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Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

May 10, 2017 10 comments

Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

A compilation of Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

Monsoon in India has a very short duration and moreover it has always been very unpredictable, this gave rise to the necessity of water conservation. Over the centuries Indians have constructed artificial lakes and dug wells to hold the water supplied by the monsoon rains.

Baolis of Delhi. Top Left: Rajon ki Baoli, Top Centre: Gandhak ki Baoli, Top Right: Loharheri Baoli, Bottom Right: Hindu rao hospital Baoli, Bottom Centre: Purana Kella Baoli, Bottom Right: Tuglagabad Baoli

Baolis of Delhi. Top Left: Rajon ki Baoli, Top Centre: Gandhak ki Baoli, Top Right: Loharheri Baoli, Bottom Right: Hindu rao hospital Baoli, Bottom Centre: Purana Kella Baoli, Bottom Right: Tuglagabad Baoli

It is often said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and the necessity of conservation of water, for the dry season, led to the construction of step wells. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in Western India and in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.

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India Gate, a memorial to known and unknown soldiers, New Delhi

September 21, 2016 4 comments

India Gate, a memorial to known and unknown soldiers

Rajpath (Kingsway), New Delhi

This was Rajpath – once the Kingsway – one of the greatest ceremonial ways of the world. It was planned as an Imperial Champs Elysees – complete with India Gate, its own butter coloured Arc de Triomphe. But it was far wider, far greener, far more magnificent than anything comparable in Europe.

William Dalrymple, City of Djinns

India Gate, Rajpath (Kingsway), New Delhi

India Gate, Rajpath (Kingsway), New Delhi

India Gate (originally called the All India War Memorial), the icon of Delhi, stands at the eastern end of Rajpath (formerly Kingsway). India Gate is a memorial to 80,000+ soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War. It is also dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the Third Anglo-Afghan War. Of these 13,000+ names inscribed on the India Gate.

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Ghiyas-ud-din Balban’s Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

July 6, 2016 6 comments

Giyas-ud-din Balban’s Tomb

Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli

Ghiyas-ud-din Balban was the ninth and the last major ruler of the famed slave dynasty. A Turk by origin Balban had a humble beginning as a water carrier boy, who was captured by the Mongols and sold as a slave in the bazars of Ghazni, Afghanistan.

Ghiyas-ud-din Balban's Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

Ghiyas-ud-din Balban’s Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

The word “slave” is actually a misnomer, as the slave traders provided education and imparted military training to these slaves, because an educated slave with military training would fetch a higher price.

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Dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Mehrauli, Delhi

January 28, 2016 13 comments

Dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki

Mehrauli, Delhi

Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli

Qutb Minar, one of Delhi’s most iconic land mark, was started by Qubuddin Aibak and was completed by his successor Iltutmish. It was not named after the founder of the slave dynasty Qutbuddin Aibak, but after a Sufi Saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.

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Dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Mehrauli, Delhi

The Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki lies in eternal rest in the shadows of Qutb Minar deep inside the labyrinth of Mehrauli in southern Delhi.

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Quli Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli, Delhi

Quli Khan’s Tomb

Mehrauli, Delhi

Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli

As I walked out of the Qutab complex, two strange looking pyramid like structures attracted my attention. In a bid to explore I took the footpath between the two and reached an open area marked as Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Straight ahead was an octagonal structure.

Mohammad Quli Khan's Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

Mohammad Quli Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi

Suddenly a few lines from Willam Dalrymple’s famous novel The Last Mughal flashed into my mind “To the south of Delhi, Metcalfe established a second country house, “Dilkusha” (Delight of the Heart), in a converted octagonal Mughal tomb near Mehrauli ….a Mughal garden – a four part charbagh – was laid out in the front of the tomb.”

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Lodi Period Tomb, Lado Sarai, Delhi

Lodi Period Tomb

Lado Sarai, Delhi

Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli

The small non – descriptive tomb lies on a small Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Park at the crossing of Mehrauli – Mahipalpur and Mehrauli – Badarpur Roads in the Lado Sarai region of South Delhi.

Lodi Period Tomb, Lado Sarai, Delhi

Lodi Period Tomb, Lado Sarai, Delhi

This is nothing unusual for Delhi and the city is literally littered with monuments and probably the Mehrauli region is South Delhi has the largest concentration of monuments, many of which are not even protected.

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Adam Khan’s Tomb, Mehrauli Bus Stop, Delhi

March 4, 2015 6 comments

Adam Khan’s Tomb

Mehrauli Bus Stop, Delhi

Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli

Adam Khan’s Tomb is located in the Mehrauli region of South Delhi and overlooks the crowded Mehrauli Bus Terminus.

Adam Khan's Tomb, Memhrauli, Delhi

Adam Khan’s Tomb, Memhrauli, Delhi

Adam Khan’s tomb, with its massive dome, is popularly known as the Bhul Bhuila (labyrinth) for its complex network of corridors.

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