Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a heritage park covering an area of about 200 acres located close to the Qutub Complex in New Delhi. The park has been developed around historical monuments dating back to almost a millennium. Parts of the park had been covered by thick forests for over a century. As a part of a major conservation effort by development agencies, the parts of forests were removed to uncover the ruins that give a picture of the civilization that lived here. The park is also an excellent place for walking as the trees and open spaces make an ideal environment for taking a break from the daily routine. The main entrance to the park is near Andheria More on the Anuvrat Road.
Ghiyas ud din Balban (1200-87) was the ruler of Delhi Sultanate from 1266 to 1287. It is believed to be the first building with arches built in India. The tomb must have had a dome which has not survived the passage of time.
There are lush green lawns, open spaces and children’s park. To a large extent the path is clearly marked with trees on both sides. The arrangement of stones on top of a small hillock is quite intriguing.
Metcalfe’s canopy was built by Charles Metcalfe, in the early nineteenth century as an attempt to make it look like a building of an earlier era. Since the canopy is located at a higher elevation, it provides an excellent location for a good view of surrounding areas.
JAMALI KAMALI MOSQUE AND TOMB
Shaikh Fazlu’llah, also known as Shaikh Jamali Kamboh or Jalal Khan or Jamali, was a great saint and poet during the reign of Sikander Lodi and Humayun. Shaikh Jamali died in the year 1536. The mosque was built during 1528-1529. The tomb was built in the year 1528. It has two graves. One grave is of Jamali. The other one is of a person known as Kamali. No other information is known about Kamali.
The mosque is believed to be first pioneering work of Mughal architecture in India. The prayer hall has five arches, with the central arch being the biggest and having a dome. The tomb is of square structure with a flat roof. Both the mosque and tomb are beautifully decorated. Both, the mosque and the tomb have large courtyards.
These are the ruins of buildings estimated to be of sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This part was uncovered from dense forests in the years 2001-02.
KHAN SHAHID’S TOMB
Khan Shahid was the son of Balban. This tomb was built for him, although it is believed that he was buried in Balban’s Tomb. The tomb is believed to have been built sometime during the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The tomb is octagonal in an enclosure and, originally, had a dome. The entrance to the tomb is elevated and there was a waterfall below the stairs.
Rajon Ki Baoli
A baoli is a step well. There are steps that take you to the bottom of the well. In the olden times, they made chambers with steps close to the shaft of the well. Here, people use to gather for social interaction and also to enjoy the cooler environment surrounding the well, away from the heat outside. It is called Rajon Ki Baoli because it was primarily used by Raj, the masons.
Quli Khan’s Tomb
Mohammad Quli Khan was the brother of Adham Khan. The two brothers were generals of Mughal emperor Akbar. It was constructed in the early seventeenth century.