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Garstin Bastion Road, New Delhi

Coordinates: 28°38′51″N 77°13′22″E / 28.64750°N 77.22278°E / 28.64750; 77.22278
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G. B. Road
Swami Shradhanand Marg
G. B. Road is located in Delhi
G. B. Road
G. B. Road
Coordinates: 28°38′51″N 77°13′22″E / 28.64750°N 77.22278°E / 28.64750; 77.22278

G.B. Road, Garstin Bastion Road, (officially changed to Swami Shradhanand Marg in 1966) is a road running from Ajmeri Gate to Lahori Gate in Delhi, India. It is a large red-light district.[1] It has several hundred multi-storey brothels and there are estimated to be over 1,000 sex workers.[2] It is lined with two or three-storey buildings that have shops on ground floor. About twenty of these buildings have about 100 brothels on the first floor that open at night after the shops at ground level close. It is the biggest red light area in Delhi.[3]


1863 map of Delhi. Garstin Bastion was located on the northern part of the city walls

The old city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad, was surrounded by a wall. The wall had many gates and bastions. A bastion is an angular structure projecting outward from the curtain wall of an artillery fortification. It is called "Burj" in Arabic and Urdu. One such burj or bastion was named after a British officer of East India Company. The history of G.B. Road can be dated back to Mughal era. It is said that there were five red light areas or kothas (brothels) in Delhi at that time. Then came the British Raj, when a British commissioner Garstin Bastion consolidated all the five kothas in one area on this road.[4] The road has about 100 brothels now. G.B Road has one of the few red light areas in India apart from Kamathipura (Mumbai), Sonagachi (Kolkata) and Chaturbhuj Sthan (Muzaffarpur). The place also contains thousands of prostitution rooms or kothas[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]



The road is famous as a market for machinery, automobile parts, hardware and tools and is the largest market for these items in the National Capital Region. The road is crowded with vehicles and persons during the day as it is a commercial area.

The segment of the road starting from the Ajmeri Gate in the south until the small intersection with a street leading up to Farash Khana in the north has shops on the ground floor and kothas or brothels on the first and second floors.

The streets and houses at the back of the road are residential areas.



At night, the road is a dangerous place for the uninitiated. Mugging, snatching of wallets, watches and phones and other crimes happen quite often. A policeman on duty was stabbed to death by muggers just after midnight in September 2012 when a posse of policemen tried to save a man from a gang of criminals who had waylaid him on the road and stabbed him while he was going home from work.[12][13]

See also



  • Soofi, Mayank Austen (2013). Nobody Can Love You More: Life in Delhi's Red Light District. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-670-08414-2.


  1. ^ Suraj. "Safety should you follow on GB road". Delhi facts. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ "During GB Road inspection, DCW finds hidden cellars inside brothels". indianexpress.com. 28 December 2016.
  3. ^ Sumnima Udas (4 August 2011). "On patrol with top cop in New Delhi's red light district". CNN. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ "What's in a name? Colourful history of Delhi's famous spots". Hindustan Times. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  5. ^ "PHOTOS: Veena Malik promotes new film at red light area" (slideshow). The Indian Express.
  6. ^ "Sex Workers in Chennai Want 'Red Light' Area". The New Indian Express. 7 February 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014.
  7. ^ R Ramasubramanian (7 February 2014). "Chennai sex workers demand separate work area". India Today.
  8. ^ Abdul Qadir (8 October 2002). "Muzaffarpur sex workers settle in Gaya". The Times of India.
  9. ^ Ekatha Ann John (4 November 2013). "In letter to Jayalalithaa, sex workers seek red-light area in Chennai". The Times of India.
  10. ^ "Four red light area women move HC against SDM's eviction order". Indian Express. 26 July 2012.
  11. ^ Santosh Singh (8 December 2009). "Sex workers daughter brings safety, education, insurance to red-light area". Indian Express.
  12. ^ "Cop stabbed to death while saving youth on GB Road". Deccan Herald. 12 September 2012.
  13. ^ "Cop killed on GB Road, another hurt". The Times of India. 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.