DISCOVER DELHI IN
A WHOLE NEW WAY
What is Seven Cities?
Throughout the seven historical cities that became present-day Delhi, centuries of rich narrative, architecture, and intrigue lie hidden in plain sight. It’s all about knowing where to look.
Each Spring and Autumn, Seven Cities provides an opportunity for India’s newcomers to learn, discover, and share Delhi’s compelling history with each other. The program organises a class of roughly 40 participants which is divided into smaller teams of four, each learning about one of ten historical eras. Every Wednesday, the next team in turn leads the full group on a tour of their topic, after which all are invited to lunch.
A MORNING OF PILLAGING,
FOLLOWED BY A
Seven Cities is an engaging and informal social organisation, run by volunteers, and open to anyone of any nationality and language background.
Since 1995, hundreds of expatriates have joined, exploring their new city and making life-long friends along the way, and we are thrilled to invite you to join us.
Seven Cities is a must for every expat in Delhi! It’s a fun way to learn about the sights and history of Delhi, and to meet great people from all over the world!
Exploring the city with a group of people who later became friends evoked in me a wonderful feeling of happiness.
I enjoyed discovering the stories behind various parts of the cities every week, and it allowed me to develop a new perspective on India as a country. I also felt comfortable being in this friendly community for the past two years.
The Slave Dynasty
Focusing on the Qutub Minar complex, encounter Delhi's first muslim rulers, a motley bunch of former slaves from Central Asia, and consider their influence on the architecture, culture and economy of the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Early Tuglaqs
Journey out to Tuglaqabad and Adilabad on the outskirts of SW Delhi to marvel at these 2 imposing 14th century fortresses constructed in just 3 years despite curses from a sufi saint and invading Mongol hordes.
The Late Tuglaqs
Wander around the 14th century ruins at Haus Khaz, Jahanpannah or Firoz Shah Kotla in South Delhi and contrast the stories of murder and mayhem by “Mad” Mohammed with the stability and building programs of his sane cousin successor, but dont forget to petition Delhi’s resident djinns when you visit!
Religions of Delhi
The many different World religions have all significantly impacted the history and culture of Delhi, so this tour is very wide ranging! Options include experiencing the Mehrauli flower festival, sufism in Nizamuddin, Holi traditions, langar at a sikh gurdwara and many more!
Sayyid & Lodhi Dynasties
Stroll through the tranquil green Lodhi Gardens, sample tea from a chai wallah and enjoy discovering the secrets behind the majestic 15th century tombs in this famous south Delhi park.
The Early Mughals
Become acquainted with the early Mughal emperors (Babur originally an Afghan shepherd, his eccentric and hapless son, Humayun, and then empire-building Akbar the Great) as you scout around the neighboring 16th century Pirana Qila or Humayun Tomb complexes in south Delhi.
The Late Mughals
Take a rickshaw ride through the bustling back streets of Old Delhi, wander around the Red Fort and listen not only to the tale of Shah Jahan’s everlasting love but also to the darker stories of fratricide, blindings, exile and the tragic end to the once mighty Mughal empire.
The East India Company
Explore the church, graveyard, towers and fortified walls of North Delhi’s Civil Lines district and learn how the british traders and mercenaries of the East India Company rose to prominence in Delhi during the 18th century only for many of them to come to a sticky end in the violent times of 1857.
Admire the imposing 20th century architecture of the Central Vista and find out why Delhi was chosen during the pomp and ceremony of an imperial durbar as India’s capital in 1911.
The Independence Movement
Visiting the central Delhi sites of Gandhi Smirti, Teen Murti, Raj Ghat or Valmiki temple discover more about the important characters of India’s 20th century independence movement, their motivations, ideals, struggles and achievements.