India Insight

Photo gallery: A walk through Mehrauli Archaeological Park

October 10, 2012

Next time you plan a visit to the Qutub Minar, venture beyond its crowded complex. Walk past the parking lot, which is on your left, and take the first right turn. Next to the Qutub Restaurant is an obscured path. Take the path, walk down a few steps and this is what you see:

 

You are inside the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, located in what was once the first of the seven historic cities of Delhi, dating back about a thousand years. The first structure (see below) is the Metcalfe House, which was once a tomb. Thomas Metcalfe was an agent of the Governor General of India to the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar, India’s last Mughal emperor.

 

As you move on, you’d find columns to your left and right, guiding you to several structures in this area. This also is a Delhi Development Authority park. Next stop is the Jamali Kamali mosque.

While clicking this monument, I tried to use the sun in the frame, since the sky was dull. And thankfully, these security guards walked in and added some life to my frame.

 

 

There’s no dearth of baolis (step wells) in northern India. Below is a picture of Rajon ki baoli, apparently built for masons. Next to it is a mosque. I decided to shoot a silhouette.

 

Here’s another baoli called Gandhak ki baoli, towards the exit of this park. This one is smaller, and closed for visits. But the security guard was kind enough to let me in for a picture.

 

There’s another entrance to this park. If you skip the right turn that you took in the beginning, and walk until the end of the road, to your right is a florist. There’s an entrance right there. Incidentally, I missed that one and walked to another gate, few metres away. Balban’s tomb (from the Mamluk, or slave dynasty) was the first structure that caught my eye.

 

 

Even if you’re not a history buff or an explorer, the park is a perfect place for being by yourself or enjoying a romantic evening.

 

You can also hear Sufi Muslims singing qawwali music at the Bakhtiyar Kaki’s dargah, a few metres away from the Rajon Ki baoli. The singers begin performing around 6 p.m. daily.

 

Finally, before you hop over to those high-end bars of Mehrauli, you should go next door to the Qutub Minar. Yes, at 7.p.m. Not many people know it, but the grounds are open between 7 and 9 p.m.. Photo enthusiasts, leave your tripod behind. The security guards will not let you bring them in.

 

(You can see more photography by Ankush on his Facebook page.)

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Hi Ankush….it was good to read the blog…I do believe that you were part of DelhiByFoot’s heritage explorations to Mehrauli Village and Archaelogical Park and the Qutub By Nite on 6th Oct..would have really helped us if you would have mentioned about our fledgling little team of Delhi explorers…Cheers and hope to read more on Delhi from you…
Do join us on more of our explorations…here on FB: http://www.facebook.com/Delhibyfoot

Thanks
Asif/Ramit
Team DBF

Posted by DelhiByFoot | Report as abusive
 

Hola! I didn’t knew that Qutub Minar remains open between 7 to 9 PM. This is the first thing I am going to do: Visit Qutub Minar after 7:00 PM. Thank you for that information. And shame on me for not finding this our earliers. I have beenm to Qutub Minar and Mehrauli Archaeological Park many times. I do find Mehrauli Archaeological Park an unusually attractive tourist spot more so for serenity and lesser crowd and some stunning monuments. Jamali Kamali Tomb is the most stunning structure inside the park and to believe it one need to get inside it and see the intricate and exquisite inlay and carvings. Another favorite is Metcalfe’s Dilkusha or the Tomb of Quli Khan followed by Rajon ki Baoli and Balban’s Tomb. Did you know that Balban’s Tomb is the first Islamic Structure built in India which used true arches. But the Tomb is in ruin state and only the grave of Khan Shahid is there. Yet another one of my favorite is the Ziggurat which is visible from the Qutub Minar Parking and there is a gate near from where you can enter the park and reach Quli Khan’s Tomb first.
Just a few 100 meters away from Gandhak ki Baoli opposite Mehrauli Bus Depot you’d see an unusual structure. This one is referred to as Bhool Bhulaiya and there is no sign board to tell you who the tomb belonged to not even locals could tell. It is the Adham Khan’s Tomb. Adham Khan was son of Akbar’s nanny and plotted to have the emperor murdered. When Akbar came to know about it he had Adham Khan killed by twice throwing him off the top of Agra Fort. Later Adham Khan was buried here and the Tomb was ordered to be built by Akbar himself.
There are more anecdotes and details on monuments inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park on my blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If you have time please visit:
http://trevelation.wordpress.com/2012/10  /25/mehrauli-archaeological-park/

Posted by Nikhil-Chandra | Report as abusive
 

This is an amazing place and I go there often, however, I have never seen the Balban’s tomb so far. And neither have I experiences the qawwalis as I mostly go there during early mornings. I must pay a visit real soon. Meanwhile here are some of my thoughts on the place. Please check them out. http://www.fotugrafer.com/blog/?p=40

Posted by fotugrafer | Report as abusive
 

Thanks everyone. fotugrafer, nice pictures :)
Ankush

Posted by Ankush_Reuters | Report as abusive
 

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