Kotwali is a word that translates into an ancient name for an ‘Old Police Station’. This small town nestles amidst the lanes of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi and is famous for being the place of origin of the ancient Police system or Kotwali System due to which it has become a prominent landmark in Delhi. The Kotwali system came into existence during the 13th Century when a standardised and organised Police system emerged and continued till the end of the 20th Century.
Today, the Kotwali in Chandni Chowk is a part of the Gurudwara Sis Ganj area in Old Delhi which was under the thick of brawl since the early 17th Century AD; though it was not always the case.
The Kotwali was a significant part of the Mughal Administration that was later replaced by the Police Commissioner methodology and a modern system. The name of the place was derived from the fact that the person heading the police system was earlier called as a ‘Kotwal’ who had the authority to exercise any power and policies that he wished but for the benefit of the City.
As per the old Delhi Police records, the first Kotwali was situated in Quila Rai Pithora in Mehrauli, Delhi; however, during Muhammed-bin Tughlaq, it was shifted to Tughlaqabad. The first Kotwal was named Malikul-Umra Faqrruddin who died in died in 1294 after which Malik Abdul Mulk succeeded as the Kotwal for 3 years. After a few centuries, Pundit Ganga Dhar Nehru, grandfather of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru became the Kotwal of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar but after the Emperor’s defeat, he relocated to Agra where his 3rd Son, Pundit Motilal Nehru was born.
Kotwali is easily accessible via road link and Metro link with Chandni Chowk Metro Station situated just 5 minutes away and the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station situated just 6 minutes away. This region is also well connected to the New Delhi railway Station which is situated just 3.2 kms or 15 minutes away, the Old Delhi Railway Station which is located just 2 kms or 10 minutes away and the Indira Gandhi International & Domestic Airports which are situated approximately 25.9 kms or 54 minutes away.
Kotwali also has a number of Buses, Auto Rickshaws and Taxis that operate in and around this area which are easily available for hire.