December, 2020July 15, 2022
People flocking at Jama Mosque Old Delhi in Lockdown – A Photo Blog
Old Delhi always attracts me. It is full of culture, history, cuisines, and a lot of stories. Full of hustle-bustle, the busy lanes of Chandani Chowk, the aroma of Parathe Wali Gali, and street food stalls at every nook and corner make Old Delhi one of the most happening areas of the capital city. I have often strolled around the narrow, congested lanes to look for stories for my blog posts. When I was in college, Old Delhi for me was just about Jama Masjid and Red Fort. When I started to explore Delhi, this place came as a cultural shock for me. There is so much to explore. There is so much to see and know. When I came here during the COVID situation on 20th December, I saw the almost same crowd at Jama Mosque of Old Delhi which I had noticed before lockdown.
Whenever I have come around this area during the day time, I have come to Jama masjid. I have even visited Jama Masjid of Old Delhi during the evening too but mostly it was during the day. When I came here in Old Delhi on 15th March before lockdown, I headed to Kake di Hatti, had dinner, and left. Being a history and architecture enthusiast, Jama masjid has been a favorite place in that area. That was the first mosque I had ever visited. There is a small mosque in my hometown but I never got to go inside.
Read Here – Humayun’s Tomb
While Old Delhi holds several other monuments and iconic places such as Red Fort, the charm of this place often attracts me irrespective of the crowd that one can’t avoid. Once my mobile phone was stolen back in 2014. So, there is always such a risk. Being a crowded place, you always have the insecurity of such events. Once I was with my friend and we went to Nayi Sarak to purchase books. From there, we came to Gurudwara Sish Ganj Sahib and our boots were stolen. Those were the days of January or February 2013. From the gurudwara, we went to Jama Masjid market (Meena Bazar) barefoot and bought washroom slippers. My friend caught a fever on the same day.
Read Here – Interesting Facts about Qutub Minar
This time when I visited Jama Masjid in December 2020 in COVID situation, I was surprised to see the same crowd. The mosque was packed with hundreds of people who seemed to have a good time at the mosque. Basking in the sun, taking photos, videos, and everyone looked free from the fear of the infection. That actually made me a little concerned. From my all visits to Jama Masjid, I have observed one thing that a huge group of people visits the mosque for recreational purpose, not to pray. Most of them are visitors, not devotees
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Selfies and Sufi vibes at Jama Masjid, Old Delhi amid lockdown
When I was at Jama Masjid this time, I was listening to Kun Faya Kun from the movie Rockstar which filled me with Sufi vibes. I found a place to sit and kept on listening to that song while most of the people were busying clicking selfies and making videos. I haven’t been to the Quwalli night of Nizamuddin Dargah and that’s one of the things I haven’t done in Delhi which is on my lists of things to do in Delhi.
This mosque is known for its remarkable architecture and iconic red color from red sandstone. Just opposite is another wonderful red sandstone monument, Red Fort which I haven’t visited in a long time. If I can remember, I must have visited the fort some three years ago or maybe four. But I visited twice. I once sat in the park of the fort with Ajit Kashyap. I went to Khajuraho in Kashyap’s marriage. I did plan to visit the fort but the lockdown was imposed and I came back to my home in June end.
Delhi is my favorite city. After Delhi, comes Jaipur and Calcutta in my list where I want to spend time exploring the art and culture of these cities. I have been to Jaipur several times, traveled like a local, and explored all the major monuments there. However, Calcutta is yet to be visited. I haven’t moved ahead of Khajuraho and I am eager to explore the cultural capital of India.
From Chawari Bazar to Chandani Chowk and the other parts of the city, Old Delhi is always a place which has a lot to offer be it the delicious food at ancient and iconic eateries, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, be it temples, churches or mosques, be its ancient monuments, Havelis, local markets.
Revisiting the memories of Old Delhi – Before lockdown vs. after
I revisited the places I visited on 15th March before lockdown. I took a trip down to my memory lanes. Lockdown has disturbed life a lot. So many people lost jobs and lost a lot of things. The street food sellers of Old Delhi were too no exception. On one side, we have big chains, cafes, restaurants which have been in existence for a long and on the other side, we have small street food stalls. Both hold an equal place in Old Delhi’s food scene.
So, the last time in March, I went to Kake di Hatti. I have been to this eatery at least 6 times if I remember. Giani di Hatti is just close to Kake di Hatti. After having dinner at Kake di Hatti, we had rabadi falooda at Giani’s. From there, we took a walk, and on the way, we spotted a crispy chaat seller. We got one from him and continued walking to Chandani Chowk metro station. Near Gurudwara, we had tilla kulfi.
I revisited all these places during my recent visit and experienced the change lockdown has brought. These changes are easily visible in the photos. Slowly, life is getting back on track and these small street food sellers are getting a little crowd to meet both ends. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. We just are hopeful for better days.
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I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.