6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas - Exploring A Nature - Trip, Tour And Travel Guide Blog

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6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas

 6 Famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Hauz I Alai- Best visiting Places in Delhi

Blog title “6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas” gives information in brief with an interesting story about famous things of historical heritage sites – “Hauz I Alai”.  Hauz I Alai is a well-known historical heritage sites in Hauz Khas village area which is the best visiting places in Delhi to explore all the famous things. There are 6 renowned monuments in Hauz I Alai complex.  The last preeminent thing is the nature event which is happening at evening time and seen from the arched area of Hauz I Alai. In this article, we will cover all 6 remarkable things step by step which is mention in the title of this post:

  1. Firoz Shah's Tomb
  2. Madrasa
  3. Tombs of the Tughlaq period
  4. Three domed buildings
  5. Mosque
  6. Evening Sunset view 

We both were tired but decided to complete today's trip to Hauz I Alai as per our trip, tour and travel schedule.  There are two ways to reach Hauz I Alai entry gate for exploring 6 famous things.  One way is from the main gate of Deer Park, which is connected to the main road and it goes through the gorgeous street market towards Hauz I Alai entrance gate.  Another route is the shortcut route which is connected with Green Park from inside Hauz Khas market.  It goes through the hub of the hotels, cafes, and restaurants.  This is a narrow street although we prefer to take this shortcut to reach the Hauz I Alai entrance gate. 

List of all Content’ heading

Please click on below desire list of content subheadings for getting detailed information on them- 

Best trendy restaurants and hotels nearby Hauz I Alai

Explore Hauz Khas market near Hauz I Alai

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai - Best visiting places in Delhi

Delhi Sultanates' contribution in Hauz I Alai complex

The important architectural structural structure of Hauz I Alai

Evening Sunset view at Hauz I Alai


Best trendy restaurants and hotels nearby Hauz I Alai

Here, there are lots of places to eat food.  For this, you can find here the best trendy hotels and restaurants, elite boutiques shops, artisan, and modern art galleries. Some famous list of trendy restaurants nearby Hauz I Alai ( Hauz Khas market) are

  • Fork You – It is known for the best burger. Patties are made of beef, pork, lamb, and veg, you name it. It has also an evening lounge for those who would like a majestic view lodge to relax.

  • Elma's Bakery - You can taste slices of cake, artisan bread, and delicious scones. It has also cottages, popular among the younger generation for traditional high-tea and red velvet cupcakes.

  • Perfection at Imperfecti - It is a Mediterranean restaurant. Its decor resembles a mix of traditional Italian, Greek, and Spanish café. Their terrace is most popular among college students.
  • Amour Cafe - You can taste imported cheeses, wood-fired pizzas, and freshly baked loaves of bread. It is a good choice for cocktail pairing.
  • Yeti - It is famous for its traditional Himalayan kitchen serves, i.e., Nepalese comfort food.
  • Smoke House Delhi - For signature burgers you come here.

We have some snacks and drinks from stalls next to the entrance gate. In general, foods from stalls are much tastier than one you will find from the restaurant, also enjoyed hot coffee, a much-needed beverage after a hectic afternoon. I feel re-energized in our body, now set for our next explore.

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Site map of Hauz I Alai Complex

Explore Hauz Khas market near Hauz I Alai

Hauz I Alai market has the ambience of both Indian and western lifestyles.  Here, you can find cuisine from several European countries, therefore it famous for its dazzling nightlife.  Perhaps, thus it is rightly called this small area is the New York of Delhi.  Due to this reason, why we call Hauz I Alai is one of the famous visiting places in Delhi.

In the Hauz-Khas market, it was very busy; there were people everywhere; most of them were young couples mainly collegegoers. On the side of the main road, doorman from hotels, spas, restaurants, bar soaps, coffee soaps were trying to woo people to enjoy their service. Sometimes such I think of myself as an invisible audience, and just participate as a mute spectator. Being a theatre person, one could experience a perfect set of complex human emotions. After finishing the coffee, we talked about our childhood mainly incidents from our school days.

At the entrance gate, some people were waiting in queue to purchase their entry tickets. Earlier the entry was free. But now the entrance is charged:

  • Entry charges for an adult were - 25/ per person
  • There was no entry fee - Children of age group- 1-14 years.
  • Timing for exploring Hauz I Alai- 6:20 AM to 7:20 PM (Monday- Sunday)

At the ticket counter, after some waiting, we got our tickets for a valid outing inside the Hauz I Alai complex.

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai- Best visiting places in Delhi

Inside the Hauz I Alai heritage site complex, nature was very breathtaking and majestic. The ruins of a fort and the lush green grass courtyard looked like a film set prepared for shooting a western. This made me realize that our life is just a speckle in the wand of historical evolution. We will perish one day, leaving behind our work and ever-lasting emotion with our family members. Thus, we should utilize our time judiciously and should give priority to family and loved ones.

I was lost in my thoughts; me being silent for a long time, my friend Kushdil shook me and said, “Where are you? Shouldn't you be enjoying this beautiful nature? I smiled and nodded yes; I should be. Then we both started laughing.

We sat at one corner of the courtyard, far from other visitors, and we lost in our discussion. After some much-needed rest, we make our way to the ruined fort so near the ruin; there is a heritage sites map for the Hauz I Alai famous complex. It shows that it has five remarkable sections, each with some historical aspects. Due to these five famous things of Hauz I Alai, make it best visiting places in Delhi.

Feroz Shah's Tomb & Madrasa- Famous things of Hauz I Alai

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Firoz Shah Tughlaq's Tomb

We chose first to explore a renowned Feroz Shah's Tomb because it is the biggest of other sections,  Good for us, there was not much rush here, therefore, at the tomb; some couples were taking photos for making their outing memorable; perhaps we may see some of these photos on social media.  With a bright blues sky in the background, the dome looked very nice. Dome's door was locked and it was not to open for the public, but one could peck inside the tomb. There are three graves inside the tomb. The bigger grave which is in the centre belongs to Feroz Shah and the other two which is smaller in size may be of Firoz Shah’s son and his grandson.

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
The northern wing of Madrasa

Madrasa was our next famous things, which has two wings: northern and western wings.  The northern wing is for study and training purposes and the western wings is for scholar's accommodation purposes. Both wings are attached to Firoz Shah's Tomb, eventually forming an L- shaped and decorated.  One side of both wings is open towards the water tank through the window which is called Jharokha. Both wings are two-story building and there are stairs towards the water tank/ Hauz I Alai. There is one small beautiful mosque at the last corner of the northern wing and its one entry gate, which is now closed for public explore due to safety purpose. Don’t worry; You can enjoy the outer view of the beautiful garden from this wing edged which is majestic and eye-catching and spectacular

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
The western wing of Madrasa

Tughlaq Tomb, Three Domed Structure & Mosque- Unusual Preeminent things

After exploring Madrasa, we both were heading towards other preeminent things to explore which was Tughlaq Tomb.  It is more scattered over a green cover.  It is mostly a tomb but looks very beautiful in the green garden.  As per the archaeologist report, all tombs are related to the remains of the madrasa's teachers.  Surprisingly, there were lots of people, resting on the green grass and some small children playing on the ground.  Here, together with Khushdil, I took some photos. 

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Tughlaq Tomb on a green ground

Three Domed Structure was my second last preeminent thing which just lies next to the Tughlaq Tomb.  It has T- Shaped structure which is unusual in respect of other buildings.  It is stretched in the North-South direction and another stretches shown towards the west direction from centre.  The purpose of T- shaped structure building in this Hauz I Alai complex is not clear, assuming it is an assembly hall for the meeting purpose of students and madrasa's teachers.

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Three Domed Structure- Assembly Hall

Finally, we were on the last leg of our visit- The Mosque is standing in the north direction from the Firoz Shah’s tomb. This is mostly in derelict condition so the mosque was closed now and not opens for public explore or review. It is used as a worship place for the people of the madrasa. This is an unusual mosque because of the opening of Jharokha in the west direction which is not present in the general mosque; here we can see a majestic view of this mosque from outside. Its staircase leads down to the water tank from Jharokha is seen from the outside.

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Outer view of Mosque & its' Jharokha

Photo of all 5 famous things of Hauz I Alai complex are already posted in the Gallery section of this website, please go through the link - Photo Gallery- Hauz I Alai for viewing Hauz I Alai beautiful photos.

Delhi Sultanates' contribution in Hauz I Alai complex

Sultanates have their contribution to developing and conserving of this Hauz I Alai are:

  • Alauddin Khalji (ruled 1296 - 1316)
6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Hauz Tank aerial view from Hauz I Alai complex

Actually, Hauz I Alai complex is associated with the water tank which I have turned around and seen before in the second part of this blog series  (One Day Trip to Hauz Khash II - Exploring Deer Park And Heritage Sites). This complex lay somewhat to the west of Alauddin’s newly fortified city of Siri and was created between 1297 and 1307 to defend against Mongol invasions, for the use of inhabitants of Siri which was originally known as Hauz I Alai after his name. Originally the tank was much larger than then it is today. After the end of the Alauddin Khalji dynasty, lack of maintenance led to silting up of the channels that fed the tank, and it dried up.

  • Feroz Shah Tughlaq (ruled 1351- 1388)

Feroz Shah Tughlaq re-excavated the silted tank and restored the water supply system to the Tank in 1350-54, then came to be known as Hauz Khas or Royal Tank. At the same time, he raised several buildings -Madrasa, Mosque & Tomb on its southern and eastern bank of Tank which is known as “Madrasa – e Feroz Shahi” or “College of Firoz Shahi”. It has two wings- The northern wing & the Western wing to serve as a college for higher education and theological training.

  • Sikandar Lodhi (ruled 1489- 1517)

Sikandar Lodhi was the second son of Bahlol Lodi (ruled- 1451-1489) and was the fifth and final dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. His main initiative was to repair the building of Firoz Shah’s Tomb of Hauz I Alai in the year- 1508.

The important architectural structure of Hauz I Alai

> Tombs-The Biggest building of Hauz I Alai

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Inner wall design of Firoz Shah Tomb

Firoz Shah’s built his tomb along with Madrasa in 1350. His tomb measures are 13.5 meters by 13.5 meters forms the junction of the two wings at the college. Tomb gives pleasing charm appearance still now due to its plastered rubble construction. Its dome base is designed by Kanguras which looks like an ornamental stylized motif. Outside of the tomb is the stone railing (now broken in places) that forms a yard in front of it and inside the tomb’s wall and the ceiling is more lavishly decorated.

The top of its dome is the highest point of the entire complex. He chooses to build his tomb at a focal point in the complex so it is an important historical building of this Hauz I Alai complex. As per the inscription on the southern entrance, buildings were repairs in 1508 by the order of Delhi Sultan- Sikandar Lodi.

Important things about Feroz Shah’s tomb-

  • Eight-pointed star decorations inside the dome covering a part of the ceiling.
  • Shades are painted in blue and red colour.
  • Originally the exterior plaster of the tomb would have been decoratively painted.
  • Firoz Shah’s carved is finished with a marble cenotaph.
  • Inscription on the southern door tells of repairs under Sikandar Lodi.
  • There is a painted and incised plaster medallion.

> Madrasa- Famous study/learning institute

It is famous for higher education which is provided by highly noted scholars with generous stipends for the students, due to these facilities, students come here from far and wide area for study/learning purposes which made the madrasa the most visiting places in Delhi during Firoz Shah Regime.  It has two wings which are attached with the Firoz Shah Tomb in north and west direction respectively-

The Northern wing of the madrasa- College Building

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
Northern wing Madrasa arches and building design

It extends 45 meters North of Feroz Shah’s tomb. It has a pillared room, on the top story and arcaded rooms below. There is a majestic view of the tank from the room’s Jharokha. The buildings of the college are built of rubble masonry combined with blocks of neatly cut quartzite. Much of the exterior was originally covered in white plaster and painted in bright colours with golden domes. Its ornamentation is still present but not in good condition, so there is a need to care for these famous historical sites.

The Western wing of the Madrasa - Accommodation Building

6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas
The Western wing of Madrasa's building design 

> Tombs of Tughlaq Period- Famous for strange building

All tombs look very similar ornamentation but in practice, all of them have very distinct architectural plans for example some of them are eight-sided, six-sided, or even square. Some of them have a shallow grave in the centre and octagonal and square chhatris’ tomb is related to the madrasa teacher’s grave. Tomb’ pavilions are made of rubble; the dome is plastered for long life and its square-sided pillars are designed by rough cut with the help of grey quartzite stone. The two smallest pavilions have very heavy stone beams under the dome. They were part of a larger building. There needs to more exploration of these famous things of the Hauz I Alai complex.

Important things about this tomb-

  • Borders are decorative with Kangura
  • It has a projection from the small pavilion.
  • It has a band of calligraphy in incised plaster.
  • Inside this tomb, there is a sandstone cenotaph.
  • Though all these have similar styles, tombs vary in the floor plan and number of pillars.

> Three domed buildings- Famous for unexplained structure

It has three sections- north, south, and west.  It is made of stone and each topped with a dome. It's measure 24.7 meters by 6.7 meters, with an 8-meter projection from the centre to the west. It is not known, what this building was used for? Although some believe it was a tomb with many graves inside, though there are no traces of graves. From its size and shape, it seems like a meeting or assembly room, designed to hold a bigger group than would normally gather for classes. Following the decline of the Tughlaq dynasty, it also lost its glory.

Important things about these three-domed buildings:

  • It has carved pillars.
  • It has an unusual T-shape structure.
  • There is a decorative finial on the dome.
  • Distinct calligraphy incised over plaster.
  • The top balcony is broken and in depilated condition.
  • There are ruined patterns of kangura/merlon at the base.

> Mosque - Remarkable due to Jharokhas on the western wall

We have found measures of central courtyard are 13 meters by 12 meters and it is surrounded by ruined colonnades on the north, south, and west. A colonnade to the West, which is the prayer chamber, measures 24 meters by 4 meters. Mosque western wall, which indicates the direction of Mecca, is of an unusual pattern, unlike most mosques, where the western wall is closed; here the mihrabs (arched niches) alternate with decorative. Jharokhas (cantilevered, enclosed openings) overlook the tank. Stairs lead down to the water tank from the central window and the south of the mosque.

Important things about this famous mosque-

Inside this, there is an unknown grave.

  • It has Jharokhas on the western wall.
  • Outside of the mosque, steps are leading down to the water tank.

Evening Sunset view at Hauz I Alai

We wander around the ruin and found that it is very clean and it is our responsibility to keep and maintain our national heritage sites. Sunset view is the 6th and last famous thing of Hauz I Alai.  Due to this, it has more visitors in later in the afternoon. It is already evening, so we headed to the arched area to bid goodbye to the sun and welcome the moon on the earth. Seeing Kushdil enchanted with the beauty of the sunset, I asked him, "how was the day today? He says it was quite a day. Maybe next time we should have both families together to explore and have a picnic here. Looking into his eyes, I could easily read his mind; for sure, he will, here again, but with his child.

There are three posts on the Hauz Khas series in which “6 famous things to explore in Hauz I Alai, best visiting places in Delhi, Hauz Khas” is my last post. This was my one day trip with my childhood friend.  In this series, I have tried to cover all the famous things of heritage sites around Hauz Khas’. I think, all these historical sites are the best visiting places in Delhi for a family trip, especially with children. This series gives a complete trip, tour and travel guide on how to explore famous historical sites of the Hauz Khas area. Its historical information and its importance are very useful for the children.  If you have not read my last two posts, below is the link. Please go through for reading my post:

This journey is possible only with the help of ASI information on the notice board and its released book- "Delhi and its Neighborhood"- Y.D. Sharma 

8 comments:

  1. Delhi is one of my favorite places,I will love to reside here.Though I visited Delhi but haven't been there with a purpose to roam but I look ahead to surely visit the places u described or your blog,as admiring a view of historical monuments is my'Cup of Tea'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Arya for your valuable comments. Yes, Delhi is a lovely place. Here there are lots of historical sites for exploring.

      Delete
  2. A very nice article. Would travel after pandemic is over. Keep sharing such stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, will share my next article. Thank you very much.

      Delete
  3. Very nice article. During pandemic such articles are motivating

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Roshan, soon new article will be publish.

      Delete
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