By Akshita Agrawal:
Beautifully maintained forts like the Red fort in Delhi, Amber fort in Jaipur and Agra fort in Agra are at the top on any visitor’s list. And why not? These forts bring to live the beauty, magnificence and exclusivity with which the rulers of this nation lived. It mesmerizes the observer and he appreciates our history.
But what is beautiful about our historic past is the fact that as beautiful these lavish forts appear, so are the ruins of the forts that have not been able to survive through the long ages since their construction. One such fort is that of Hauz Khas. Established by Alauddin Khilji in the year 1284, this fort stands in ruins today, with the walls broken and the engravings faded. It is hard to believe that when it was constructed, its beauty got travellers from far and wide. Built in the era of ‘medieval history’, this forts marks the beginning of the rule of Delhi as the capital of the first of the Muslim rulers in India. The word Haus comes from urdu word Hauz which means a Pond. The then emperor- Alauddin – had commissioned a very large pond in this area for the convenience of the inhabitants of Siri Fort, the second city of Delhi. It was initially named as Hauz-i-Khas after the name of the emperor. However, later Firoz Shah Tughlaq ordered to rebuild this tank as royal baths. It was he who christened it to Hauz-Khas.
The architecture today stands worn out and hence not many of its buildings are recognizable. Once upon a time the fort included the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, halls and chambers which was later converted in to a madrasa or college for theological training and a bizzare construction of staircases which was made to join the pond from each floor of the madarsa.
Today what this fort gives to the tourists is still unmatchable. Its wide lawns are a perfect stop for the kids to play cricket or any other outdoor sport. The ruins offer alleys and other secret passages for tourists to explore. For people who like to indulge in photography, the worn out walls offer an interesting subject. Moreover, the fort looks mesmerizing during sunset and sunrise. The fort overlooks a wide pond which is home to many birds and various sorts of flowers. Though the pond is unkempt yet the beauty of nature cannot go unnoticed.
It’s a perfect hangout place for college friends, and so for quick family outings. One can pack lunch and move out on a breezy evening and sit there and wonder how amazing the architectural sense of our ancestors was!
Place: Haus Khas Fort, Haus Khas market
Timings: Sunset to Sunrise, seven days a week
Best time to visit: Breezy evening or sunrise or sunset
Best place for: Photographers, friends or people who appreciate history.
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.
Photo Courtesy: Main photo: http://sarsonkekhet.blogspot.com/2009/06/dilli-darshan-firoz-shah-tughlaqs-delhi.html
The author is the owner and distributor of the second photograph used and holds complete copyright of the same.