Linking the old with the new, Delhi metro on Sunday started the Heritage line which will run between Mandi House and Kashmere Gate. The 5.7- km- long corridor makes a major breakthrough into the old walled city of Shahjahanabad, making it easier for daily commuters, tourists and heritage enthusiasts to visit areas in and around Daryaganj, Jama Masjid, Red Fort and St. James church. Owing to the rich past of the Old City, the route has been given the name and has been designed in a way that is a treat for the history buffs.
Accompanying his daughter for her engineering entrance exam, to be held in Rohini, Manmohan Gupta says that the launch of the new line came as a huge relief to him. “I would have had to change once at Central Secretariat and then again and Kashmere Gate. Then we would reach Rohini. Now we can directly reach Kashmere Gate and change from there to Rohini,” he said adding that due to the newest addition to the Delhi metro, he is saving close to 45 minutes of his time.
The launch of the route on a Sunday was reason to celebrate for many, who took this as an opportunity to spend the day in popular heritage spots of old Delhi with family. Stepping down at Lal Qila station along with his wife and two children, Gaurav Prasad said that the moment he got to know that the heritage line is starting on Sunday, he had planned to take out his family for a trip around Red Fort and Chandni Chowk. Travelling from Faridabad to tour around Delhi, Prasad mentioned that the launch of the new line has made it much easier for him to make weekend trips here.
A key facility made available by the Heritage line is payment made by e-wallets like PayTm. The stations have special gates installed which enable entry through e-wallet services.
Stopping over at ITO, Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Lal Qila and Kashmere Gate, a key attraction of the stations are the exclusive 3D art installations in each of the stops, that spin together the rich tales of Delhi’s past. The design, conceptualised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) consists of a range of some iconic old and new photographs and maps of Shahjahanabad.
Once opening into the city of Lahore, the Delhi gate was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638, as part of the tall walled enclosement that surrounded the city of Shahjahanabad. Currently managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Delhi Gate is situated right on the end of Daryaganj, that is famous for the Sunday book market. Paying tribute to the historicity of the area, the Delhi Gate station of the Heritage line, exhibits a range of large photographs of the gate and the market areas surrounding it, taken of a bygone era.
The Jama Masjid and Lal Qila station welcomes commuters to ageing photographs of the mosque and the fort and jali work frames, which are typical reminders of Mughal art. Kashmere Gate station offers a rare glimpse into Delhi during and after 1857 as it puts on display some iconic photographs, like the gate being blown down by the British, the interiors of the St.James church and a map that was once put together by the British to plot the final attack on Delhi to quell the revolt.
The route that ends at Kashmere gate has made the station the only one in the Delhi metro route to host three interchange facilities. The red, yellow and violet lines cross over at this junction. The launch of the new line is expected to provide a fresh boost to tourism in Delhi and would be taking the metro system in the city a notch higher in comparison to transit networks across the world.