When we think of Delhi, our minds conjure up images of Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Old Fort, Humayun Tomb, and so on. Tourists from all over the world visit Delhi to catch a glimpse of these heritage sites. But, Delhi’s history is far richer and extensive than just these monuments. The city is dotted with remnants of invaluable architectural marvels. Every nook and corner of the capital has a story to share, a history to tell.
But now, residential buildings and commercial structures stand cheek-by-jowl with these treasure troves. Some of the ancient structures are still standing tall against the urban sprawl, while some are fading away from memory. So, the Gobar Times team decided to go for a treasure hunt, and present to you some of these precious monuments that are being swallowed by the tides of “development”. Here are a few of them:
Archeological Park, Mehrauli:
Located behind Qutub Minar, it has more than 100 five-centuries-old monuments spread over 200 acres of land. Few of the most important ones are Jamali Kamali mosque, Quli Khan’s tomb, Gandhak-kibaoli, Rajaon-ki-baoli, Madhi Masjid and Balban’s tomb. But in spite of attempts to preserve the site, graffitis disfigure the walls, and garbage and poly bags are strewn around or dumped in the ancient baolis (small water holes).
Situated near Press Enclave in the south of Delhi, it was built in the 14th century by Khan-i- Jahan, the then Prime Minister of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, who used the mosque for his private worship. But now the surrounding area is crowded with houses and shops. Unless one looks for it, it cannot be found at all!
Originally called Hauz-i-Alai after Alauddin Khilji (second ruler of Khilji dynasty) who built a large tank here to supply water to the city of Siri. It has the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq (who later de-silted the tank). But, a flock of restaurants and residential buildings now violate the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) regulation (prohibiting any construction within 100 metres of a heritage site).