Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mehrauli Archaeological Park – Where Stones Speak

Heritage walks always give you an opportunity to explore more about your own city. You get to know about those less explored and less visited places. And if the walk is under the guidance of some famous historian then it becomes really exciting as experts have all those minute details and an eye which I believe a guide cannot provide.  

Travel correspondents and Bloggers Group (TCBG) arranged a heritage walk – Mehrauli archaeological park with famous historian Ms.Rana Safvi,  an eminent historian who has been conducting Heritage walk in Delhi on regular basis. She has written a book called “Where Stones Speak".

Mehrauli, earlier known as Mihirawali is oldest of Delhi’s seven cities.Mehrauli Archaeological Park is spread over 200 acre adjacent to Qutub minar. It has many worth visiting monuments in and around which is not possible to cover within a day. 
The walk was planned for March 20th, 2016 & all the participants met at the entry of Mehrauli archaeological park close to metro station.  I have read many articles on heritage walk but the meeting point for all the participants is always confusing as there is no sign board at the entry and there are around 10 gates of archaeological park. 

Those who were coming from Delhi side they had to cross Qutub metro station and then took           U- turn and after approx. 500 mtrs of drive they had to reach Development Authority, Rules & Regulations’ on the left mentioned on that gate which was our meeting point. 

From main road we took left turn on narrow un-tar road and moved ahead, after driving a while at the dead end we took right turn and parked our cars opposite to Metcalfe's canopy.

Our tour started with brief description about the walk by Ms.Rana Safvi, she led us towards Balban Tomb. We passed through the ruined residential area.  


The tomb and nearby area is in a very bad shape and located in a building known as Dar–ul-Amaan or House of Refuge

Ms.Rana informed us that this tomb didn’t belong to Balban but actually belonged to his son Khan- e –Shaheed who passed away in a battle. 

Legend has it that Balban was so cruel that even his tomb didn’t survive after he passed away.

The building is a true example of Indo – Islamic architecture as it was the first true arch in India. 

After clicking some pictures we left for our next destination “Jamali Kamali Masjid and Tomb”.
Jamali Kamali Mosque, one of the beautiful mosques of Mughal period was  built in between 1528 and 1536. 

The tomb is closed for the public but thanks to Ms.Rana who took a special permission for us which is jewel for the photographers. 

There are two tombs which belong to Jamali and Kamali. Shaikh Fazlullah (Jamali)  was a Saint who died in Gujarat and his body was brought here  to bury.  Other one belongs to Kamali , there is no such details of Kamali in history except that they were very close with each other & some people believe that Jamali and Kamali were not just friends but also lovers hence they were buried  next to each other. 

Jamali’s tomb is at the centre hence it is believed that that he died first and Kamali’s body was buried adjacent to Jamali’s as per his wish to be buried next to him. 

Ms Rana informed us that the shape of Female's tomb is Takhti (Flat) & male's tomb is kalam (curvy / sloppy)

The ceiling & wall are decorated with coloured tiles. 

The wall inscribed with Jamali's poems.

One can find Allah inscribed in the centre of Kalash which is an example of Ganga JamuniTahzeeb.

After visiting the tomb we came out and visited mosque, the Jamali-Kamali mosque built in 1528-29 inspired by  Mughal mosque architecture in India.The prayer hall, fronted by a large courtyard, has five arches with the central arch only having a dome.

After that our group moved towards “Rajon ki Baoli” , three storey baoli was  built by Daulat Khan in 1516. Before visiting this I used to believe that Rajon ki baoli belonged to kings as the name suggests but actually it belonged to Raj, the masons.  

The Baoli was not only used to provide water for daily needs but also for the social gathering as well as to the residences of masons (rajon).

We reached upstairs from where we got to watch beautiful view of Old Delhi. We clicked some pictures and moved ahead. 

Our final destination of the walk was “Muhammad Quli Khan’s Tomb” which is octagonal in shape. The Tomb was bought by Thomas Metcalfe who converted the complex into a residential property and hence called as Dilkusha Complex to use as summer residence. 

He used main room as his dining room and built a boat house & water fall in the complex. He also started giving out on rent to honeymoon couples. 

This way our tour ended  in front of Metcalfe canopy which is built on the peak of a grassy mound. 

We were back with the book “Where Stones Speak” by Ms. Rana to explore the hidden facts in detail and enhance the knowledge of history behind the  Mehrauli Archaeological Park.


  1. शानदार लेख। मेरे लिए तो सब कुछ ही नया है। धन्यवाद महेश जी।

    1. mere liye bhi naya hi tha :-) , jab ki uske age se 20 sal se ja raha hun

  2. मजा आ गया यह पुरानी ईमारते अपनी तरफ खिंचती है, जब हम इनके नजदीक होते है तब उस पल के क्या कहने।
    महेश जी शानदार पोस्ट।

  3. मजा आ गया यह पुरानी ईमारते अपनी तरफ खिंचती है, जब हम इनके नजदीक होते है तब उस पल के क्या कहने।
    महेश जी शानदार पोस्ट।

  4. बहुत म्हणत की है महेश जी इतिहास को जीवन्त करने में ।
    और शानदार फोटोग्राफी

    1. jab tak aap jese motivator hain tab tak koshish karenge likhne ki

  5. बहुत म्हणत की है महेश जी इतिहास को जीवन्त करने में ।
    और शानदार फोटोग्राफी

  6. nice account mahesh ji..... and you did the most helpful thing by posting puc of entrance...otherwise we would have lost time in locating the meeting point!!

  7. I am missing these walks in Mumbai. I would love to have some walks in Mumbai too. It's time that TCBG spreads its wings.

    As usual your post is detailed with tips. Great going.