Mehrauli lies on the Aravallis; the terrain is uneven and Acacia is the most commonly found variety of tree. This time of the year is a special treat for the senses. The bougainvillea shrubs are in full bloom and the deep pink and white flowers look exquisite!
We started the walk at the gateway to Balban’s tomb and moved in the large open space created just beyond it after the archaeological excavation. One can find pottery shards lying about on the site. It’s amazing how archaeology transforms landscape. A few months back this area was completed covered in mud and vegetation. One of the chambers’ in Balban’s tomb has the grave of his son, Khan Shaheed although there is another building in the Park which was meant to be his burial place. We next walked through the ruins of a residential settlement towards Jamali-Kamali mosque. The mosque is well maintained and Jamali’s tomb is of the highpoints of the walk. The tomb chamber retains most of its painter plaster decoration & tile work. The blue, red, green and yellow still retain their vibrancy even after so many centuries.
Thomas Metcalfe’s follies were a source of great amusement to all! After all, it takes some inspiration to convert tombs into residences, divert streams and make boathouses! Metcalfe’s Dilkhusha covers a vast area and one can’t help but think of it as a predecessor of the Mehrauli farmhouses today.
Rajon ki baoli is a breathtaking structure. The baoli complex has a tomb and a mosque with some lovely plaster decoration. We ended the walk at Khan Shaheed’s tomb.
(posted by Rajesh Ranjan & Kanika Singh, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)