This year’s ample monsoon has added a new element of joy to our heritage walks. It is a treat to walk around imposing ruins of medieval cities, lush green parks dotted with peacocks, pleasant breeze and soft drizzle adding to the charm. This is how one would sum up this heritage walk at Hauz Khas village and Deer Park. The monuments in Hauz Khas are one of the most impressive in Delhi. The reservoir, Hauz I Alai was built by Alauddin Khalji for his capital city of Siri. A few decades later, Firuz Shah Tughluq found it ‘encroached upon’. The tank was silted up and people were selling of water from wells dug for their own private use. Firuz Shah has decided to fill it with water again, called it the Hauz Khas and built a madrasa along its edge. His own tomb stands at the junction of the two wings of the madrasa. In the 14th century, the madrasa was one of the most prominent centers of learning in the Islamic East. Timur who camped here during his invasion in Delhi, was impressed by the scale and grandeur of the madarsa. Today, what we see is the bare structure which has survived over centuries. It is impressive none the less. We rambled around the madrasa complex, its colonnaded halls, cell-like rooms on the first storey and through tombs (probably of teachers and officials) in the lawns. This heritage walk also covered monuments in the adjacent Deer Park, the most prominent being the Bagh i Alam ka Gumbad and the adjacent wall mosque. It is a huge Lodi- period tomb built in light grey stone and the surrounding greenery makes a great contrast with the monuments. Close by is the Kali Gumti, almost hut-like and Tuhfewala gumbad, a stern looking tomb of the Tughluq period.
(posted by Rajesh Ranjan & Kanika Singh, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)