All of us know of the cricket stadium of Kotla Firuz Shah. Right behind the stadium is the ruined city of Kotla Firuz Shah, the complex which gives the stadium its name. The city was constructed by third Tughluq king, Firuz Shah Tughluq in the 14th century. Our heritage walk to Kotla was organized on Sunday evening which saw a good number of devotees who were in the complex to pray to the djinns. The local tradition is that this is the abode of djinns. The city is believed to have extended from a hunting lodge called Kushak –i-Shikar (presently at Northern Ridge) to Hauz Khas (in south Delhi). The city continued to be inhabited till 18th century but was abandoned later because it had no wall to give protection against dacoits and looters. At present, there are only three prominent monuments which remain standing in the citadel area: Jama Masjid, the pyramidal building with Ashokan Pillar on it and a circular baoli.
Posts Tagged ‘Moby Zachariah’
Doing a heritage walk in Lodi Gardens is quite different from most of DHW’s other trails. More often than not, the ruins we wish to explore are empty on a weekend, and seem to be part of a distant world. But Lodi Gardens at 7:30am on a Saturday is bustling. It’s not called ‘Jogger’s Paradise’ without reason— walkers, runners, and exercise groups of all ages were out and about.
It was 7:30am on a Sunday morning, and the sun was already beginning to shine. The usually bustling Delhi roads were empty, with many residents staying in to enjoy a lazy Sunday. Not everyone though. A group of history enthusiasts were braving the dusty Delhi heat, to explore the neighborhood of the Old Fort, or Purana Qila. We would be going to a number of historical sites, but not actually inside the fort. In fact, most people don’t even know of the existence of these sites. But of course, the fact that they are lesser known does not mean they aren’t rich with history. Our first stop was Khair-ul-Manazil, a mosque built by Maham Anga, the wet nurse of the Mughal king Akbar. The mosque’s name translates to ‘the best/most auspicious house,’ however it may not have held such positive connotations in the eyes of the King — we learnt that an attempt on Akbar’s life took place here. Initially, the main gates to the mosque were closed, so we all clambered through a smaller opening. As luck would have it, the security guard showed up just as we had all entered, and opened the main gate! Perhaps our method of entry was more memorable. Inside the massive courtyard, we could see the patches of intricate carvings on the arches…one can only imagine how grand the mosque must have looked when it was built.
For good or bad, Qutb Minar has over shadowed the rest of Mehrauli. I can give you names of several monuments which are completely neglected and in the danger of completely disappearing under modern city; it is high time for us to give due to these forgotten monuments. Mehrauli village is a unique place with ancient buildings, medieval tombs, mosques, sufi shrines, palaces and havelis, sarais, reservoirs, step wells and tanks, you name it and it has it all. Our heritage walk this Sunday, covered a little bit of this vast area. We started our trail with Yogmaya temple. (more…)
Here are the pictures from our new heritage walk at neighbourhood of Old Fort. The sites include Khair ul Manazil, Lal Darwaza, Bagh e Bedil & shrine of Shaikh Nuruddin Malik Yar Parran, Matka Pir & ending at Bhairon Mandir. The walk was led by Kanika Singh & photos are by Moby Zachariah, both team members of Delhi Heritage Walks. Thanks all for joining us!