Our team at Delhi Heritage Walks had an opportunity to interact with students of St. Thomas School, Sahibabad and take them on a heritage walk at Mehrauli Archaeological Park. It was the last working day for them and they were all excited to explore! These were class X students and it was their first heritage walk. All were locals to Sahibabad but were well familiar with Delhi, its main historic site like the Qutb complex, the Red Fort & the Lotus Temple. The purpose of our heritage walk was to share some lesser known aspects of Delhi, its history as a capital city and make this knowledge relevant to the students who have studied history in classrooms but can’t relate to it outside the class. The walk was led by Kanika Singh & Moby Zachariah, our team members.
This heritage trail covers some very prominent monuments in Mehrauli Archaeological Park. We start at the entrance to the Park, go on to the archaeological site and Balban’s tomb beyond. We shared some artefacts which were found at the site with students. They were simply delighted to be able to hold a clay horse which was probably a toy; a part of the smoking pipe of a hookah, and shards of pots made of clay. Most had seen pictures of similar artefacts but never handled them before.
As we proceeded deeper into the Park both the students and teachers were amazed to see that this wild looking vegetation hid so many secrets. None of them had imagined that something like this was present in Delhi. Our next stop was Jamali Kamali mosque and tomb. One of the best examples of Indo- Islamic architecture here, it is a well preserved structure. The delicate patterns in plaster and tile work decoration on the Jamali Kamali tomb was admired to one & all! The students had world of a time running around the ruins in Mehrauli Archaeological Park: Metcalfe’s Folly, Mohammad Quli Khan’s tomb or Thomas Metcalfe’s Dilkusha, Boathouse, Rajon ki baoli, the step well. They tried to explore every nook and corner of the complex, excited at finding a staircase up the roof of the boathouse, a tunnel that seems to lead nowhere, an underground room here, a carved pillar lying abandoned elsewhere!! For most students, the summer seemed to have no effect at all. They had come prepared with water and loads of enthusiasm to explore the heritage of Delhi!
(posted by Kavita Singh, team member, Delhi Heritage Walks)