The ultimate Hauz Khas walk
Haus Khas is located in southern Delhi and is easily reached by the yellow line from most parts of Delhi. A short autorickshaw ride will get you to the Hauz Khas village or HKV as it popularly known today.
You can walk onto 900 year old monuments and experience how students lived a university situated here many years ago.
History of Hauz Khas
King of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316) built this water tank in 13th century for his new city Siri.
Today, not much remains of the city of Siri, the third city of the seven cities of Delhi. In 1906, Gordon Hearn wrote a book called the “Seven Cities of Delhi”. This hundred year old book says that, “the only monument connected with the city of Siri, which now exists is the Hauz Khas….. seldom visited and worthy of no special mention”.
I don’t think the he ever imagined how popular and spectacular Hauz khas will become in time. The The Archeological survey of India (ASI) issued a 2nd edition of his book in 2010, in case you want to buy it. Hauz Khas means a water tank in Urdu. This water talk was located outside of Siri and today the water tank is a third of it’s original size.
Feroze shah Tughlaq (1351-1388), was the son of a Hindu princes and a nephew of the founding king of the Tughlaq dynasty – Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. He took a liking to the neglected Hauz Khas and developed it further. This was one of many projects for him. He was a noble king who repaired forts built by others and also built a lot of mosques during his time.
Walking Map of hauz khas
The monuments at Hauz Khas
Start your walk from Point A on the map. Point A is the Bagh e alam ka gumbad or the dome of the people’s garden.
Bag-e-alam ka gumbad
Point B on the map is used to be the centre of lake many years ago and was the viewing pavillion for the king.
Munda gumbad or the Bald dome was located at the center of the lake. It was a viewing pavilion. Alauddid khilji built it during his reign and he used to come here by boat. Its hard to believe that today.
Teen gumbad ki Imarat
The building with three domes is the mosque at Hauz Khas. Not actively used but often frequented as look out stop by young lovers and students out to have a good time in ancient environs.
The arch came to India in the Delhi sultanate period, which is lasted from 300 years from 1210-1536. Only columns and beams were used prior to that. You can see the first arches of this period here. Hauz Khas was neglected after Alauddin Khilji died. It was taken over by Feroze Shah Tughlaq once he came to power.
Feroze Shah Tughlaq, a later king integrated his tomb into this complex. He ensured that he is remembered for generations to come by integrating his tomb in this structure.
We still talk about him 500 years after his death. He was the only one who built stupa like fences using stones. Hauz khas is the easiest place to see this in Delhi
The Tombs at Hauz Khas Feroze shah Tughlaq, his son and grandson are buried here. We do not know much about the 4th tomb. The ceiling has stars like pattern to show that they are buried under the stars.
The verse on top of the entrance says- Sikandar Lodi repaired this structure. This is also an interesting way to leave a mark in history. There are only three kinds of ornamentation in all mughal tombs: floral, geometric or calligraphic verses from the Quran. Shiyabuddin khan’s tomb is from the Lodi period 15th century. He was an important Saint.
All bodies are buried North (head) – South (feet) orientation and the face is turned towards Mecca. Right outside, at the entrance to the structure contains good example of preserved blue tiles that came to India in the sultanate period.
Note: Deer park is closed on Fridays.
The Actual Hauz Khas
The look out
Once you are done with the monuments, head into the village for a nice meal and drinks at Imperfecto or the Hauz Khas Social. Both are great places for drinking and people watching.