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Sangin Beg: Sair-ul-Manazil

Edited by Swapna Liddle

Translated by Nausheen Jaffery

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Written in the 1820s, Sair-ul-Manazil, as far as we know, is the first attempt to systematically list the monuments of the city of Delhi. Apart from public buildings like mosques, temples, shrines and tombs, it lists wells, gardens, houses, shops and stray graves. This was in itself a formidable task and one that might easily have resulted in a very dry and tedious document. The author, however, considerably enlivens it by a description of the various localities of the city, of the people who lived and worked there in his time, social activities and fairs, and historical anecdotes connected with places and people. The original was written in Persian by a person known as Sangin Beg. This volume is a translation into English by the late Nausheen Jaffery, edited and introduced by Swapna Liddle. It includes sketches (by Neeti Banerji) that both illustrate the narrative and bring a visual life to it. The translation of a large number of inscriptions makes the volume of special interest to anyone interested in the historic buildings of Delhi.

Nausheen Jaffery

Nausheen Jaffery was a historian trained at the University of Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia. Her book, Jahan Ara Begum: A Biographical Study (1614–1681) was published in 2011.

Swapna Liddle

Swapna Liddle is a historian, and Convener of the Delhi chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). She is the author of Delhi: 14 Historic Walks and Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi.