Present in Delhi’s Pasts


Sunil Kumar

Paperback    9788188789443


The essays in this volume are about old monuments and villages in New Delhi. This is the much awaited, revised and enlarged, edition of a book acclaimed for its innovative approach as well as evocative prose.



Sunil Kumar investigates both the medieval history of these sites and changes that have occured in these areas in more recent times. Relying upon Persian documentation and field-work, the author narrates the histories of the sites over the last millennium. The Present in Delhi’s Pasts is a history of how, ever so gradually, the present has erased and rewritten the past of New Delhi.



Preface to the Second Edition and Introduction

  1. Qutb and Modern Memory
  2. A Medieval Reservoir and Modern Urban Planning: Local Society and the Hauz-i Rani
  3. Making Sacred History, or Everyone his/her own Historian: The Pasts of the Village of Saidlajab
  4. Naming
  5. Reflections on the Past and Present of Two Sufi Dargahs in Delhi.


Dr Sunil Kumar is professor of medieval history in the Department of History, Delhi University and taught previously at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. His publications include The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate, and Demolishing Myths or Mosques and Temples? He has also participated in the current revision of the NCERT history textbooks and is the managing editor of the Indian Economic and Social History Review. Sunil resides in Saket near the sites discussed in this book.

Additional information


Sunil Kumar

Published by

Three Essays Collective