The ruins in Hauz Khas are one of the most amazing sites in Delhi. Tucked away behind the numerous shops in Hauz Khas village, this magnificent monument reveals itself slowly to us as we approach it. The ruins around of are that of the madrasa founded by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq in the 14th century. It is built on the edge of the tank, which supplied water to the capital city of Siri. It was built by Alauddin Khalji, the ruler of Siri, who called it Hauz i Alai. Later, Firuz Shah repaired it and called it the Hauz Khas. The madrasa is a double storeyed structure, the colonnaded halls probably being lecture halls. At the junction of the two wings of the madrasa is Firuz Shah’s tomb. It has been recently repaired; however, one of the graves in the chamber was badly damaged yet again. The plaster decoration is however, much more visible after the restoration work. The tomb entrance is enclosed in a most unusual railing pattern. One is not sure what inspired Firuz Shah to come up with this; it is similar to patterns on Buddhist monuments such as the Sanchi stupa. Moving a little ahead there are steps leading down to the lower storey. Here we see some cell like structures: extremely tiny, a small ventilator and an opening acting as a doorway. There probably were rooms for students. There are also some pavilions in the lawns which contain graves. These are probably burials of officers or teachers associated with the madrasa. Our heritage walk also covered monuments in Deer Park. The most prominent monument in the Deer Park is the Bagh i Alam ka Gumbad, a lodi period tomb with an adjacent mosque. Closeby is a small hut like structure called the Kali Gumti. The last stop on our heritage trail in Hauz Khas was the Tuhfewala Gumbad, a Tughluq period tomb with some striking cenotaphs.
(posted by Kanika Singh, team member, Delhi Heritage Walks; photos by Nishant Pagare & Kumar Rahul, heritage enthusiasts)