Home > Delhi, Delhi Architecture, Delhi History, General > Mausoleum of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq, A Fortified Tomb, Delhi

Mausoleum of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq, A Fortified Tomb, Delhi

Mausoleum of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq

A Fortified Tomb, Delhi

Like a miniature expression of the whole, the tomb is defended on all sides by its own set of machicolated walls, built to keep the Angles of Death at bay; they represent perhaps the most elaborate set of defenses ever raised to protect a corpse.

William Dalrymple, City of Djinns

Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq Tomb, Delhi

Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq Tomb, Delhi

The massive fortified Tomb of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq lies in the shadows of the massive Tughlaqabad Fort, also a creation of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq. Like an umbilical cord, a causeway once linked the mother fort with the miniature fort like tomb of the emperor.

Causeway leading to the gateway of Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Tomb, Delhi

Causeway leading to the gateway of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Tomb, Delhi

Although a portion of he causeway has long been demolished for the construction of the Mehrauli – Badarpur Road but the Tomb of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s tomb is approached by a broad causeway that winds up the small hillock housing the fortified tomb. The tomb was once surrounded by a lake but sadly it has long dried up.

Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Tomb, Delhi

Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Tomb, Delhi

The causeway, supported by arches and pillars lead to a small opening leading to a huge sandstone gateway leading to the pentagonal fortified complex complete with bastions and battlements.

The tomb stands on beautiful manicured lawn art the centre of the irregular pentagonal fortification.

The tomb was commissioned by Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq, himself during his lifetime and follows the typical Tughluq style of architecture.

Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq had an unfortunate death. After the annexation of Bengal, on his way to Delhi, he was given a reception in 1325 in Afghanpur (present day Bihar) by his eldest son Muhammad bin Tughlaq. The stage collapsed killing Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq and his second son. Some historian opine that it was a conspiracy hatched by Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

Graves inside Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Tomb

Graves inside Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Tomb

The simple red sandstone square tomb with sloping walls is crowned with a massive white marble dome.

The tomb is largely devoid of ornamentation except for white marble inlay, medallions, carved red sandstone pillars & thick arches.

Decorative battlements atop the truncated pyramid base adds to the ornamental elements.

There are arched entrances on three of the four sides. The forth, western, side houses a mihrab, doubling the mausoleum as a Mosque. Each of the three arched gateways comes in with redundant horizontal marble lintels, which was probably added for purely aesthetic reasons.

Cells with arched entrances and a pavilion on the inner walls of Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Tomb

Cells with arched entrances and a pavilion on the inner walls of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Tomb

The white marble dome rests on an octagonal drum and is crowned with a a unique lotus finial, representing the kalassa, a common form of Hundu Temple architecture.

Zafar Khan's Tomb, Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Tomb complex

Zafar Khan’s Tomb, Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Tomb complex

The tomb is on ground level and the interior is also plain and houses three graves (not cenotaphs).

The central one belongs to Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, another is of Muhammad Tughlaq & the last houses Ghiyas-ud-din’s wife.

On the north eastern bastion of the fortified mausoleum is another tomb. It is topped with a marble dome and is octagonal shape.

Although similar in architecture it is much smaller in size and contains the mortal remains of Zafar Khan, a trusted general of Alauddin Khalji. Zafar Khan died in 1299 and his tomb predates that of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq by almost a quarter century.

A arched opening with the grave of Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's dog

A arched opening with the grave of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s dog

Later at this very spot Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq built his magnificent fortified mausoleum, in the process integrating the tomb of Zafar Khan within the walled complex and christened it Dar-ul-Aman (“Abode of peace”).

The tomb, surrounded by colonnaded walkways with sandstone lattice work, is dark inside and houses two graves.

The central ornamented one belongs to Zafar Khan, the simple one next to it probably belongs to his wife.

The four, out of the five corners, of the pentagonal fort houses circular bastions, including the one containing the grave of Zafar Khan. The fifth corner houses a open roofless pavilion.

The interior of the fortified wall, crowned with battlements, contain arched entrances leading to cells. The cell located on the left of the open pavilion houses a small grave, which contains the mortal remains of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s favourite dog.

The cells on the walls also contains underground passageways, which probably lead to underground prison cells. Sadly the passages have been covered with iron grill gates and kept under lock and key.

View of Ghiyas ud - Din Tughluq's Mausoleum from Adilabad Fort, Delhi

View of Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Mausoleum from Adilabad Fort, Delhi

Necessary Information:

Nearest Metro: Tughlakabad (Violet Line)

Auto: Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s mausoleum and Tughlaqabad Fort is abut 7 km. Auti fare is Rs 50 only after bargaining

Entry Fee: Rs10 for Ghiyas ud – Din Tughluq’s Mausoleum and Tughlaqabad Fort combined, photography is allowed

Other Attraction: The tour can be extended to the nearby sited of Adilabad Fort and Nai ka Kot

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  1. Yogi Saraswat
    April 24, 2018 at 11:04 AM

    Beautiful information . I was also there last week.

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