Tees Hazaari, New Delhi: NIVEDITA KHANDEKAR
Once Home of 30,000-strong Conquering Sikh Army
For most Delhiites, the name Tees Hazaari is synonymous with the district
courts complex in north Delhi. Several important cases in the Capital,
be it criminal or civil, are first heard here.
But very few are aware of the origin of the name. It is hard to imagine that this congested neighbourhood near the northern ridge, with vehicles moving cheek by jowl throughout the day, was once a sprawling ground, where a large Sikh cavalry camped.
Tees Hazaar literally means 30,000. There were 30,000 Sikhs encamped, ergo, the name. Some believe it was a stable for 30,000 horses belonging to a 4,000-strong Sikh contingent.
But Gurmeet Singh, general secretary, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee asserted, “Sikh historic literature describes in great detail how this place was a camping ground for 30,000 brave Sikhs, led by Sardar Baghel Singh.”
Baghel Singh held Delhi under sway for several months in 1783 during the reign of the Mughal ruler Shah Alam II. He is credited with identifying places in Delhi that were historically associated with the Sikh Gurus and for constructing gurdwaras there.
According to the information on the website of the Tees Hazaari courts complex, it is the largest district court in Asia with about 400 court rooms. The construction began in 1953 and it was inaugurated in March 1958. Authorities claim that more than 50,000 people visit the complex daily.
[Courtesy: Hindustan Times. Edited for sikhchic.com]
Conversation about this article
1: A. Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 19, 2012, 10:43 AM.
Is there any commemorative stone or a memorial there? If not, then for an event as significant as this one, this is gross negligence on the part of those who complain about being under the yoke for so long. One would have expected some acknowledgement from them. This needs to be rectified.
2: Harmeet Singh (USA), September 19, 2012, 10:45 AM.
So, it was a historic Sikh encampment that the Government of India converted into a district court house? What a way to preserve history and heritage in India!
3: Kanwarjeet Singh (Franklin Park, New Jersey, USA), September 19, 2012, 4:57 PM.
Ironically, the same courts now deny justice to the Sikhs who once held sway over the neighbourhood and the city around it. India is indeed "mahaan" - stupendous!