Endangered species: Delhi's water caltrop or 'singhara' population needs a boost

Photo credit: 
Sushant Sinha. Shot at the Hindon river bridge.
Binge's picture
October 12, 2016
They're on the decline because of water pollution.

Fall in Delhi brings out singhara vendors across the city. However, the notable disappearance of many this year is concerning.

Ten or fifteen years ago, water caltrop was grown in the Hindon river near Ghaziabad. Increasing water pollution has made it impossible for the river to be conducive to their growth any longer. Vendors in the area now source produce from Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh, which is 20kms away from the Hindon.

Most of Chandni Chowk has also been wiped clean of their presence. We explore the few remaining areas in the city that can be counted on for wholesale. 

Azadpur Mandi

Photo credit: Sushant Sinha

Pahar Ganj

Photo credit: Sushant Sinha

Photo credit: Sushant Sinha

Shalimar Bagh

Photo credit: Sushant Sinha

Later into autumn, toward the end of water caltrop season, the sweetness of the fruit fades slightly. That's when black or boiled singhara is seen piled on carts more. These are dried before being boiled, and sold as a comforting snack on the periphery of winter. 

*No names. No directions. Only vague locations. Binge photo guides challenge you to find these spots using only the photographs and brief information we give out. We haven't made it too hard but you might need to go exploring a little bit: high-five us if you manage, and write to us if you don't.