DELHI'S IMPERIAL CAPITAL CITIES NOMINATION TO UNESCO'S LIST OF WORLD HERITAGE CITIES
Delhi's Imperial Capital Cities’ comprising of the two imperial capital cities of
Shahjahanabad and New Delhi were proposed for nomination to UNESCO’s List of World
Heritage Cities in June 2015, the only nomination submitted to UNESCO by India this year.
INTACH Delhi Chapter was given the responsibility for producing the dossier, a task that
was undertaken very thoroughly and kept us busy for the last few years. A decision was to be
taken at the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee Meeting, held in Bonn, Germany
from 28 June - 8 July 2015. To the complete surprise of the Government of the National
Capital Territory of Delhi, it appears that the nomination was withdrawn by the Ministry of
External Affairs, Government of India without consulting the State Government. A Note on
the UNESCO website simply stated that the ‘Nomination was withdrawn at the request of the
State Party’. A further corrigendum dated 22nd May 2015 on the UNESCO Website stated
that ‘The nomination of Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities, India, has been postponed for
consideration of the World Heritage Committee to a later date.’ The Government of the
National Capital Territory of Delhi has not been able to get any response from the
Government of India as to why the nomination was withdrawn.
CONSERVATION AND ILLUMINATION OF MONUMENTS IN DELHI
The Department of Archaeology and the Delhi Chapter, INTACH, signed a memorandum of
understanding on 29th October 2008 for the protection and conservation of 92 monuments in
Delhi. The 92 monuments are part of the list of 250 monuments prepared by the Department
of Archaeology. Another memorandum of understanding has been signed on December 2012
for the protection and conservation of 155 monuments, which are part of the list of 250
monuments, apart from the 92 monuments for which conservation statements were made in
2009. As per the memorandum, INTACH will provide for protection, conservation and
management of these monuments in two phases. PHASE-1 of the project will assist
notification and protection of the monuments under the provisions of the Delhi Ancient and
Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 2004. This phase
includes photo documentation and structural description of the monument in the form of a
conservation statement. PHASE-II of the project will incorporate preparation of architectural
drawings and conservation proposals, execution of conservation work and refurbishment of
the site around the monuments. It will also include providing maintenance and security of the
monuments by involving public and private partnership.
Conservation of 16 Monuments
The conservation of 16 monuments began in 2014. Before execution of the work, detailed
project reports were submitted to the Dept. of State Archaeology, GNTCD. This is an
ongoing part of the MoU signed between State Dept. of Archaeology, GNCTD and
INTACH Delhi Chapter in 2008 The 16 monuments which were shortlisted within the larger
area of Delhi/NCR are:
Mosque, Baoli and Water Channel
Tomb and Enclosure Wall
Chaumachi Khan Tomb
Gateways of Sarai Badarpur
Imambara and mosque
Northern Guard House
Southern Guard House
Conservation of 18 monuments
Amongst the monuments for which conservation statement had been prepared, 18 monuments, located in the border areas of Delhi, have been selected in the next phase. The list of 18 monuments for which Detail project report have been prepared and submitted is as follows :
Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal
Tomb (unknown) jharokha
Tomb of Shaikh Ziyauddin Rumi
Tomb locally known as gumti
Gateway of Sarai of Mehram Nagar
Garden, Landscape Proposal
Sarai of Basant
Eastern gateway of Chirag Delhi
Southern gateway of Chirag Delhi
Northern gateway of Chirag Delhi
Gateway of Mahaldar Khan Garden
Conservation STATEMENT of 155 Monuments
This project is a part of Phase I of the project – Protection and Conservation of Monuments in Delhi. It introduces the monument with a brief historical and architectural description and the present state of condition. A general recommendation for future action is also indicated. A key objective of the project is to make conservation statements for each heritage structure stating its worth & thereby giving guidelines to restore the integrity & authenticity of the monument.
This would require removing encroachments and also require rebuilding some components and restoring lost portions, respecting the historic remains. The historical context of the surrounding of the monument shall also be restored in a very sensitive manner by appropriate site development/ landscaping.
COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN-PRESIDENT’S HOUSE AND PRESIDENT’S ESTATE , NEW DELHI
The grand residence of the President of India, Rashtrapati Bhawan, and the grounds and buildings attached to it, comprise 154 hectares of land at the focal point of the monumental Central Axis at the heart of New Delhi. Built as a residence for the Viceroy during British rule, it is one of the largest residences for any head of state in the world. President’s Estate requires urgent and sympathetic consideration if the site is to maintain its heritage character. It was to address this issue that in January 2013, the President’s Secretariat and CPWD commissioned INTACH to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) in two parts: Phase I to focus on the Estate and Phase II to address the issues related to the main Rashtrapati Bhawan Building. The CCMP has now been approved by all the statutory authorities regulating activities in New Delhi, and the President’s Secretariat and the CPWD have committed themselves to follow its imperatives in the future management of the Estate.
CONSERVATION OF CLOCK TOWER, SCHEDULE A, PRESIDENT’S ESTATE
The building, which is popularly known today as the Clock Tower, is located in the Schedule A of the President’s Estate and was built as the Institute in the Escort Lines. Since 1947, the building has been occupied by the President’s Body Guard as its Regimental Head Quarters. The rooms to the west side are occupied by the Army Guard (Madras Regiment. The building is centrally located in the avenue which runs diagonally and is part of the original design intent of Lutyens. The building plan is based on a perfect square with each side measuring 21.30 metres, chamfered corners that measure 3.35 meters diagonally, the total area being 454 sq.mts. The total height of the structure is 23 mts. The corners have arched alcoves with stone basin and lion head water spouts for fountains. There are projected porches with two circular pillars at the centre of each side, which serve as main entrances. The square plan is basically two tiered. The clock system installed in the tower is inscribed with the name “Pulsynetic”, which indicates that it was manufactured by Gent and Company of Leicester, UK. The company, which had been established in 1872, started making electric clock systems in the early 20th century; these electric clock systems became famous under the name Pulsynetic, and were used to drive tower and other clocks. Gent and Company’s electric clocks adorned many important buildings around the world, including the Royal Liver Building at Liverpool (for long the largest electric clock in the world), Terry’s Confectionary Works in York, Port of London Authority Building in London. The building was precisely documented and analysed by the team of INTACH, Delhi Chapter. Original plaster has been preserved and the tile flooring has been removed and replaced with kota stone flooring. The conical obelisks were repaired. All fire places were cleaned to remove layers of paint and restored to their original design. All the wood work has been cleaned to its original finish and the water tanks and other service installations have been re-located. Appropriate plinth protections (in red sandstone) have been provided all around the building.
CONSERVATION OF CLOCK TOWER, SCHEDULE B, PRESIDENT’S ESTATE
This Clock Tower is located in the Schedule B of the President’s Estate. The building is centrally located in the avenue which runs diagonally and is part of the original design intent of Lutyens. The building plan is based on a perfect square with each side measuring
21.30 meters, chamfered corners that measure 3.35 meters diagonally, the total area being 454 sq mts The total height of the structure is 23mts. The corners have arched alcoves with stone basin and lion head water spouts for fountains. There are projected porches with two circular pillars at the centre of each side, which serve as main entrances. The square plan
is basically two tiered. This structure was originally built for band practice for the British Indian Army. The clock system installed in the tower is inscribed with the name “J.B. Joyce & Co.Ltd, Whitchurch 1924”, which indicates that it was manufactured by J.B. Joyce & Co. in England. The company, which had been established in 1690 in Shropshire, England, started making long case clocks. In 1790 when the company moved to Whitchurch, they started making large clocks for churches and public buildings including principle railway companies. J.B. Joyce & Co. clocks adorned many important buildings around the world, including the East gate clock, Chester installed in 1897, Shanghai Custom House installed in 1927. This company installed several clocks all over the world. The conservation principles used for the conservation of this building are the same as Clock Tower, Schedule A.
COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN OF NATIONAL ARCHIVES
The National Archives of India is the repository of the noncurrent records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. It is an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture. This institution was set up in March 1891 in Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Records Department. After the shift of the National Capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911, it was shifted to its present building in 1926. This was one of four museum and archive buildings planned by its architect Edwin Lutyens, at the intersection of King’s Way and Queen’s Way. However, only this one was built. A Comprehensive Conservation Management Report that will be produced as part of the deliverables and will form the benchmark for all future interventions. It has been proposed to undertake this using 3D Laser Scanning equipment used worldwide.
CONSERVATION OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE AND ITS PRECINCT
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India housing one of the most magnificent buildings in New Delhi. Though not part of the original plan of New Delhi it became necessary after the reforms of 1919 laid the foundations of the bicameral legislature. The building has a circular plan with three axes radiating from the centre. Parliament House and its Precinct comprises the Parliament House, Reception Office building, Sansadiya Gyanpeeth (Parliament Library Building), Parliament House Annexe and extensive lawns around it ponds and fountains. INTACH, Delhi Chapter aims to conserve the main building of the Parliament Estate along with its open spaces. The restoration of this structure includes a comprehensive restoration plan, and advice from art conservators to restore the fixed and moveable artwork in a scientific manner including furniture, fixtures and fittings, paintings and objects-d-art.
THE BAHAI HOUSE OF WORSHIP (LOTUS TEMPLE), NOMINATION TO UNESCO’S LIST OF WORLD HERITAGE SITES
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of India has engaged the services of INTACH, Delhi Chapter to nominate the Bahai House of Worship, Delhi as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. INTACH, Delhi Chapter was chosen for this task because of our extensive experience in the preparation of such documentation and our expertise in some of the more technical aspects of the matter, such as conservation and urban planning arrangements in the Delhi area. Some of the tasks involved are
Identify the area for nomination and the Buffer Zone based on criteria as prescribed by UNESCO after due deliberations with the Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters.
Prepare and/or supply all maps and drawings needed to depict the site location, the buffer zone and the relevant urban planning and conservation arrangements, or otherwise required for the completion of the Nomination Dossier.
Advise and assist the Indian National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais with the preparation of the Site Management Plan
Hold consultative sessions with all stakeholders involved in the site and the identified Buffer Zone.
Liaise with monitoring agencies like the Archaeological Survey of India and UNESCO on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of India INTACH Delhi Chapter will prepare the dossier over a period of 18 months and submit the same to UNESCO in January 2017.
PIL- MEHRAULI ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
Mehrauli Archaeological Park houses many monuments and heritage structures. Many of them are protected by ASI and the Delhi State department of archaeology. Recently, INTACH has recognized the severe threat that the monuments face in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, a prime example being the Tomb of Khan Shahid which has recently been whitewashed and defaced. There is an urgent need for proper management of the site. INTACH has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) to maintain, preserve, and ensure there is no further decay and destruction of the ancient monuments which are situated within the Mehrauli archaeological park, Delhi and also for directions / orders to ensure protection, maintenance and preservation of old monuments and cultural heritage in the park . INTACH has submitted a list of monuments and a map to help delineate the boundary of the park. DDA, DTTDC, ASI, South MCD, and Waqf Board have been made parties and are made liable to participate in the delineating the boundary of the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF REDEMPTION
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption is not only an important place of worship in Delhi, it is an iconic heritage structure. In its location as well as architectural style it forms an integral part of the Capitol Complex of New Delhi - which includes structures such as Rashtrapati Bhawan, Central Secretariat and Parliament. The initiative for its construction was taken by the Christian community of Delhi and the foundation stone way laid by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin, 23rd February, 1927. The architect responsible for its design was H.A.N. Medd, and Sardar Sobha Singh was the contractor for the project. The Church was opened for worship on 18th January 1931, but due to lack of funds, it was not finished till 1935. Today it is a Grade I Heritage Structure notified by the Government of Delhi. In view of the age of the building and certain structural problems, urgent restoration had become necessary, for which INTACH Delhi Chapter made a proposal to the church authorities. Analysis of data from the
primary sources as received from the Church, were supplemented by several site visits, including detailed photographic documentation of each roof level
and the exterior facade. It was also noted that there are eight paintings inside the Church, which show signs of degradation and require immediate restoration.
The project will include :
Stain removal from the surface
Removal of decayed plaster and restoration of the surface with lime plaster and lime punning
Advise and assist the Indian National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais with the preparation of the Site Management Plan
Anti-termite treatment wherever there are timber elements
Consolidation of stone and cleaning of rust
Restoration of all horizontal bands and affected tiles
Replacement of cracked, decayed and damaged tiles including replacement of rusted nails
THE BENGALI CLUB
The building of Bengali Club was constructed in 1925 AD and ever since it has been an active centre for the Bengali community and is associated with many distinguished
people such as Rabindra Nath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, etc. It is a double-storied structure with shops on the ground floor. Two rooms and the lobby of the first floor are occupied by the Bengali Club, and the remaining part of the first floor is used as a hotel. INTACH, Delhi Chapter intends to take up the conservation work in this building in two phases. In Phase I, the team of Delhi Chapter will re-plaster the walls and repair the roof with the original traditional roofing system of wooden joists and planks along with
relaying of the terrace with appropriate slope and to provide the Iron pillar on the ground floor similar to the original design and dimensions. Then on the first floor, to decrease the masonry load a parapet wall needs to be redesigned. The phase II of the project would lead to a complete structural conservation and up-gradation of the building, which can be only implemented after inspecting and documenting it.
CONSERVATION AND MUSEUM DEVELOPMENT AT DARA SHIKOH LIBRARY
Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Dara Shikhoh Library has extreme historic significance as it is believed to be part of the mansion built by the prince at the same time that the Red Fort was being constructed, around 1639-48 AD. In the early 19th century the building became the first British residency occupied by Sir David Ochterlony, and was given a new façade with classical colonial features. There are some remains of the original structure, specially found on the northern side at a lower level and in form of some columns and cusped arches on the upper level partially hidden by the walls added later. The building therefore reflects an interesting hybridity. The interior still retains features of Mughal architecture such as baluster columns and scalloped arches, while the front façade of the building has large Roman pillars with Ionic order capitals on the front verandah on the southern side. The series of columns and arches found on the lower level constitute what was perhaps the Qutub khana, or library, which originally housed the collection of books of Dara Shikoh. INTACH has proposed to turn the Dara Shikoh library into a City Museum with the intention of preserving and promoting cultural heritage. The museum lends itself well to the learning process as a laboratory of sorts; where practical knowledge may be introduced in a whimsical, thoughtful and artistic.
CONSERVATION OF HERITAGE BUILDINGS IN SHAHJAHANABAD
– A Manual for Homeowners
INTACH, Delhi Chapter has compiled a handbook aimed at the conservation of heritage buildings in Shahjahanabad for the owners or anyone who proposes to conserve a heritage building in Shahjahanabad. It covers all aspects of conservation, restoration, repair and maintenance of a heritage building in Shahjahanabad. All available data (surveys, listing studies previously conducted) on Shahjahanabad was collated to develop an understanding of the diagnosis of typical issues affecting the heritage properties in Shahjahanabad, the condition of the heritage buildings and environment, and the legal framework, existing legislation and policies impacting the heritage of Shahjahanabad. An analysis of this data helped in deriving a list of typical problems and their solutions that are coherent with the ground conditions. Field surveys were undertaken for the identification of construction systems, materials, and stylistic compositions as well as to develop case studies which demonstrate certain processes. Explanatory drawings and photo documentation of case studies have been used to illustrate the case studies. Recommendations are developed in the form of guidelines for repair and maintenance, proposing the best immediate solutions
to repair or treat the most common pathologies found in the built heritage of Shahjahanabad. This has been presented in the form of a concise A5 portrait handbook that is easy to read and manage, and is well presented and illustrated.
AN INTEGRATED SIGNAGE SYTEM FOR HERITAGE BUILDINGS NOTIFIED BY THE NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has engaged the services of INTACH, Delhi Chapter to design and install an integrated signage system for the heritage notified by the NDMC. This system comprises of:
( 1 )
Directional flags added to existing NDMC signage poles at all roundabouts. They indicate the direction of important heritage buildings.
( 2 )
Heritage Location Boards which have a map of the NDMC area with the location of all heritage buildings marked on it. These are to be placed at popular tourist destinations and market complexes.
( 3 )
Information boards outside each notified heritage building within the NDMC area. The information boards have detailed information about the heritage site along with a layout plan and images of the architectural features of the building. A QR Code will be placed on each sign board with a link to a website giving more information about the site/ monument. The signage structure is a combination of sandstone, lathe turned base, a stainless steel pipe structure on which is mounted a composite aluminum panel, with images and text printed on eco-solvent stickers