Today was indeed the foggiest day of the year and special as this was my first walk as Walk Leader .Seven bravehearts, truly heritage enthusiasts joined me along with kanika for the walk.
Mehrauli Archaeological Park is situated on the Aravalli’s and is also oldest inhabited area of delhi.This walk is quite interesting as it covers mouments and structures from 13th century A.D. to 19th century A.D.
ASI carried out some excavation work in summer of 2009 and found some rooms,graves which seems to be part of the larger residential complex…this is were we started todays walk( gives the impression that ASI is doing great job of restoration and excavation work).Next to it is Balban’s tomb,it’s importance lies in the fact that use of true arches in indian architecture begins from here,for the first time true arch was used to cover square plan with a circular roof,a dome. Adjacent to Balban’s tomb is Khan Shaheed’sgrave,son of Balban who died fighting the Mongols in 1285A.D ,there is little floral designs on plaster and little bit of blue tile on one of the walls from it we can visualise how magnificient it would have been at the time of it’s constuction.In the same complex we walked through the16th-17th ce-ntury ruins,probably residential complex..
As the day progressed and fog grew thicker we stepped into complex of JamaliKamali Mosque…it’s a fine example of Indo-Islamic architeture and claimed to be fore runner in the design of Mughal Mosque Architecture in India built by Jamali in 1535,a sufi saint and poet who lived in the court of Sikender Lodhi.On the northern side of the mosque is tomb of Jamali-Kamali,it is an impressively decorated structure with a flat roof(very unusual for the period it was built in).inside the decorations in the tomb are described as”stepping into a jewel box”
Day was just as foggy and cold as we walked through a carriageway built by Thomas Metcalfe,(just before that is Metcalfe’s folly…built in 19th cen. and given the look of having been built in 13th cen..) and we reached the Lodhi pd. dovecot which was convertad into a boat house by thomas Metcalfe…in the complex is Dilkhusha,which was originally Mohammed Quli Khan’s tomb a noble in Akbar’s court…modified into residence by Thomas Metcalfe….standing at Dilkhusha one gets an excellent view of Qutab Minar…how ever due to the fog …it was not visible….
Four tiered step well RAJAON KI BOALI…mosque and tomb all built at the same time during Sikander Lodhi’s reign was the next place on our walk…(.raj meaning mason in hindi… masons must have used it at some point of time hence the name ).last structure on the walk was…..a kind of covered court yard which was originally meant to be Khan Shaheed’s tomb..how ever seems to be of later pd….yet has beautiful calligraphy…done in geometrical and cursive style on the roof ,as we ended the walk we saw stables belonging to the medieval pd….we ended the walk…yet the day was just as foggy and cold…
Posted by Rajesh Ranjan &Vijaya Walia, Team Members, Delhi Heritage Walks