HAUZ KHAS

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Location: On Delhi-Mehrauli Road
Historically Known As: Hauz-i-'Sla'i
Important Monument: Feroze Shah's Tomb


Travel Guide to Delhi - Hauz Khas A road branching off the Delhi-Mehrauli road (named now Sri Aurobindo Road) south of the Green Park terminates at Hauz-Khas. 'Ala-ud-Din Khalji excavated a large tank here for the use for the inhabitants of Siri, the second city of Delhi founded by him. It was then known as Hauz-i-'Sla'i.

Feroze Shah Tughluq desilted it and put it in repairs, and built several buildings on its southern and eastern banks, which are now known as Hauz-Khas, and are enclosed partly within modern walls.

Feroze Shah's Tomb And Other Attractions
Feroze Shah tomb, a rubble-built but plastered square chamber with high but slightly battered walls and a lofty dome, is the most prominent among these buildings. The monotonous austere look of its exterior is broken by a string-course of red sandstone and marble and by carved battlements.

The tomb is entered through a door on the south, with a courtyard enclosed within stone railings outside it. The intrados and ceiling of the dome and squinch-pendentives are decorated with plaster-work, including incised Koranic inscriptions in Naskh characters and painting.

The inscription over the southern doorway was incised in 913 A.H. (1507) during Sikandar Lodi's reign, when he undertook some repairs to the tomb. The doorway spanned by a lintel and the stone-railings outside it are features of early Indian construction, which have been pleasantly mingled with characteristics of Islamic architecture. Among the four graves inside the chamber, the central one is believed to be that of Feroze Shah and two others of his son and grandson.

Contiguous with the tomb to its west and north rise from the bank of the tank in two storeys a series of halls and chambers, which were built by Feroze Shah in about 1352 as a madrasa or college for religious training. At their northern extremity is a mosque. These buildings are sited on an L-shaped plan. With their latticed windows, medallions in stucco, lotus-motif, paintings on ceilings, balconied windows and deep niches, possibly as the principal's residence.

One of the old entrances to the area is from the west, now closed. There are several staircases leading down to the tank from the upper storeys of the madrasa. Disposed all over the area, including the neighbourhood of the tank, are several tombs of different designs, but the persons buried in them are not known, although some of these could be the teachers of the college.In 1398, after defeating Mahmud Tughluq, Timur Lane encamped at the tank and his historian Sharfu'd-DinYazdi was highly impressed by its large size. He, however, wrongly ascribed the construction of the tank of Feroze Shah Tughluq.



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