Many of us know that Delhi has the unfortunate title of one of the most polluted cities in the world. However, standing at the gate of Mehrauli Archaeological Park, an expansive 100-acre space, with greenery all around, it’s quite easy to forget about the pollution. To be sure, the park has many stories to tell; the Mehrauli area is the oldest continuously inhabited part of Delhi. From the 11th century Rajput cities of Lalkot, and Qila Rai Pithora, to monuments from Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal, and the British era— there is perhaps no other place in Delhi with such a diverse history. We started our exploration at Balban’s Tomb, the resting place of the Mamluk king who ruled Delhi in the 13th century. Interestingly, the only grave remaining in the tomb complex is not Balban’s, but that of his son, Khan Shahid. Khan Shahid was not known to be a religious figure, but people do pray in front of his grave, and the enclosure often smells of incense. An example of the past and present interacting— popular memory does not always follow historical accuracy.
Posts Tagged ‘Step Well’
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…)
This heritage walk coincides with the Festival of Flower Sellers (Phoolwalon ki Sair) organised every year in Delhi. We shared stories of the festival, its history, its performance & visited sites in Mehrauli village where the festival was held. Two key sites in the Sair are Yogmaya Temple & dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. The festival involves offering a chadar (sheet) of flowers at the dargah & pankha (fan) of flowers at the temple. (more…)
Our walking tour in Lodi Garden is a story of an English garden & medieval tombs in it. It is interesting to see the transition of Bagh-i-jud to Lady Willingdon Park and finally to Lodi Garden, post 1947. There are massive monuments within the garden, well preserved and standing out as objects of beauty among beautifully landscaped parks. (more…)
There are very few of us unfamiliar with the craze that seizes Delhi when cricket matches are held at Kotla cricket stadium in Delhi. But how many know of the monumental ruins that stand adjacent to it? The citadel of Kotla Firuz Shah, the remains of the capital city of Firuzabad. In fact, it is the citadel which gives the stadium its name. Built in the 14th century by Tughluq king, Firuz Shah, there are only three monuments left in this citadel. Yet, these three have spectacular stories associated with them, both of the past & the present. (more…)