A historic wall or an eyesore?

Sher Shah Suri Darwaza, which has survived the ravages of over five centuries, has, seemingly, been ‘closed’ for posterity. The Archaeological Survey of India, the custodian of all heritage structures in the city, has blocked its face with a massive unsightly brick wall in an attempt to allegedly ‘save it from collapsing’.

It’s a different matter that the agency officials are clueless on how it will help rescue the structure or when the monstrous wall will be removed. Meanwhile, photographs of the ruined darwaza are doing the rounds of social media networks scandalising history-lovers and ordinary citizens alike.

The 16th century monument, located close to the Purana Qila ruins, was built by Sher Shah Suri – founder of the short-lived Suri dynasty. It is said to have served as the gateway to Shergarh, sixth of the seven famed cities of Delhi, commissioned by Suri himself.

Fittingly, it had some beautiful features such as a double arch, sandstone embellishment, a small window and medallions. These have, obviously, been partially obliterated by the brick wall now.


When contacted, convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage, AGK Menon, who is himself an architect and conservation consultant, expressed surpri-se.

“I have seen the pictures but I am also unsure on why they have put up this brick wall,” he replied, “May be, if I were asked to do a conservation job, I would have done it differently. But you will really have to take it from the horse’s mouth.

”When Metrolife contacted spokesperson of ASI, Additional Director General, Dr BR Mani, he seemed to have no idea regarding the construction on the historic structure. “I am not aware of any wall that has been put up against the Sher Shah Suri Darwaza. I will have to check with our engineers and get back to you.”

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