The Myths and Mysteries of Archaeological Park in Mehrauli

A one-of-a kind assortment giving a glimpse of Delhi’s rich history

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Just like the monuments in the park, this tree also seems to be a mishmash of mysteries and looks like it has witnessed decades!!

Mehrauli is a neighborhood in the South West district of Delhi in India, renowned for Qutub Minar, a minaret that forms a part of the Qutub complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Qutub Minar is a 73-meters tall tapering tower of five storeys, with a 14.3 meters base diameter, reducing to 2.7 meters at the peak. But, there’s more to Mehrauli.

Adjacent to the Qutub Complex, quite an unremarkable entrance on the side of Delhi’s busy roads opens up a world of 1000 year old history from medieval India. It is believed to be only area in Delhi known for 1000 years of continuous occupation. The 100-odd structures spread across 200 acres consisting of ruins of Lal Kot built by Tomar Rajputs in 1060 CE, and architectural relics from the rule of Khalji dynasty, Tughlaq dynasty, Lodhi dynasty of Delhi Sultanate, and some from the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. However, the monuments are in ruins, quite a few totally gone, there are some which are unattributable to any of the rulers or dynasty but fortunately preserved (only now).

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The park contains several notable structures including the Tomb of Balban, Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb, Quli Khan’s Tomb, Gandhak ki Baoli, Rajon Ki Baoli, and Madhi Masjid. Other near by monuments – Jahaz Mahal, Zafar Mahal of Bahadur Shah II alias Lal Mahal, Hauz-i-Shamsi and Tomb of Adham Khan make it even more interesting.

In fact, if you explore the area around the park, few kms in proximity, there’s a monument (unnamed) and other park which again has some ruins scattered. I wish these were restored before. I’m sharing few images right now and soon will be posting dedicated posts to cover separate monuments in detail.

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The downside of the ‘Mehrauli Archaeological Park’ is that since it was  ignored for a very long time and it is spread across acres, it’s not maintained well (yet), few corners have piles of garbage with pigs roaming around freely. The monuments particularly the ‘Baolis’ stink real bad. I don’t know if it happens in other parts of the world too but in India, men (not all) find pleasure in taking a piss anywhere they like including heritage monuments!!

I really wonder, will this casual attitude ever change? Makes me feel sad.

However, I’m trying to get in touch with the authorities who have taken up the project of rehabilitation and maintenance of the Park to provide the feedback and help them to impose stricter measures to keep the Park clean and hygienic.

Till then, enjoy the pictures and keep exploring Untraveled Routes, I shall soon be posting more articles. I’m aware the frequency of my posts has gone down, Life is keeping me happily busy 🙂 but I do want to publish more. Stay Connected.


35 thoughts on “The Myths and Mysteries of Archaeological Park in Mehrauli

  1. Thank you for this small and varied exploration of India’s history. Actually I also feel like being in the subtropical sphere. Nearly 33 degrees Celsius, too hot and dry for May. All the best from Berlin @ Ulli

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sending your best from Berlin 🙂 Well, I’m glad you liked this post, however this one’s like a prelude, and I couldn’t post more pictures too (bad connection). But I’m going to cover the monuments in detail soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s same issue everywhere. Once restored there is no plan for its maintenance because mostly renovation takes place from some special fund. Most baoris or baolis are defunct and all you can find is litter and plastic strewn around

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Arv,
      Sadly it’s true. Barring few, most of the space was in terrible state. In fact, the day we visited, some documentary was being shot at the ‘Tomb of Balban’, so the main entrance was closed for visitors. However, we thought let’s see if there’s some other entrance to get a sneak peek at the ruined monument. To our utter shock, the side entrance was full of scattered garbage and pigs,and this was like just 20 steps away from the front entrance. And yes, Boalis have another terrible story to tell!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It is always good to see you when you have the time to post. This is a wonderful article, full of interest and of course your spectacular photos. I always come away from reading your work wanting to get on a plane and head to wherever you are focussed on. That is how good you are at your journalism 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cornelia, this place is a gem, no doubt about that, you can cover it on your next trip 🙂 🙂 Are you coming to India any time soon? Though, this article is just a teaser, I shall be posting more about the Park with pictures soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey! I’m happy You are happily busy!!! 🤗💖☀️ What wonderful pictures and a lovely post. Your header picture and that shot You took of the tree both gave me so much joy! The park is wonderful and I’m happy they are working on rehabilitation. It’s super cool that You’re contacting them to give feedback and to try and help improve the park. Good luck and Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful pictures! The tree indeed looks like it has been witness to decades, if not a century of events 🙂
    The unfortunate state of affairs is not isolated to the monuments of Delhi. The forts of Maharashtra are crumbling and a few (astonishingly, the ones closest to the city) have become the haunts of unscrupulous elements. Wonder what will it take to shake the administration out of its lethargy?

    Liked by 1 person

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