weareholidays address near qutub minar
It is the year 736 AD. Dust flies from the barren land, as a mob of turbaned riders on galloping horses trample down everything unfortunate enough to lie in the way. Suddenly, the head raises his sword and all men and steeds stop obediently. The leader’s horse tosses his head in the air and neighs loudly. He is as proud as his master. The unrelenting May sun beats down on the land as the victors celebrate. The Tomars have come. They shall go on to call the land Dilhi.

It is the May of 2011. I come out of the metro, and call Deepak Wadhwa. He tells me to come out of the Saidulajab exit. Sai what?

“Saidulajab exit. It’ll also read West End Marg exit. Not the PVR or Saket D Block one, that’ll take you in the opposite direction,” his voice crackles over the phone.

I walk up the steps and come out, and the scene resembles the stereotypical Hollywood depiction of an Indian street. An avalanche of noise greets my senses. As I weave my way through a maze of people, they weave through me, for we are both hurrying to reach our ends. Cars honk incessantly as their movement had been reduced to a snail’s pace. The road has been almost taken over by autos lined up next to the station. The autowallas stand like a pack of hyenas, outstretching their arms and gesturing us to get into their yellow topped three wheelers. Yonder stands a traffic policeman, chatting animatedly with a bystander, oblivious to the surroundings.

Put a metro station in front of a traffic light on any busy road in the country, and that’s what you get. The Mehrauli Badarpur road is no different.

It used to be very different though. Well, you really can’t expect that the road to be the same or be teeming with cars, or autos when it was built in the 13th century by that violent man calledGhiyasuddin Tughluq. An 800 year old road, nice.

I walk ahead and the Qutub looks back at me, towering over the trees, that magnificent beauty. At the signal, there is a left turn into West End Marg. On one side lies the metro parking lot, and on the other side lies the thirteen gated Qila Rai Pithora.

In 736 AD, when the Tomar king Anangpal I charged with horse and army, he founded Dilhi at Lal Kot. It is rumoured that Anangpal I is a direct descendant of Parikishit (grandson of the Pandavas in Mahabharat). In eleventh century, Anangpal II founded the second city of the Delhi Sultanate – Mihirwali (later renamed as Mehrauli). He then went to Mathura, stole the Iron Pillar of India and had it installed at Mehrauli. It still sits there, today, in the shadows of the Qutub Minar.

In the 1100s, Prithviraj Chauhan captured Lal Kot and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora. History, and grandmothers, only talk of his falling in love with princess Samyukta though.

The Delhi Sultanate, formed by a number of dynasties between the eleventh and eighteenth centuries, was made up of seven cities – Qila Rai Pithora, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughlaqabad, Ferozabad, Dinpanah and Shahjahanabad (old Delhi). As I walk along West End Marg, I am standing in the first city of Delhi and am a stone’s throw away from the second. I look at the sand and wonder if this where Anangpal and his men first celebrated as they conquered the land.

I read the address again.

Number 104, Fourth Floor,
West End Marg,

A little later, we are standing on the terrace and Deepak tells me about his dreams for the company, and I talk of love and writing and how my father bought the entire set of “Lands and People” for my first birthday. We talk of many things, cricket we both love. But mostly we talk of how we want to build a company that shall inspire people to travel.

I have made up my mind. His Blackberry rings and as he walks away, I look yonder, at the Qila, Adam Khan’s tomb and the Qutub. How many travel companies can say that they are sitting right in the middle of such history.

We are bound to make history, mate. I finish the tea and make a mental note to tell Deepak to do something about it.

As for history, well, History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.



Neeraj Narayanan

At WeAreHolidays, Neeraj Narayanan is Head of the Content and Digital Media Team. He has a Masters in Advertising & Media Communication, has had experience as a Communication Consultant to the Government of Gujarat, and as a Brand man in the IT giant firm - Cognizant.

On weekends, he conducts Heritage Walks in Delhi.

Neeraj Narayanan – who has written posts on WAH Blog.