Azim (Aka: Akbar) Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli, Delhi
Azim (Aka: Akbar) Khan’s Tomb
Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli
The tomb of Azim Khan (also known as Akbar Khan) is located on a small hillock, overlooking the Delhi – Mehrauli road. The square tomb,crowned with a dome, dates back to the days of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar.
The strategically built tomb, is extremely prominent and is visible from the entire neighborhood, including the Qutub Complex and the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
Although a prominent landmark of South Delhi, the tomb has been an example of utter neglect and nothing much is known about its historical background.
Like the tomb, nothing much is known about its occupant either. There are no proper historic records about Azim Khan and according to some Azim Khan was a general in Akbar’s army and was awarded the title “Akbar” (meaning magnificent) by Akbar himself.
It was probably the horrors of war that converted Azim Khan into a pious and religious man. Azim Khan become a follower of the famous Sufi saint Hazarat Nizamuddin, who is said to appear in his dream and advice him to give up the path of war and violence.
Azim Khan adopted the path of spirituality and soon his spiritual advices were much in demand. This attracted a large number of people, from far and wide, flocking around him.
In search of isolation, Azim Khan built himself a tomb on a hillock located on the barren lands south of Delhi. The hillock had vertical walls preventing access to the residence of Azim Khan. No wonder Azim Khan and a few followers who had access to him had mastered the art of rock climbing!!!
It was built somewhere in the 17th century but historians are still in the dark about the exact date of construction.
Centuries later, during the British rule, several of the monuments of Mehrauli were converted into outhouses of British officers. Azim Khan’s tomb was no exception and it was converted into a late night partying house!!!!
The British soldiers tested their physical strength and their climbing skills by scaling the near vertical walls of the hillock for the late night parties.
After independence, the tomb of Azim Khan was left in neglect. It was only during the Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010) beautification drive, the neglected tomb finally got its much needed attention.
During the process of restoration, the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) decided to build a staircase leading up to the tomb, thus making the century old inaccessible tomb accessible.
Although efforts have been made to make the tomb accessible, it is still hardly visited by people and the approach road is extremely difficult to spot.
Located behind the Jain Pilgrimage of Ahinsa Sthal, the approach road, which runs along the boundary of the Jain Pligrimage, is narrow and difficult to spot. The narrow road meanders past some ruined vegetation, covered with thick vegetation and finally reaches the gate of the Azim Khan’s Tomb.
A sandstone plaque mentions the structure as Azim Khan’s Tomb but it says nothing more, no history of the tomb or of the person. A newly built staircase leads to the tomb of Azim Khan. There are a few graves in front of the tomb.
The newly restored square tomb has entrances on three sides and the dome is crowned with inverted lotus finial. The tomb, with its plastered walls, has no ornamentation on the outer walls.
The three entrances are sealed, making entry inside the tomb impossible. The graves are simple but the walls contains some ornamentation of lotus motif and calligraphy.
The greatest part of the Azim Khan’s Tomb is its commendably view of the Mehrauli region, stretching all the way beyond the Qutub Minar.
Special Thanks: A special thanks to fellow blogger Sahil Ahuja, who not only guided me to the Azim Khan;s Tomb but also his blog provided valuable information for my blog post.