Mehrauli is a land of numerous ruins, broken houses, unnamed tomb, demolished mosques and tales of ‘Djinns.’ As I walked into the dense vegetation of the forest, there were a thousand folds of ruins, but what got me thinking was the sign boards were quite less than the structures. Apart from the Balban’s Tomb, Jamali Kamali, and few other structures, no one really knows about the other monuments. Although ASI has been working and has discovered many places, there are still ruins that most of us ignore.
At the time of Mughals, the emperors and their ministers had commissioned the construction of a lot of mosques time to time. Every emperor had a special place of worship and wanted it to be better and more spectacular than the previous ones.
Here is a report on mosques that have been discovered till now. (You are most welcome to make additions)
Jamali Kamali has been most famous building in the complex and has been associated with many theories around Jamali and Kamali. If you have heard about this place before, it will be definitely in a ghost story.
Bagichi Ki Masjid is a mosque near the residential area of Mehrauli. The first time I visited Mehrauli, I totally ignored it and walked away. It is a live mosque and relatively in a better condition than the other monuments. It is believed to be from early 16th century and consist of typical minarets on the corners. The structure is painted white and green and is plainly visible amidst the thick vegetation of the park.
Since it’s not just a historical monument but also a live mosque, photography is prohibited.
Near the Andheri Mod, you will find a lone Lodhi era structure named Madhi Masjid. The mosque consists of an open as well as closed area as a place of worship. There are flat roof chambers adorned with colored tiles. The eastern gate resembles Hindu architecture. Enclosed by strong walls with a courtyard and turrets on each corner give it an appearance of mini-fortress. Built on an elevation, it was also used as a watchtower to keep an eye on the movements of rival armies. It is located adjacent to the archeological park but is not included under Mehrauli Archeological Park by the ASI.
There is a large piece of land under Delhi Waqf Board that comprises of a number of old mosques such as Masjid Karimia, Masjid Ghausia, Noori mosque, Baghwali Masjid, Neem Wali Masjid, etc. Some of them are ruined, and some offer regular namaaz. Apart from these, there are five madrasas teaching hundred of children.
Stay tuned for the final part!
(Featured images credits: armchairlounge.com)