As the heritage enthusiasts met at the gate of Deer Park in Hauz Khas village, we formed an interesting group of professional/amateur photographers, architects, journalists, IT and management professionals and of course an historian..I started the walk with an introduction of the structures constructed by different dynasties that take us to Delhi of 13th/14th century. first structure of our walk was the Hauz Khas, a water tank constructed under the royal command of Alauddin Khilji in early 14th century,it was probably intended to supply water to the gardens and fields around Siri Fort and also way of collecting rain water.However after Alauddin’s death the hauz was not maintained, it was then restored and brought back to use by Firuz Shah Tughluq in mid 14th century..when he came to throne ,was a middle aged man and understood the need of creating public utility works, (a lesson from history for our elected leaders). from here we moved to an interconnected L-shaped complex, the work of building started in 1351 under Firuz Shah’s supervision, he was influenced by his hindu wife and hindu convert to Islam Khan-i-Jahan in the construction of this complex, the pillared hall with flat roofs in the complex reminds you of hindu-jain temples, next to it is a structure that could be cenetaph, attached to it is Firuz Shah’s tomb…simple and austure, however has an interesting stone railings on the entrance of the tomb,which forms a small enclosure. At the end is a madrasa it has rows of small cubicles,may have been used by students, along this is a library buildind,the upper storey has a domed roof, the lower one has a flat roof supported by a thick pillar.There are two small buildings, could have been gate posts to the Madrasa,are symmitrical, one now ASI office and also a store for conservation work material. A platform with graves and , three pavilions placed in L-formation are structures in the garden of the complex, there is T- shaped assembly hall around it, there is rubble of stones and huge boulders lying around it and ground is dug up. From here we moved to the Deer Park, to a tomb construted by Sheikh Shahbuddin on 9th day of Ramzan 906 Hizri during Sikander Lodi’s time (corresponds to 1501A.D) it’s a typical Lodi pd. building. It has the appearance of three levels on the outside due to multiple niches, decorative features include blue glazed tiles and some sandstone, to the west is a simple wall mosque,the mihrab wall has beautifully incised decorative niches. Close by is rather a plain tomb known as the Kali Gumti and an attached wall mosque,this was the last stop on the walk.
Posted by Rajesh Ranjan & Vijaya Walia, Team Members, Delhi Heritage Walks