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Changing Nature of Public Spaces


It was believed that if one made a wish with their arms wrapped around the Iron pillar with their back against it their wish would be granted. Before the iron railings that ‘protect’ the Iron Pillar today, many visitors, both young and old, would try their luck at making a wish. Similar are the memories of long-time residents of Mehrauli. Many remember being able to freely enter the Qutub Minar complex and playing or picnicking, before the ticket booths and high walls of today.

Varun Bansal, a shopkeeper and resident in Mehrauli, remembers how as a kid in the late 80s he, along with his friends, would jump over the wall of Qutub and play cricket inside. 

While Sudha Sharma, another long-time resident remembers her experience of going to the Qutub Minar in the 70s as follows, “… haan, hum Qutub Minar toh hazaaron baar gaye hain. Qutub pe ham poori manzilein chadh jaate the upar tak (baad mai) Qutub ko band kar diya tha , logon ke liye. Usse pehle ye logon ke liye khuli hui thi, ticket lagke khuli hui thi. Lekin uske baad ticket lagke bhi band ho gaya ki isme ab upar koi nahi jaayega. Us din ke baad fir ham nahi gaye, like khula nahi kabhi bhi.”

Credits / copyrights

Photo by: Lala Narayan Prasad/ CCK Visual Archive

Ambedkar University Delhi
Image contains
(Partial) Date
Late 1930s


Site of knowledge & meaning
Feeling & motive