Time travel through Delhi’s rustic doors

- August 27, 2022
| By : Mohd Shehwaaz Khan |

The doorways of old Delhi serve as a portal to the times of architectural beauty. Some of them remain intact, some are ruined, while others are replaced by modern doors

A picturesque crimson-yellow door in the heart of Old Delhi. (Photo: Shehwaaz Khan)

Old Delhi was once dotted with palaces, havelis, gardens, water bodies and avenues. But everything changed when apartments and urban architecture appeared on the scene. Today, what remains of the old city’s ambience are the ruins or the reconstructions that give away the reflections of history. 

The doors, along with windows and taaks, are one such elements that takes you to the time when they were more than just a portal of entry. They are intricately decorated and thoughtfully carved. Some of them are exquisitely colored: bright yellow, bridal red, and shining blue. Primarily made of solid wood, they are accompanied by the frame of a taak above or beside them.

Tucked inside the congested alleys and mohallas, these doors provide a sense of drama to an otherwise mundane urban life. They seek an immediate attention to their architectural beauty and ‘photogenic’ facade. 

Interestingly, some of these doors are a combination of both modern panels and traditional frames. The frames of such doors remain as earlier, but the panels have been replaced. Many of them are accompanied by three elevated doors on the sideways. A walk though the old city brings you across several such entrances to the history and evolution of the place.

Some of them have colorful floral designs of yellow and green.

Others do not have many colors yet steal the show.


One looks like a door of a Church, but then you see the image of Ganesh carved out on top.

Then there are the elevated ones opening to a platform.


And of course, the intricately decorated frames.

Many have windows on each side.

Some have their panels replaced.

What about havelis that have been turned into schools?

We must not forget these small ones that did not demand much attention.


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