite aloo tikki at Bittoo Tikki Wala, you don’t have a place in Delhi that here the food is best everywhere you eat it’s the best whether it’s parathas, Maggie or whatever and I crave for it so much. I wish to get back there sooner.

 Ssudeep Sahir: Delhi street food is always the highlight of my trip whenever I visit here. It’s so hard to pick one. But I love the mutter-kulche and aloo tikkis there. Recently I have been introduced to tandoori momos which were finger licking delicious. I visit Lajpat Nagar often to kill all my cravings.

Dheeraj Dhoopar: People in Delhi have a real sense of taste & the talent to cook finger licking dishes. I don’t have any particular favorites but Delhi’s street food attracts me the most. From chole kulcha, tikki, chaats to kulfi and rabri faluda, I don’t have to worry which stall to go because all are so good.

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Delhi Dairies

When play “Amavas Se Amaltas” actors enjoyed an auto ride in Delhi!

Popular showbiz faces like Jayati Bhatia, Ssumier S Pasricha, Ankita Bhargava and Chitrashi Rawat were in the capital recently for a play ‘Amavas se Amaltas’. 20161127_174102Though they were very busy with the play, which was staged at the Epicentre in Gurgaon, but after the play, they took out some time to roam around and there they enjoyed their auto ride.

The TV producer duo Sudhir and Seema Sharma, who have produced many hits like Karol Bagh, Miley Jab Hum Tum and Na Bole Tum Na Hamne Kuch Kaha under their production house ‘Sunshine productions’ and it is their first theater venture with theatre veteran Smita Bharti with her banner Aganpakhee.

The play was appreciated by everyone as it also had dance sequences choreographed by Sandip Soparrkar that made it more engaging. Among the audience members, was former actress Meghna Kothari who is a dear friend of Jayati Bhatia.

All four actors didn’t get much time to plan an outing so they just randomly stepped on roads and enjoyed NCR to the fullest.

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