Mehrauli is a neighbourhood in South Delhi, Delhi, India. It represents a constituency in the legislative assembly of Delhi. The area is close to Gurugram and next to Vasant Kunj.

District Subdivision
Qutub Minar in Mehrauli
Qutub Minar in Mehrauli
Mehrauli is located in Delhi
Coordinates: 28°30′57″N 77°10′39″E / 28.51583°N 77.17750°E / 28.51583; 77.17750
Union territoryDelhi
DistrictSouth Delhi
 • MLANaresh Yadav
 • OfficialHindi, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
110 030
Telephone code011
Vehicle registrationDL-xx

History edit

Mahatma Gandhi visiting the dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, on his Urs, 27 January 1948.

Mehrauli is one of the seven medieval cities that make up the present union territory of Delhi. The Lal Kot fort was constructed by the Tomar chief Anangpal I around 731 AD and expanded by AnangPal II in the 11th century,[1] who shifted his capital to Lal Kot from Kannauj.The Tomars were defeated by the Chauhans in the 12th century. Prithviraj Chauhan further expanded the fort, which is now Qila Rai Pithora. He was defeated and killed in 1192 by Mohammed Ghori, who put his general Qutb-ud-din Aybak in charge and returned to Afghanistan. Subsequently in 1206, after the death of Mohammed Ghori, Qutubuddin enthroned himself as the first Sultan of Delhi. Thus Delhi became the capital of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi (Slave dynasty), the first dynasty of Muslim sultans to rule over northern India.[2] Mehrauli remained the capital of the Mamluk dynasty which ruled until 1290. During the Khilji dynasty, the capital shifted to Siri.[2]

Balban's tomb, Mehrauli

In 12th-century Jain scriptures, the location is also mentioned as Yogninipura, now noticeable by the presence of the "Yogmaya Temple", near the Qutub Minar complex, believed to have been built by the Pandavas.[3]

It was also the execution place of Banda Singh Bahadur after he sacked the regional Mughal capital of Samana.

Geography and climate edit

Mehrauli lies in the South district of Delhi at 28°30′57″N 77°10′39″E / 28.51583°N 77.17750°E / 28.51583; 77.17750. To its north lies Malviya Nagar. Vasant Kunj lies to its West and Tughlakabad to its south.

Like the rest of Delhi, Mehrauli has a semi-arid climate with high variation between summer and winter temperatures. While the summer temperatures may go up to 46 °C, the winters can seem freezing to people used to a warm climate with near 0 °C.

The soil of Mehrauli consists of sandy loam to loam texture. The water level has gone down in the recent past hovering between 45 m to 50 m due to rise in population.[4]

Architecture edit

Ahinsa Sthal is a 13 feet 6 inches Mahaveer single rock idol.
Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb complex, Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Mehrauli's Iron Pillar in the Qutb complex

Though Mehrauli is like any ordinary neighborhood today, its past is what distinguishes it in terms of architecture.

Ahinsa Sthal is a Jain temple in Mehrauli. The main deity of the temple is Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara (human spiritual guide) of a present half cycle of time. A magnificent statue of Tirthankara Mahavira is installed here.

Even though the capital shifted from Mehrauli after the Mamluk dynasty rule came to an end, many other dynasties contributed significantly to Mehrauli's architecture.

The most visible piece of architecture remains the Qutub Minar which was built by Qutb ud-Din Aibak with subsequent additions by Iltutmish and Alauddin Khalji.[5] The Qutb Minar complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[6] and also the venue for the annual Qutub Festival.Mausoleum of a 13th-century Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, is also situated near the Qutub Minar Complex and the venue for the annual Phoolwalon-ki-sair Festival. The dargah complex also houses graves of later Mughal emperors, Bahadur Shah I, Shah Alam II, and Akbar II, in an adjacent marble enclosure. To the left of the dargah, lies Zafar Mahal, the summer palace of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar[7] along with Moti Masjid, a small mosque, built for private prayer by the son of Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah I.

Balban's tomb belonging to Balban, Mamluk dynasty ruler of Delhi Sultanate was constructed here in the 13th century can still be seen through in a dilapidated condition. The architecturally important structure as it is the first true arch in Indo-Islamic architecture. Another tomb, that of Balban's son, Khan Shahid, who died before he could be crowned, is also located nearby in Mehrauli Archeological Park.

A baoli or stepwell known as Rajon Ki Baoli was constructed in 1506 during Sikandar Lodhi's reign. It was used to store water though it is now completely dried and is now known as Sukhi Baoli (dry well).[8]

The Jamali Kamali Mosque was built in 1528,[9] in honour of the Sufi saint Shaikh Hamid bin Fazlullah, also known as Dervish Shaikh tahaJamali Kamboh Dihlawi or Jalal Khan. The saint's tomb built-in 1536 upon his death is adjacent to the mosque.

Near the Jamali Kamali lies the tomb of Quli Khan, which during the British period was converted into a country house by the Metcalfe family. Known as 'the retreat' or 'Dilkhusha', this was built by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe in true English style as a pleasure retreat by surrounding it with many rest houses, follies, and gardens. 'Dilkhusha' in Urdu means "Delight of the Heart".

The Adham Khan's Tomb was constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar in memory of his foster brother and general Adham Khan in 1566. The tomb, also known as Bhulbhulaiyan, as one could get lost in the labyrinth of its passages,[10] it was later used by the British as a residence, rest house and even as a police station. Close to Adham Khan's tomb, lies that of another Mughal General, Muhammad Quli Khan,[11] later it served as the residence of Sir Thomas Metcalfe, governor-general's agent at the Mughal court.[10][12] The Mehrauli Archaeological Park spread over 200 acres, adjacent to Qutb Minar site was redeveloped in 1997.

Most of the monuments and heritage buildings in Mehrauli today lie in a state of despair. Due to unplanned urban sprawl especially after the Partition of India, most havelis, mosques and baolis were occupied and razed to build houses. Poor restoration and conservation have led to the disappearance, encroachment and vandalization of many heritage buildings.[13][14][15]

In February 2024, a controversy erupted after the Delhi Development Authority demolished a 600-year-old mosque, madrasa and several graves without any prior notice.[16] The demolition was criticized by several historians and scholars.[17][18]

Politics edit

In the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, Parvesh Verma of BJP was elected as the MLA of Mehrauli. He succeeded Yoganand Shastri, former Delhi Assembly Speaker affiliated to the Indian National Congress.

Mehrauli Assembly Constituency comprises four municipal wards, namely, ward 169 Lado Sarai (W), ward 170 Mehrauli (GEN), ward 171 Vasant Kunj (SCW) and wards 172 Kishangarh (W). All four wards are represented by women councilors in the Municipal Corporation. Rekha satbir Chaudhary is elected new councillor of Mehrauli.[19]

Schools edit

  • UDAAN play school Mehrauli
  • St. John's School
  • St.Maria School
  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial School
  • Lareesa Public School
  • I.G. Delhi Public School
  • Saraswati Bal Vidya Mandir
  • Ramanujan Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya
  • Government Boys' Senior Secondary School-2
  • Government Boys' Senior Secondary School-3
  • Suryathan Play School
  • Prince Public School
  • Dargah wala school

2008 blasts edit

Concealed in a black polythene bag, a bomb was dropped by two unidentified persons riding a motorcycle In Sarai Electronic Market in New Delhi on 27 September 2008. A fortnight after three of the capital's top markets were targeted by terrorists, a medium-intensity blast ripped through the congested flower market in South Delhi's Mehrauli area killing at least two and injuring 22 others.

Accessibility edit

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport is approximately 17 km.
  • 18 km approximately from New Delhi Railway Stations
  • Nearest metro station is Qutab Minar Metro Station.
  • Adam Khan Tomb - Also known as Bhool Bhulaiya is situated next to Aggarwal Sweets and near Bus Stand.
  • Gandhak ki Baoli - It is an ancient step well located near Mehrauli Post Office.[8]
  • Rajon Ki Baoli - 16th century stepwell near Gandhak ki Baoli[8]
  • Yogmaya Temple - Around 1 km from Qutub Minar and about 100 meters prior to Bus Stand.
  • Village Roads - Village roads in Mehrauli are known in the neighborhood as narrow poorly maintained roads. Non-licensed street vendors/hawkers are very common sites on these roads.
  • Zafar Mahal (Mehrauli) is situated adjacent to the shrine of Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Qaki R.A.
  • Dadabari Jain Mandir is situated on Sri Dev Puri Ashram marg, Opposite Qutub Minar Metro station.[20]
  • Madhi Masjid - A Remnant Of The Lodhi Era, Madhi Masjid is a 15th Century fortified mosque.[21]

Areas in South Delhi edit

Mehrauli Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Rahul Khari (5 January 2007). Jats and Gujars: origin, history and culture. Reference Press. ISBN 978-81-8405-031-8. Retrieved 28 September 2011. In the contemporary Delhi, there are about 75 villages inhabited by the Gujars out of which 12 villages happened to be in Mehrauli where Gujars belonging to Tomar clan dwell, who call themselves 'Tanwar'.
  2. ^ a b "Seven Cities Of Delhi: Mehrauli". Government of Delhi Official website. Retrieved 16 September 2006.
  3. ^ "Yogmaya Temple in New Delhi India".
  4. ^ "Rainwater level in Delhi". Retrieved 15 September 2006.
  5. ^ "Article on". Archived from the original on 6 September 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2006.
  6. ^ "UNESCO website". Retrieved 16 September 2006.
  7. ^ Ahmed, Syed Zeeshan (25 November 2016). "The passageways of Delhi's Zafar Mahal echo a forgotten past". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Well worth a visit". Indian Express. 10 May 2009.
  9. ^ Jamali Kamali Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
  10. ^ a b Qutub Complex Archived 2008-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan". 23 August 2006 – via Flickr.
  12. ^ The tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan, brother of Adham Khan,.. British Library.
  13. ^ Roy, Ishita (15 December 2023). "The Afterlife of Zafar Mahal". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  14. ^ "archaelogical park mehrauli bad condition". Bing. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  15. ^ "Delhi: Aurangzeb ki Baoli lost in the sands of time". DNA India. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  16. ^ "Mehrauli: A mosque demolished, and orphans displaced in India". 9 February 2024. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  17. ^ Sadhwani, Garima (7 February 2024). "'Erasing History': Rana Safvi on Akhunji Mosque Demolition in Delhi's Mehrauli". TheQuint. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  18. ^ "Calling it illegal, DDA demolished mosque in Mehrauli; ASI records listed it a century ago". The Indian Express. 5 February 2024. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  19. ^ "Satbir Singh elected Mayor of Delhi". The Hindu. 12 April 2005. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Dadabari Jain Mandir". National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities.
  21. ^ Mayank Austen Soofi (24 March 2019). "CITY MONUMENT – MADHI MASJID, MEHRAULI".
  22. ^ "Gausiya Masjid". Retrieved 19 August 2023.

Further reading edit

External links edit