Firuz Shah was a Tughluq king who ruled in second half of the 14th century. His reign is remarkable for its architectural projects. Delhi in particular is full of buildings commissioned and repaired by him. Our heritage walk this Sunday evening was around one such complex. Known as the Hauz Khas village now, it contains the remarkable ruins of Firuz Shah’s madrasa, built around a reservoir. The latter was built by Sultan Alauddin Khalji for this capital city of Siri, but it fell into disrepair, after his death. Firuz Shah not only re-excavated the tank, but also built this impressive madrasa and his own tomb along the edge of the tank. The complex as is stands today, is completely ruined, only a bare skeleton of its original grandeur, and the tank is much reduced in size. However, together they still impress the visitor.
The west wing of the madrasa and the tomb of Firuz Tughluq have recently undergone restoration and the work on this part of the building seems complete. The complex also had a few pavilions or chhatris which are graves, probably of people who taught or worked at the madrasa.
Our heritage trail also takes us into the Deer Park, which had a couple of impressive monuments. The first is the Lodi period tomb, the Bagh I Alam ka Gumbad or the ‘dome in the garden of the world’, which has an adjacent mosque as well. Close by is the Kali Gumti, or the ‘black hut’ called so because of its small size and dark colour. The last stop on our walk was the Tuhfewala Gumbad or ‘the gifted dome’, typical of Tughluq architecture and notable for its striking cenotaphs.