Heritage Walk In Delhi Exploring Lesser-Known Places

Delhi or Dilli proudly known as the city of cities has a rich history to tell. Being one of the oldest dwelling place in this world, Delhi was earlier known as Indraprastha as per the epic Mahabharata. This metropolis was ruled by various powerful kingdoms and mighty emperors who gave birth to so many magnificent forts, tombs and heritage structures in Delhi thus making it a popular historical city of India.

The National Capital is a combination of 7 different cities (Siri, Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah, Shahjahanabad, Shergarh, Firozabad, Mehrauli) and dotted with numerous amazingly constructed historical monuments. These ancient structures display the perfect blend of arts and history. Amidst some popular heritage attractions in Delhi, I visited some lesser-known or hidden places that are mostly overlooked by travellers and even the locals as well.

Also See: Delhi Celebrates Dussehra & Durga Puja Festival

So hop on and take a heritage walk in Delhi, exploring these 8 fascinating monuments that have either been ignored by you for so long, forgotten or remained untouched.

Imam Zamin Tomb

(Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar/Saket)

Situated in the Qutub complex, the tomb of Imam Zamin is often overlooked due to the highly popular Qutub Minar. This renowned Turkish Imam lived here at Qutub complex during the kingdom of Sikandar Lodhi. The tomb was built by Imam Zamin himself and was buried here after his death in 1538.

It is a sandstone structure with interiors decorated with white plaster and delicate jaali work. Imam Zamin Tomb is located near magnificent Alai Darwaza.

Jahaz Mahal

(Nearest Metro Station: Chattarpur)

Built and used as a leisure spot during Lodhi period, Jahaz Mahal is a forgotten historical monument in Delhi. This overlooked heritage structure got its name because of its reflection in the adjacent lake Hauz-e-shamsi, looking like a moving ship or jahaz.

Lies at the end of Mehrauli bazaar, Jahaz Mahal has lost its few parts but still maintains the charm of ancient architecture. The arched chambers, fine carvings on the walls and domes are truly amazing. This place is also used for hosting annual Phool Waalon Ki Sair festival and other cultural events.

Adham Khan Tomb

(Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar)

Located amidst Mehrauli village, the rustic yet majestic tomb was constructed by Akbar for his foster-brother Adham Khan in 1561. Akbar ordered to kill Adham, son of Maham Anga, by repeatedly throwing down the walls of the Agra Fort and later buried here.

Unlike other tombs created during Mughal period, this lesser-known heritage attraction in Delhi is octagonal in shape, situated just opposite to Qutub Minar and also called Bhool Bhulaiya.

Qudsia Bagh

(Nearest Metro Station: Kashmere Gate)

Nestled amidst serenity and lush greenery, Qudsia Bagh is amongst those hidden historical sites in Delhi which even the locals aren’t aware of. Built in 1748 by Qudsia Begum, wife of emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila, the Begum’s palace inside this bagh or garden was destroyed by the Britishers during the war of 1857. Earlier River Yamuna used to flow beside the palace that later shifted its course towards east.

On visiting Qudsia Bagh you can only see a ruined mosque, a stable and a big arched gateway badly affected by the weather. The gateway contains chambers on two sides and walls adorned with hundreds of crack-lines. Visit this garden-palace located in Old Delhi.

Jamali Kamali Mosque

(Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar)

Beautifully constructed from red sandstone, the fascinating Jamali Kamali Mosque & Tomb lies in Mehrauli Archeological Park. This ignored heritage place in Delhi houses the graves of Sufi saint Shaikh Jamali and his aide Kamali who came to India during the reign of Lodhi dynasty. The monument is adorned with splendid arches, walls inscribed with verses from the holy Quran, and red and blue-colored designs. Jamali Kamali Mosque showcases a perfect example of Mughal mosque architecture.

Ghiyas Ud-din Tomb

(Nearest Metro Station: Tughlakabad)

Stands in south of the well-known Tughlaqabad Fort, Ghiyas Ud-din Tomb was built around 1320-25 by the Sultan himself. He was the first ruler to establish the mighty Tughlaq dynasty and thus named Delhi as Tughlaqabad. A large dome is crowned on a square shaped red sandstone structure surrounded by parapet walls, arch shaped corridors and concave chambers.

This overlooked historical place houses the graves of Ghiyas Ud-Din Tughlaq, his wife and 2 sons. Easily accessible from South Delhi, the tomb of Ghiyas Ud-din is a brilliant example of early Indo-Islamic style.

Rajon Ki Baoli

(Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar)

Located in Mehrauli Archeological Park, Rajon Ki Baoli is one of the most forgotten and hidden historical gem in Delhi. Built around 1506, this picturesque baoli or stepwell is made up of cool stone structure amidst utmost serenity. Medallions and stone carvings enhance the beauty of the stone structure. The name rajon is derived from masons or ‘mistris‘, who had moved in permanently into the deserted mosque.

Believed to be built during Lodhi period by Daulat Khan, Rajon Ki Baoli also contains a mosque and a tomb. The numerous arched chambers around this three storeyed baoli was used by people to relax and talk.

Isa Khan Tomb

(Nearest Metro Station: JLN Stadium)

Set amidst stunning ample verandahs, the magnificent tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi is situated in the Humayun’s Tomb complex. This less known heritage structure in Delhi is decorated with varnished tiles, lattice windows and ornate awnings. An Afghan noble in the court of Sher Shah Suri, Isa Khan constructed this tomb around 1562-1571. Situated near Hazrat Nizamuddin area, this beautiful historical monument is one of the best and earliest examples of sunken garden style tombs in Mughal India.

Planning to explore the historical side of Delhi? This cosmopolitan city has so much to offer than just Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Hauz Khas. Delhi’s unseen secrets are waiting to be explored by you!

I request you all to preserve these fading heritage sites that speaks about the rich culture and astounding history of India. So that our next generation can learn it and feel proud of their diverse motherland.

Don’t Litter. Help Mother Nature, Help Yourself. Travel Responsibly!

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