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Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal

Karol Bagh, the busy market of Delhi, has a hidden secret. The area is identified by Delhi’s new landmark, the huge Hanuman Statue next to Bagga Link Services. Right behind this Bagga Link, a small serpent road goes deep into the Southern Ridge of Delhi. As you advance few hundred meters on this road, a strange structure on your right will cast a spell on you.

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This structure is claimed to be the most haunted place in Delhi. There are no metal gates to be locked. The only thing that guards this massive structure is a note written at entrance, which tells people to not to come near this place after sunset.

I had an unofficial chat with one of the govt employees associated with this place. He told me that no security guard deployed by govt survived his job for more than 2-3 days. He added, “I don’t believe in all this, but there is something suspicious & scary here”.

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What is Bhooli Bhatiyari?

2Bhooli Bhatiyari (or Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal) is a Hunting Lodge built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 14th century. It has its resemblance with another of Feroz Tughlaq’s structure, ‘Malcha Mahal’. The structure is entered by a huge rubble masonry gate, which takes you to a small zone. Another doorway with corbelled arches welcomes you to the huge open square courtyard. On sides, we have rooms, used by people who stayed here during the hunting season. Towards north, it has a semi-circular structure accessed through a plight of stairs. On one corner, we have a modern toilet, which was built by Delhi Tourism in hope to promote this place. But it lies deserted as no govt guard was able to come near this place. We can imagine, that the hunters back in Tughlaq days could have seen the entire ridge from this mini-fortress.

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This structure also has those elements, which are commonly seen in Mosques and Palaces built by Junan Shah Tilangani.

On outside, the Lodge has bastions like a fort. The entire plan of this Lodge appears as if this was a safe house of the Emperor during some calamity.

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Why the name “Bhooli Bhatiyari”?

There are two theories behind this title. One theory suggests that this place, after the Tughlaq Dynasty, became abode of a sufi saint named ‘Bu Ali Bakhtiyari’. Bhooli Bhatiyari is simple a distorted form of his name. The other theory suggests that there was a Bhatiyarin (a tribal lady from Rajasthan), who forgot her way and ended up here. After her, the place became famous as ‘Bhooli Bhatiyari’.

Is it Haunted?

Personally, I never had any haunting experience at this place. I have been there alone, with family, friends and with huge groups during Photowalks. But perhaps the scaring spirits in this area don’t like me. The closest we went were when we were doing a Photowalk and 2 of our group members decided to drift away from the group. They went deep into jungle and tried to click a white wall that they saw. When they adjusted their cameras, standing next to the wall, they realized that the wall just vanished. They came back running to me and narrated the story.

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If you have experienced anything special here, do share with me.

Tilangani’s 7 Wonders of Delhi

Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah Tilangani, the prime minister of Feroz Shah Tughlaq brought a revolution in the Mosque Architecture of India. His creations were majestic, beautiful and well planned. Last month, I wrote about Jauna Khan, who later became Muhammed Bin Tughlaq and was widely misunderstood. Today I write about another Jauna Khan, whose wonderful contribution is victim of neglect and poor keep.

 

Who was Tilangani

Gannama Nayaka, aka Yugandhar, the commander of Warangal was converted to Islam in 1323 by Muhammad bin Tughlaq (then Shehzada Jauna Khan) and made governor of Multan after the defeat of King Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty. He was given the name “Malik Maqbul”, and soon became Masnad-i-Aali Ulugh Qutlugh Azam-i-Humayun Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tilangani. During the region of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, Malik Maqbul was made the Prime Minister and one of the highest paid ministers of Indian history with a salary of 13 lakh Tankas (silver currency of Tughlaq regime) annually and therefore earned the title of ‘Lakhtankia’. Not only this, he also succeeded in saving his office of Prime Minister for his son Jauna Khan (later known as Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah, the hero of our story). Maqbool Tilangani named his son after his first master Junan Shah was creative, but a weak commander. He could not lead armies like his father. So he spent more time in constructing beautiful marvels for his architecture loving master Feroz Shah Tughlaq, which changed the way mosques were built in India. Unfortunately, he could not last long and was soon captured and executed in a conflict for succession. But during his tenure, he succeeded in constructing seven architectural wonders on 14th century Delhi. He built 7 mosques, which broke all the rules of mosque architecture known till then and established a new trend, which later spread to the length and breadth of Sultanate Empire.

NOTE: Some historians claim that these mosques (or some of them) were built by Khan-i-Jahan Maqbool Tilangani (Malik Maqbool), whereas the ASI record correctly identify his son Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah Tilangani to be the architect of these buildings.

 

The Seven Mosques of Tilangani

Mosques-Tilangani

 

Khirki Masjid

Khirki Masjid, Delhi Hidden behind a thin row of small shops right opposite the famous shopping malls of Saket, it’s a 288 feet long and 288 feet wide square-shaped Mosque with 11 feet high basement containing 100 cells. It’s 81 domes stand on 22 feet high 180 columns and 60 pilasters and it has 15 Mihrabs (arches on praying wall). There are three huge gates on north, south and east sides. But what’s most important is that this was the first mostly covered mosque of India. It has four openings in the roof to let sunlight come in. The only fully covered mosque built during that time was that in Gulbarga (Karnataka), which was built few years after completion of Khirki Masjid by a Spanish Architect and is smaller in size. In order to ensure proper ventilation, Junan Shah built red sandstone windows instead of walls, from where the mosque got its name “Khirki” (meaning window).

 

Begumpur Masjid

Begumpur Mosque, Delhi Unlike Khirki, Begumpur mosque is single storied and is slightly bigger in size (308’ X 289’). It has total 68 domed compartments and a huge open court. The main Pishtaq (central arch), which is the most prominent feature of the building is flanked by sloping buttresses each containing a winding staircase leading to the roof. There is an attached Mallu Khana, which is an independent mosque for ladies and also has a Taikhana. Mallu khana is accessible from a very small opening in North wall, where you have to kneel to get through. I have not seen or heard of any mosque from that era, which contains such a huge and beautifully decorated mosque for women, attached to the main mosque. Mallu Khana is approx 1/4th of the size of Begumpur Masjid and has beautiful Mehrabs and Windows. An entire village was settled in this Mosque at one time. British forced the villagers out, and who established their small houses along the walls of this mosque, but within the Lal Dora.

 

Jami Masjid

Jami Masjid, DelhiJami Masjid of Kotla Feroz Shah is a combination of both Begumpur and Khirki Masjid. Its uniqueness is the material used, which is local quartzite rubble, externally rendered with limestone, originally of a dazzling whiteness and giving the effect of marble. It contains a huge open courtyard with thick walls with open arches. Lower level of Mosque contains Taikhana with a series of cells, which are now habitat of bats and are illuminated with earthen lamps and incense sticks as locals believe this place to be the abode of Djinns. A very huge circular pit covers most of the courtyard of mosque, which is assumed to be a well (unlikely for any mosque to mark such huge space for ablution zone or wazoo-khana right in the middle of the courtyard). There was a unique octagonal dome over this well supported by 260 pillars of 25 feet in height. Documents suggest that these pillars were removed and used while constructing towers in the wall of Shahjahanabad. Amir Taimur lung (Tamerlane) was so impressed with this grand mosque of Delhi, that after offering his prayers here, he took 200 craftsmen from India to build a similar mosque for him in Samarqand. Few of them were rewarded for their service but many were beheaded for negligence after completion of mosque. This mosque today stands proudly as Bibi Khanum Mosque of Samarkand,Uzbekistan.

 

Masjid Kalu Sarai

KaluSarai This is another marvel by Junan Shah, but now in ruins. It fell into the hands of locals and in last 2 centuries, pieces of the mosque have been falling down. Only few arches are left and original size or design of this mosque is no longer known. Some historic travellers mention of this mosque as a magnificent piece of architecture. The main building is now consumed by row houses and while walking down the tight lanes, one can see remains of arches and walls. However,  it is assumed that the portion shown in this picture was the original area of mosque.

 

 

Kalan Masjid

Kalan-Masjid-Turkman This is the huge active mosque near Turkman Gate of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). It is a double storied mosque with double-apartments in the basement, which are till date used by locals. This is an active mosque and so badly surrounded by row houses, that the original façade of Mosque is totally hidden. As you can see from this picture, it is half covered and has domes all over it. the green circle on the eastern wall is actually the green dome of projected entrance, which is reached through a flight of stairs. From inside, the mosque is now beautifully plastered and coloured, while the floor is decorated with marble slabs. The exterior however is white washed and thankfully, the mosque management committee is taking good care of the place.

 

Kali Masjid

Kalan-Masjid-Nizamuddin This mosque from Nizamuddin Basti is an architectural replica of Kalan Masjid of Turkman Gate from outside. From inside, the difference both mosques have is in the partition of courtyard. Turkman Gate Kalan Masjid has half of the courtyard covered, whereas this one has a cross section (as appears in image on left) and has multiple domes over it. The lower right corner (South East) is now covered, which is a modern repair work. Its original name is also Kalan Masjid (huge mosque), but with time, the name got corrupted to Kali Masjid (black mosque). This mosque has multiple entrances and numerous domes but most of them have been repaired beyond recognition by local caretakers. When I went there last, I saw piles of building material as some repair work was going on. Most of the domes of this mosque have collapsed and caretakers have constructed plain roof in place of broken sections.

 

Masjid Waqya

Waqya Also known as Chausath-khamba Masjid (Mosque of 64 pillars), this mosque is situated on Mirdard Marg near the Maulana Azad Medical College. Its 64 pillars are made of White Sandstone and supports a huge roof over its 64 pillars. This is an active mosque and rarely known to the outside world. As far as size is concerned, this is a much smaller mosque (as compared to other 6 mosques of Tilangani). However, nowhere else he built a proper Chausath-Khamba before this.

 

It is pity that this marvellous architect was brutally murdered and the revolution he brought to Indo-Islamic architecture had a major setback.

– Vikramjit Singh Rooprai

The Malcha Mystery

board1 Every few days, I get a query about the Mysterious Malcha Mahal. People want to go there and know more about it. They are fascinated because they think that in today’s world, how can someone live without electricity and regular water supply.

But things are different for the Royal siblings of the Oudh (Awadh) province.

What is Malcha Mahal

Malcha Mahal is a hunting lodge built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 14th century. Situated right next to Delhi Earth Station in the restricted area of Delhi Ridge, this monument is largest of all Shikargaah’s built by the emperor. It is a huge square complex of 30 meter length on each side built on a high mound. The architecture of this lodge is somewhat similar to another of Tughlaq’s hunting lodge, Kushk Mahal (inside Teenmurti House).

It’s Location

Malcha Mahal is situated next to Delhi Earth Station on the Bistdari Road in Delhi Ridge. It is the restricted part of the forest behind the Buddha Jyanti Park (Buddha Garden). Malcha Mahal is also known as Bistdari Mahal

About its residents

Board2 Princess Wilayat Mahal, the Begum of Oudh was the great granddaughter of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh. Nawab Wajid Ali waas deposed by British more than a century ago and their property was seized. Begum Wilayat Mahal was fighting with the govt. of India to get her property back, which is now used as a pharmaceutical research centre. To humiliate the government, she housed herself in the VIP lounge of New Delhi Railway Station with her two kids and dogs for a considerably long period. In may 1985, the govt. finally decided to allot Malcha Mahal to this royal descendants. But placing a royal family in such a ghost palace was not a good idea. On December 10, 1993, out of pain and mental stress, Begum Wilayat Mahal committed suicide by drinking crushed diamonds. She left behind her two kids, Princess Sakina and Prince Riaz, few Dobermans & German Shepherds and some royal treasure. Her body was lying on her study desk for 10 days and her kids were mourning in grief. The night before Prince Riaz buried her, both her kids slept with her dead body. Since her mother’s death, Princess Sakina has only wore black colour.

Entrance On june 24th 1994, some people tried to attack this haunted place in search of treasure. The terrified young siblings had to dig the grave of their deceased mother and burn her body to save her grave from being vandalized. Today her ashes rest in a crystal vial. They were given a revolver and permission to shoot in self-protection by the Lt. Governor of Delhi. Today, the dungeon is guarded by over a dozen dogs and high shrubs and grilss around the premise. They once had 27 dogs but today, only 9 are left. Others have been poisoned by local thieves, who have also stolen a huge silver table some some gold and silver tableware from the palace.

The other side of the story

Anjum Quder, the prince of Oudh wrote a letter to prime minister, several government bodies and other ministers in April 1975 stating that the claim by Begum Wilayat Mahal is a hoax. He explained that according to the Muslim tradition, the title of ‘Mahal’ was always awarded by the King to her wife only when the first male child was born. Under no circumstances, the title of ‘Mahal’ can be given to a daughter or grand-daughter. Since Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled to Burma, no lady in India was given the title of Mahal. This can be cross verified with the last 150 years of Indian History. He has given confirm proof of the entire genealogy of the entire Oudh Family from Nawab Wajid Ali Shah onwards. His letter and explanation can be read at http://oudh.tripod.com/bhm/hoax.htm

My conversation with the forest officials and CISF guards

Out of my several visits to the place, I was able to talk to few people there. In one visit, I was able to talk to the local forest officials. They said that it is a false claim that she was allotted this palace permanently by government. It was more of a make-shift temporary arrangement to pull her out of the New Delhi Railway Station. He further went to an extend saying that in the initial days of Begum Wilayat Mahal coming to this palace, they used to hear sound of music and dance from the palace. They even told us that they fear some illegal activities going in there. They could recall 1-2 reporters trying to go inside the Mahal and never return back.

I even had a conversation with the CISF guards at the Delhi Earth Station. They told me that they have no clue what happens in there. All they know is that if anyone tries to come near, this guy unleashes his dogs and points a gun at the intruder. I was lucky enough to talk to one employee of the Earth Station. He said that he has been working in the Earth Station for decades and this palace, which is just few feet away from the Station used to be their badminton court. But since these people have come here, they have not allowed us to go near the palace.

Encounter with the Prince

During one of my several visits, when I was trying to find the entrance to the palace and was being accompanied by few other members of our Photowalk Group (Nikhil Garg, Karan Arora, Pankaj Pratap Singh, Praveen Lal, Sourabh Singh Khillery and few others) we were lucky to have a look at the guy, who we later realized is the prince himself. We were amazed by his command over English. We tried to break the conversation with him but he quickly jumped into the bushes and disappeared.

My Understanding

I don’t know whether Prince Anjum Quder is right or the story told by Begum Wilayat is true. All I know is that Princess Sakina and Prince Riaz deserve a peaceful life. They have had enough torture and pain in all these years. We cannot estimate their loss. Today they share a haunted dungeon with bats, lizards, spiders and snakes. They live a life of refugees in their own country’s capital. Government and other people, including their own servants have betrayed them so many times that now they can’t trust anyone but their dogs. The best we can do today to help them is to let them live peacefully and not force our curiosity to breach their privacy. Let’s stay away from Malcha Mahal and let them live the life they have chosen for themselves. It is their basic right and we are no one to force a lifestyle on them, which we think is better.

– Whatever people say about the siblings living in this palace, I have my full sympathy with them and would like to support them in the way, in which they are most comfortable.

 

* UPDATE * – 12 May 2015

This article has grown popularity as people have grown interest in this Monument (or should I say, in others lives). Almost every week, I am contacted by at least 1 person, asking about the couple living there. The worst experience I had was with one of the journalist, who was very proud that he went inside and met the couple. Here’s what he told me over phone:

“I went there with my photographer, jumped the fence and went inside. An old dying lady was lying in one corner. When she saw me, she screamed and called someone. She asked him to unleash dogs and pull out gun. I ran away. After coming out, I phoned police about some suspicious activity and had the place raided. As police came, I went inside with them showing my press card. When we went inside with police, we found that they are very poor. They had few dogs. There were hardly any utensils in the room and very few traces of food. Entire structure was checked by police this is all we found in there”. He added, “Policemen were also cribbing about this false alarm, and so were the old duo living in there”. This reporter, from India TV was very proud of his act. After narrating his gallantry act, the reporter invited me for an interview, to which I refused (obviously). I have appeared on many news channels and this channel will always remain in my black list.

Once I went to Malcha Mahal and the Trees had shed leaves, revealing the Monument. I was able to get a clearer view and found that it is more closer to Bhooli Bhatiyari ka Mahal built by same, Feroz Shah Tughlaq, than the Kushk Mahal (as said by me earlier in this post). It is on high mound, with a huge gate, accessed by a ramp, instead of stairs. Outside the Monument, towards west (Qibla), is a Mosque Wall, which touches the boundary of Delhi Earth Station. This is a rare thing as nowhere else, I have found any such wall near any Hunting Lodge. Usually, prayer chambers are inside the premise of lodge. There is a possibility that this mosque wall was built later. Exact statement can be given only after proper examination of the wall.

Whenever the duo loving inside the Malcha Mahal depart from this Mortal world, the monument will fall in hands of Archaeological Survey of India. These people are geared to restore it and set it open for public.

At end, all I want to say is, please don’t try anything, which can disturb the peace, with which the duo is living. They have right to live. Please let them live peacefully. We can see the monument from inside few years later.

The lost history of Murthal

Murthal, a small village in Sonepat District of Haryana and less than 50 Km. away from Delhi. The residents and migrants know it for its famous temple and Naga Baba’s mazaar, and rest know it for the famous Dhabas and their Paranthas.

Yesterday (2nd April, 2011), I went there to visit an Ashram, slightly off the G.T. Road (National Highway 1). I have been there countless times, but never noticed, what I saw yesterday. Far in the village of Murthal, a small structure was appearing out of trees. I asked my wife, how about checking that place. She was excited. We drove towards that unknown place and soon ended up in broken road and water logged area. Someone told us that the place we are searching for is left behind. So we turned and entered into a small street. After driving for less than 500 meters, an old structure appeared out of nowhere and I parked my car.

5The place was loaded with cow dung cakes and fodder. Locals told that when the Mughal Raaj was it’s best, this place was built by them. To me, it looked like some police post or court room. Or may be it was the temporary residence of some high official. It is also possible that the place was a resting lounge for Mughal royals, travelling from Delhi to Punjab.

 

From the lens…

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How to Reach

Go straight from Sonepat till you reach Murthal Fly Over. Cross it and travel for roughly 1 Km. You will find a U-Turn right before Kohinoor Rice Plant. Take the turn, and drive back till you reach all the Dhabas on your right (other side of road). Now watch for a road turning to left, just 200 mts. before the fly over. Take the left, and drive straight into the village. When you are about to enter the village, you might see the ‘dome of this place peeking out of trees. But you must ask some local about its location as it is situated deep inside the village.

 

If anybody finds any further information about this place, please let me know.

Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban – 1286 AD

This monument is present at

Mehrauli Archeological Park

and this article is a part or my expedition

Didar-e-Dilli

 

Balban's-Tomb's-Stone

Sultan Muizz-ud-din kaiqubad bin Nasir-ud-din bin Ghiyas-ud-din Balban (1200 AD – 1287 AD) was a Slave ruler of Delhi from the period of 1266 AD to 1287 AD. His tomb lies within Mehrauli Archeological Park, next to the Qutub Minar Complex.

This tomb is known to be the first true arched tomb within India. The tombstone reads…

“Ghiyasuddin Balban was a Turki slave of Iltutmish and held the post of Prime Minister during the reign of Nasiruddin Mahmud. On the death of Mahmud, he ascended the throne and ruled for 24 years until his death. The tomb in rubble masonry is believed to have been the earliest instance of the true arch and dome being used in India.”

However, the dome no longer exists as it got demolished with time.

Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Balban

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia

He was son of a Turkish noble of the Ilbari tribe, but as a child was captured by Mongols and sold as a slave at Ghazni. Khwaja, Jamaluddin Basri of Baghdad Later, he was bought by Sultan Iltutmish in 1232 CE, who at the orders of his own master, Qutbuddin Aibak, released him from slavery and brought him up in a manner befitting a prince.

He was liberally educated. He introduced the Persian culture of zaminbos that is lying flat on one’s face before the emperor. He was first appointed as Khasdar (king’s personal attendant)by the Sultan. He became the head of the ‘Chalissa’, a group of forty Turkish nobles of the state. After the overthrow of Razia Sultana he made rapid strides in the subsequent reigns. He was initially the Prime Minister of Sultan Nasir ud din Mahmud from 1246 to 1266 and married his daughter, but Balban declared himself the Sultan of Delhi after the previous sultan Nasir ud din Mahmud’s death because Sultan Nasir ud din Mahmud had no male heir. Sultan Balban ascended the throne in 1266 at the age of sixty with the title of Ghyas ud din Balban.

During his reign, Balban ruled with an iron fist. He broke up the ‘Chihalgani’, a group of the forty most important nobles in the court. He tried to establish peace and order in the country of India. He built many outposts in areas where there was crime and garrisoned them with soldiers. Balban wanted to make sure everyone was loyal to the crown by establishing an efficient espionage system. Sultan Balban had a strong and well-organized spy system. Balban placed secret reporters and news-writers in every department. The spies were independent authority only answerable to Sultan. Balban was strict administrator of justice. He did not show any partiality even to his own kith and kin. About his justice Dr. Ishwari Prasad remarked "So great was the dread of Sultan’s inexorable justice that no one dared to ill-treat his servant and slaves." When a complaint was made that Malik Barbaq, a powerful landlord of Badaun killed one of his own servant. Balban ordered his death sentence. The news-writer(spy), who was responsible for Badaun reporting was also executed because he failed to report this act of injustice to Sultan.

He ruled as the Sultan from 1266 until his death in 1287, and was succeeded by his grandson, Muiz ud din Qaiqabad, who reign (1287-1290). His successors were weak and incompetent and the throne was eventually captured by Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji in 1290, bringing an end to the Slave dynasty.

  

From the Lens…

 

Ruins of Ancient city adjacent to Balban’s Tomb…

 City-Entrance City-Ruins-(1) City-Ruins-(2) City-Ruins-(3) City-Ruins-(4)  City-Wall-Stone

 

Here lies the Powerful Emperor…

Balban's-Grave-(1)Balban's-Grave-(2)

 

The Ruined Tomb…

 Balban's-Tomb-(1) Balban's-Tomb-(2)Balban's-Tomb-(3)  Balban's-Tomb---Marker

 

Tomb’s Gateway…

Balban's-Tomb's-Gate Balban's-Tomb's-Gateway-Stone

 

How to Reach

When you enter Mehrauli Archeological Park, you will find pillars everywhere directing you to Balban’s Tomb and City Ruins.

There is a hole in wall on the Auribindo Marg, where flower market starts. This hole helps you park your car next to Balban’s Tomb. But I am sure it will soon be repaired by ASI and you will have to park along the Jamali Kamali mosque.

 

If you need more information on this, or need better resolution pics, contact me at contact@vikramjits.com

Jamali Kamali Mosque and Mausoleum, Mehrauli – 1528 AD

This monument is present at

Mehrauli Archeological Park

and this article is part or my expedition

Didar-e-Dilli

 

Jamali-Kamali-Mosque

In 1536, a renowned Sufi Saint, Shaikh Hamid bin Fazlu’llah a.k.a. Shaikh Jamal-uddin Kamboh Dehlwi a.k.a. Jalal Khan a.k.a. Dervesh Jamali was buried near a mosque designed by him in 1528. The mosque, and the adjacent tomb are now popular by name “Jamali-Kamali”. Not much is know about Kamali , except that he was the best friend of Jamali. 

 

Shaikh Jamali Kamboh

Jamali-Kamali-Graves

Shaikh Jamali was a prominent sunni sufi statue of suhrawardiyya sect during the Lodhi and Mughal era. He was the tutor of Emperor Sikandar Lodhi. Due to his Persian work, he was also called Khusrau-e-Saani (Equal to Khusrao). His prominent works are Siyar-i-Arifin (account of Chisti and suhrawardiyya sufis of period), Masnawi, Mihr wa Mahi Shaikh and a Diwan of verses. Shaikh Jamali died 1536 AD while accompanying Mughal emperor Humayun to Gujarat. He was then burried in a tomb next to his mosque. Later, his best friend Kamali was also burried there. If you look at the graves closely, you will find that Jamali’s grave takes up the central area, and kamali’s grave was somehow adjusted in remaining space on right side later, blocking the passage.

 

The Mosque

Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-1

The mosque was built in 1528. It is said to be designed by Shaikh Jamali himself. The main entry is always closed. But there is an attendant, who upon request opens it for viewing. The side entry is permanently closed. When we first went there, we found few kids playing cricket in the backyard.

 

Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Outside

Mosque contains a water pit  just near the entrance in large open area. Main building is made with red stone. The central of five arches is having a dome and this mosque is known to be the first of such mosque structures in India. Mihrabs decorate the west facing prayer wall, which also has koranic inscriptions. The second storey of mosque is locked for public access. But there are small stairs leading to vents in four octagonal towers.

 

Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Outside-2 Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Gate Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Inside

Jamali-Kamali-Gate Jamali-Kamali-Exterior-Garden Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Stairs

Jamali-Kamali-Exterior-Wall Jamali-Kamali-Mosque-Inside-Closeup

 

The Mausoleum

Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom

The tomb of Jamali and Kamali is accessible through a small gate from mosque. There is another entry to the porch from north-east corner, but it is also sealed.  Towards north west corner, is the enclosed tomb with very nice engraving and beautifully decorated walls in blue and red color. There are koranic inscriptions everywhere. Jamali’s grave takes the center part, and as I said earlier, Kamali’s grave is adjusted on the right side blocking the path. It looks like he was burried much later to the famous poet. There is a very huge porch enclosed with wall containing windows. There is another wall dividing the porch into a proportion of 80-20. This 20% area again has few graves. There are several other unknown graves in the main porch, one of which is even covered with a pavilion.

Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom-Inside-Roof Jamali-Kamali-backyard Jamali-Kamali-backyard-2 Jamali-Kamali-backyard-3 Jamali-Kamali-backyard-4 Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom-2

Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom-Inside-Roof-2 Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom-Inside-1 Jamali-Kamali-GraveRoom-Inside-2

 

How to Reach

IMG_5485When you enter Mehrauli Archeological Park, you will find such pillars everywhere. Just follow your way towards the ‘Jamali-Kamali Mosque’. 

 

If you are coming from Gurgaon on MG Road (Aurobindo Marg), towards Qutub Minar, as you cross the road towards Jain Dada Badi (don’t turn on it), you will find a small entrance to some park with a standard board outside (like it is outside all other parks in Delhi telling do’s and dont’s for a park). Take your vehicle inside, and you can find parking next to Jamali Kamali.

Mehrauli Archaeological Park

This article is a part of My Delhi Expedition…

Didar-e-Dilli

 

Adjacent to Qutub Minar Complex, lies the magnificent Mehrauli Archaeological Park, that hides more than 80 historical marvels. It contains monuments dating back to Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Balban. In 1997, INTACH (Delhi Chapter) and Delhi Tourism decided to develop these neglected ruins. They started with a target of restoring 40 monuments. So far, not even half of this figure is reached, but still, some deep secrets were revealed. Spread in several acres, this park, on one side touches the World Heritage Qutub Complex and on other side, neighbors the entire mehrauli village.

 

  Mehrauli

 

Entrance

When we enter Qutub Minar, there is a round structure by Metcalf (britisher). Adjacent to that structure, is the entrance to Mehrauli Archeological Park. Park is walled on one side and is bounded by Qutub Complex on other. Rest two sides are heavily forested and small beaten mud tracks leads you inside woods. You can enter from Gateway (next to Qutub Complex), Well, Balban’s Tomb, Gumti, Walled Mosque, Mughal Tomb and Gandhak ki Baoli

 

Monuments in Park

MAP_Detailed

A list of monuments, that are identified is as follows…

(Note that not all are restored. The work is in progress since 1997)

  1. Gateway of Balaban’s Tomb
  2. Balbans Tomb
  3. Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
  4. Gumtis and Arcaded Building
  5. Maulana Majduddin’s Tomb
  6. Khan Shaheed’s Tomb
  7. Ruins from Balab’n’s Era (Ruined Village)
  8. Metcalf’s Canopy
  9. Boat House
  10. Lodhi Era Well
  11. Circular Path/Building
  12. Lodhi Era Gateway & Guest House
  13. Tomb of Quli Khan
  14. Metcalf’s Bridge
  15. Stable
  16. Tomb with SandStone Jharokhas
  17. Gatehouse
  18. Walled Mosque
  19. Sarai
  20. Mughal Tomb
  21. Rajon ki Baoli
  22. Gandhak Ki Baoli
  23. Unidentified tomb and several graves
  24. Unidentified Ruins in Central Area

 

Several other monuments adjoin this place, like…

  1. Qutub Minar
  2. Dargah Hz. Bakhtiyar Kaki
  3. Jahaz Mahal
  4. Zafar Mahal
  5. Adam Khan’s Tomb
  6. Madhi Masjid
  7. Jain Dada Badi
  8. Graves of Last few kings of India (except the last one – Bahadur Shah Zafar)
  9. Several dozen other identified/unidentified ruins

 

Rulers of Delhi and their marks in M.A.Park

Delhi was ruled by many rulers and this place has marks of everyone….

10th Centuray AD Tomar Rajputs Built Lal Kot and Iron Pillar. (This area is enclosed in Lal Kot)
1155 AD Chauhans They built Quila Rai Pithora where Lal Kot was
1200 AD (Approx) Slave Dynasty Tombs of Balban, Iltutmish, Qutub Minar etc.
1320 Tughluq Tughlakabad is not too far from Mehrauli (though I was not able to find any building of Tughluq era in M.A.Park, I am sure there must be something unnoticed/unidentified)
1400-1500 AD Sayyids & Lodhis Tomb of Jamali Kamali and many other monuments are from this era
1526 AD Mughals Many tombs of mughal era and graves can be seen in this area
1757 AD Britishers Metcalf’s canopy, bridge, gardens, gateways and many other buildings are in this park
1947 AD Democratic Govt. Rose Garden and other constructions in here confirm that this place has marks of all rulers

From Camera…

IMG_5486

Here are few pics from this mighty place. You can find more pics in coming posts, when I will write one article on each monument…

IMG_5539 IMG_5549IMG_5563 IMG_5565 IMG_5580 IMG_6077 IMG_6092 IMG_6111 IMG_6188 IMG_6196 IMG_6199 IMG_6220

IMG_5541 IMG_5548

Madhi Masjid, Mehrauli

This article is a part of My Delhi Expedition…

Didar-e-Dilli

 

MadhiMasjid(from-exterior)

As you move towards Jain Dada Badi in Mehrauli (from Andheria Mod), you will find a lonely, but different architecture Lodhi era structure, which has the features of an open wall-mosque as well as a covered mosque. Colored tiles have been used for decorating the flat-roofed chambers with arched openings on either side of the three central bays on the walls of the mosque. Strong walls enclose the courtyard with turrets in each corner giving the mosque the appearance of a miniature fortress. This supports the view that the Madhi Masjid served the purpose of both as a place of worship and was a watchtower to keep a tab on the movements of an alien army.

 

It has a huge burj like gate built on eastern side, which resembles hindu architecture. This place is a protected monument is kept locked by the Archeological Survey of India. But I somehow managed to get a very brief glimpse, while the guard was keeping an eye on me. The place was clean and lonely, rarely occupied by stray monkeys. I wonder why ASI has not included it into the Mehrauli Archeological Park, as it is adjacent to the premise.

 

Some clicks of Mosque…

 

Madhi-Masjid-3 Madhi-Masjid-Burj   Madhi-Masjid-Burj-Interior-2 Madhi-Masjid-Burj-Sideview Madhi-Masjid-Entrance Madhi-Masjid-OpenMosque   RoadView Madhi-Masjid-SideView-2 Madhi-Masjid-1 Madhi-Masjid-2 Madhi-Masjid-WindowMadhi-Masjid-SideViewMadhi-Masjid-Burj-Interior-1Madhi-Masjid-Burj-Gate

Adam Khan’s Tomb a.k.a. Bhool Bhulaiya

This article is a part of My (Vikram) and Gaurav’s Delhi Expedition…

Didar-e-Dilli

 

Bhool-Bhulaiya

Situated right behind the Qutub Minar, in front of Mehrauli Bus Stand, is Adam Khan’s Tomb, popularly known as Bhool Bhulaiya (lybrinth). It is said that once an entire ‘baraat’ was lost inside this tomb. Looking at this place, the story seems to be very fictitious, but if you see the large dense forest of Quila Rai Pithora (or Lal Kot) behind it, you can make out that it is possible for a huge gathering to get lost in there.

 

Adam Khan was the son of Akbar’s wet nurse Maham Anga. When Adam Khan killed the husband of JiJi Anga, Ataga Khan, he was thrown from the top of Agra’s Red Fort twice by Akbar. Later, in grief, his mother passed away. Akbar, then built this tomb for Adam Khan.

 

I got this nice excerpt from here

Surmounted by a dome, the tomb is popularly known as Bhulbhulaiyan, due to its labyrinth where one may lose one’s way in the corridors of the tomb. The tomb is built in Lodi style with a verandah on each side with three openings and that too without the usual eaves below the parapets. It is said that in the early 19th century, the tomb was converted into a residence of an Englishman named Blake of the Bengal Civil Service. Later the tomb was also used or misused as a police station, post office and even a rest house. The tomb was finally vacated and maintained as a monument on the orders of Lord Curzon.

 

Some Pictures

AdamKhans-Tomb-(9) AdamKhans-Tomb-(10) AdamKhans-Tomb-(11) AdamKhans-Tomb-(12)   AdamKhans-Tomb-(2) AdamKhans-Tomb-(3)    AdamKhans-Tomb-(7)AdamKhans-Tomb-(5) 

The last picture above (right) is of a lodhi era building situated near tomb, now being used as a medical facility.

 

AdamKhans-Tomb-(6)AdamKhans-Tomb-(1)AdamKhans-Tomb-(8)AdamKhans-Tomb-(13)

Jahaz Mahal, Hauz-i-Shamsi, Mehrauli

 

This article is a part of My (Vikram) and Gaurav’s Delhi Expedition…

Didar-e-Dilli

JahazMahal

Jahaz Mahal was a Sarai (inn) built between 1451 AD and 1526 AD for pilgrims visiting Delhi from Afghanistan, Ira, Iraq, Arabia, Morocco, Turkey and other Islamic Countries to the Muslim shrines like Hazrat Kaki’s Dargah and Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Dargah.

It was built during Lodhi Dynasty, next to Hauz-i-Shamsi. the name Jahaz Mahal (The Ship Palace) was given because of its ship like reflection in water body next to it.

 

Hauz-I-Shamsi

Jahaz-Mahal-(2)Hauz-i-Shamsi was a water reservoir built by the Mamluk Emperor Shams-ud-din Iltutmish in 1230 (200 years before Jahaz Mahal). At the edge of this Water body, is the tomb of 17th century Persian writer of Mughal Court Abul Haqq Dehlavi.

A popular legend narrated is of Iltumish’s dream in which Prophet Muhammad directed him to build a reservoir at a particular site. When Iltumish inspected the site the day after his dream, he reported to have found a hoof print of Muhammad’s horse. He then erected a pavilion to mark the sacred location and excavated a large tank (reservoir) around the pavilion to harvest rain water.

Jahaz-Mahal-(11)

Another version of the legend linked is that the Holy Prophet appeared in a dream not only to Iltumish but also to the Muslim sufi saint Khawaja indicating the same particular location, where the hoof print of Muhammad’s horse was imprinted, for the construction of a water tank. Since drinking water supply was acute in the newly founded capital of Iltumish (the first medieval city of Qila Rai Pithora of Delhi) a tank was dug at the location indicated in the dream, which resulted in water jetting out from a spring source. It was, thereafter, named as Hauz-i-Shamsi, and Khawaja, the saint who divined it, came to be known as Hazrat Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki or simply ‘Kaki’. The name Kaki was attributed to him by virtue of this keramat (miracle). The Khawaja died in 1235 AD. He is buried in Mehrauli (near the Qutab Minar) and it is inferred that Qutub Minar was also named after him

Source: Wikipedia

More Pictures…

Jahaz-Mahal Jahaz-Mahal-(9)   Jahaz-Mahal-(4) Jahaz-Mahal-(5) Jahaz-Mahal-(6) Jahaz-Mahal-(7)

Jahaz-Mahal-(8)  Jahaz-Mahal-(1)

 

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