Monday, April 9, 2012

Summary of the Heritage Walks.

Last weekend we went to our fourth Heritage Walk. This time it was to Hauz Kauz. I actually got a bit confused in this walk, because I had already seen Mehrauli Archeological Park which had ruins from the Slave dynasty, Lodhi Garden which had the remnants of the Syed and Lodhi Dyansty. and now in Hauzkauz it was from the Tughlaq era. Ms. Bassera described the evolution of arch ,dome , and the continued usage of beam column systems through out the five dynasties.  So after coming back I just went to Wikipedia and searched a bit about the history of India at that period. The time period just  before the the lone wolf Shershah and the Mughal Dynasty( which is the most famous one as a result of "The Taj Mahal"), the Northern part of India was ruled by 5 dynasties collectively known as the Delhi Sultanate ( 1206-1526, Coutesy- The Wikipedia). For detailed explanations , one will have to refer texts or Wikipedia.

The five dynasties were, the Slave dynasty or Mamluk, the Khilji/Khalji Dynasty, the Tughlaq Dynasty, the Sayyid Dynasty and the Lodhi Dynasty. The visit to Mehrauli Archeological Park gave an insight about the architecture and history of the Slave  Dynasty, the Qutab Minar being one of the most well known of their architectural contributions.  I think the Khilji Dynasty kings were too busy defending the Indian subcontinent from the Mongols that they did not have time or resources to spend on any huge lavishly decorated structures. Therefore even the tombs were quite simple compared to other dynasties. However one of them, Alauddin Khilji commissioned the water tank in Hauz Kauz  for collecting water during the rainy seasons which could be used afterwards throught the year. Unfortunately after his time the channels which brought in water were not maintained and the water tank had hence dried up for sometime.

Then came the Tughlaq Dynasty.Feroz Shah Tughlaq restored the water supply to the tank after which it was called Hauz Khauz or Royal Tank(Haus - water tank, Khaus - Royal/Special). He also commissioned a university of sorts which according to the writings of travelers was very well praised. His tomb is also present there.

Then came the Sayyid Dynasty and the Lodhi Dynasty. The tombs of prominent kings and saints were seen in the Lodhi Gardens. The last ruler Ibrahim Lodhi was defeated by Babur whose son Humayun was the founder of Mughal Dynasty. One his great grand son  - Shah Jahan (the one who was responsible for the dream named "the Taj mahal") who made the city Shahjahanabad which we saw in our walk to the Chandini Chowk.

I realise now that we should have seen Lodhi Gardens only after Hauz Khauz. Anyhow...

That's all for the summary....

Now for the Walk....

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