Allauddin Khilji was the ruler of Delhi Sultanate during 1296-1316. Allauddin Khilji founded the second city of medieval Delhi, the Siri Fort and excavated and built a large tank for collecting water during the rainy season for use of the residents of the Siri Fort all through the year. The tank was named Hauz-e-Alai. Later on, Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who ruled from 1351 to 1388, re-excavated the tank, cleaned the clogged inlets and made it operational again. The tank came to be known as Hauz Khas, or the Royal Tank (lake). Now-a-days, the water level is maintained in the lake by feeding water from nearby sources.
Hauz Khas Complex
Firuz Shah Tughlaq built a Madrasa on the southern and eastern banks of the lake, which are the western and northern wings of the Madrasa respectively. The two wings of the Madrasa are at right angles to one-another, making the English alphabet L, with Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s tomb being the meeting point of the two wings. The Madrasa and the tomb were constructed in the 1350s. The Madrasa was a place for higher theological learning and scholars from far came here. There is a mosque at the Madrasa’s northern extremity, which was a place of worship for the people staying at the Madrasa.
These tombs are located just opposite to the tomb of Firuz Shah Tughlaq on the eastern side. It is believed that these tombs contained the graves of the teachers of the Madrasa.
This is a three domed T-shaped structure, with a colonnaded hall at the back on the eastern side and a projection towards the west. It is believed to be an assembly hall, where a larger group of people could gather for some occasion.
Hauz Khas Village
The area around the Hauz Khas Complex is the Hauz Khas Village and has developed into an upscale market with art galleries, fashion boutiques and exotic restaurants. Close to the world of heritage and nature, it has its own appeal.
Flora and Fauna
The area around the Hauz Khas Lake is one of the best places in Delhi for a morning or evening walk. There is a walking track around the lake and the air is fresh and there is no pollution. A lot of ducks frequent the lake on the western side. Then, there is the Deer Park on the norther side, which has lots of trees, greenery and walking tracks with sporadic sign posts advising people how to exercise and keep fit. There is also the path to the Rose Garden on the Outer Ring Road, with trees on both sides providing fresh air and protection from the Sun.