Friday, April 13, 2012

Heritage Walk to Hauz Kauz - Part 1/2

We went to our fourth heritage walk organised by INTACH delhi chapter. This time it was to Hauz Khauz. Our walk leader was again Ms. Jaya Bassera. If anybody wants a introductory paragraph to this post please go here. But I have gotta warn you.... This post..... TOO BIG.

Sign post In Hauz khauz Complex

This sign post gives a basic idea about the place. The  two legs of the L are the Madrasa (college). The top most tomb is the tomb of Feroz Shah Tughlaq who commissioned the College.
The lowermost structure is the mosque.

Three Domed assembly hall.

This is the first structure we saw. It was  three domes structure. May have been a assembly hall. Me thinks it may be the place where teachers discussed somethings with students or had their discussion with each other. Apparently it had the best teachers and if a student wanted to learn from a particular teacher or maths medicine astronomy etc etc, he had to prove himself worthy of being taught.
The Madrasa was well praised in the writings of travelers of that time.

Columns in the Assembly Hall

As the Tughlaq dyansty was trying to integrate with the hindu community at that time, they retained many of the architectural features slightly modified to suit their own taste or rules. One was the square columns which can also be seen in the mosque complex of the Qutab Minar which used the pillars of Jain temples( another story). The elepant head shaped column head without the eyes or tusks or any of the living form depiction also can be seen.
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Six tombs with different types of domes can be seen in the left as we enter the complex. Ms. Bassera said an experimentation with different types of domes may have been taking place at that time. These were the tombs of prominent teachers or saints.

A view of the West wing of Madrasa seen from the North Wing. Do you see the huge stone buttress kind of thing supporting the Wall. I wonder if it had/has any other function!!!!

Rooms in the madrasa

 The student wing..... Someone remarked it was dingy. I personally thought it was quite alright. I mean it was not like they needed king sized cots and computer tables!!!!!!!! My husband suggested they were like ancient gurukul systems where the students were expected to live simple lives. Anyhow the great view of water would have compensated any soul I guess!!! 

View from the Madrasa

With this view i wonder how even students got their work done in time.It must have been even more enticing at that time with no man made roads.  I would have been pretty happy just day dreaming my time away!!!Imagine the moon lit water!!!

Asian Pied Starling at home

Saw somebody else enjoy the view along with us. But I envied her for affording to live in such a fine place. Asian Pied Starling. Loved to see her/him in his/her nest.

Tomb of Feroz Shah Tughlaq

Then we went to see the tomb of Feroz Shah Tughlaq. Compared to the other tombs in the other walks we have gone to , this was very simple. The tomb itself was surrounded by a stone fence. I have not seen this type of fencing in any other structure. Some one said it resembled the fencing in some stupa. Anyhow... This fencing was like a lego, or puzzle. If you notice the post you can see the square depressions into which the horizontal legs of the fence go. The tomb also had red sandstone lacy border with different kind of flowers carved on them. Truly Magnificient...

It had three tombs inside. Of the King, his son, and his grandson. One can recognize the gender of the person buried under from the triangular thing on the top of the grave. For women , the marking is the shape of a rectangular plate. Learned a new term - " Squinch". In architecture the arch which carry the load of the Dome is known as a Squinch. I don't know if the arch in the photo is a squinch though. It looks more decorative than load bearing.

This Grave is that of Feroz Shah Tughlaq's grandson.
Picture of the Tomb.

Notice the work on the Dome. And this is just the ruins, imagine what colours may be been here . I know for sure that gold and blue were in use. I saw them in Mehrauli Archeological Park. How majestic this place would have been once upon a time. Notice the lines in the form of a star and some of the medallions in the form of a water drop. It is to simulate the night sky. It was believed that God showered his blessings in the form of rain and mist.

Then we went to the Deer Park  too  but I think I will do it in another post. This was a colossal post. I just want it to be over.


  1. Great post, loved it.
    Agree with you on the view from Madrasa.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Looking forward to see from the Deer Park.
    Wish you a wonderful week ahead.

  2. Thank you Mette. :) The deer park had only two structures but I just could not add them to this post.


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