The heritage walk at Hauz Khas includes visits to the 14th century madarsa (Islamic seminary), the water tank and the tombs located around the village and the Deer Park. This walk was in a way continuation of the first walk held at the Firuz Shah Kotla (citadel and palace of Firuz Shah) as some of the monuments in Hauz Khas were also built by Firuz Shah Tughluq. The monument complex comprising the madrasa is located next to the Deer Park and its passage is through the famous Hauz Khas village market, known for its fashion shops, pubs and eateries.
‘Hauz Khas is so large that an arrow cannot be shot from one side to the other’ wrote Timur, who raided Delhi in the 14th century. It is ironical that he defeated the Tughluq ruler & hastened the end of the dynasty, but was full of praise for buildings erected by the same dynasty. He camped at Hauz Khas, prayed in the mosque at Kotla Firuz Shah and wrote all about it in his memoirs.
Hauz Khas Village, the uptown market is a delight for Delhi-ites for its cafes & eateries and designer boutiques. And the monument complex here is a popular hangout zone. But few would know of the history of this unusual medieval monument. We walked into HKV and stood at the parapet of the monument looking at the beautiful view of the tank. The Hauz or the tank was initially constructed by Sultan Alauddin Khalji, who is known for his capital city of Siri and landmarks in Indian architecture such as the Alai Darwaza at Qutb Complex. (more…)
Way back in the 13th century, Sultan Alauddin Khalji ruled from the capital city of Siri (Delhi). He decided to dig up a tank, Hauz i Alai, about 28 hectares large to provide water for the fields & the capital. After him, the Khalji dynasty declined & the tank fell into disrepair. It silted up & people carved out private plots of land on it. They dug wells & were selling of its water. (more…)
There are two large monument complexes in Delhi associated with Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq. His capital city, now called Kotla Firuz Shah & Hauz Khas. The latter has emerged as one of the most popular hangouts in Delhi, better known as HKV. Hauz Khas Village is known for cafés, high fashion boutiques, antique shops or for just bumming around. Just beyond the shops is a gateway which leads you to the monument complex built around a lake. The tank which was originally dug up by the second Khalji ruler Alauddin Khalji in the early 14th century was much larger than it appears today. Munda Gumbad, a ruined pavilion which stands on the boundary of the water body now, is said to have been a pavilion in the middle of the lake. That alone gives us some idea of the extent of the tank. If you are a bird watcher, a good time to visit the lake will be during winter and early spring. (more…)