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The Infra-Cultural remains of the past


Anushree Ghosh

A market full of hustle-bustle with zigzagging children, loud hawkers, nomadic musicians, giggling women and traditional salesmen can disappear gradually, as the era changes.  What standstills for centuries are the architectural ruins that can withhold the agents of change.  They are the cultural evidences of the times when life existed once. Delhi too, speaks aloud of the stages of assimilation of cultures with the ruins of Nagara, Gothic, Mughal, British and Persian architecture. Irrespective of the differences in the styles of these dynasties, Delhi retained its originality every time.

Though the famous monuments enjoy their share of attention; the many uncelebrated ruins of Delhi become more fascinating when looked through the historical lens. Here are a few to talk about:

Anagtal Reservoir: Built by the Tomara King Surajpala, is believed to be the oldest reservoir in Delhi. As the story goes, an annual charity event was organized by the queen every year. And, the water from the tank was used in the formation of mortar for the construction of Ala-uddin Khilji’s minar. Today, the tank remains in a deserted spot, water doesn’t reach the brim even in the rainy seasons.

Kali Devi Temple: The mythological anecdotes of this place prepare the curious mind with great interpretations: Millions of years ago, the Gods residing in the locality of the present temple were disturbed by miscreants. Goddess Kushki Devi slaughtered the giants to help the Gods, but with every blood drop on the Earth, thousands of giants became alive. Then, from the eyebrows of Kushki Devi, Kali Devi was born. She drank the blood of the slaughtered giants and triumph was achieved. The place has Persian and Hindi inscriptions with a stone worshipped as the Goddess.

Bijay Mandal: Once it was the palace of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.  A raised platform supports the entire configuration. It accommodates the shrine of Sheikh Hasan Tahir, a sufi saint amidst many other graves. Presently, the deteriorated building cannot help the archeologists and historians to decipher much about the utilities of the palace. But the ruins still remind us of the bygone times.

Chaubura Masjid: It means ‘a mosque with four towers’, built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq. Presently, it stands as a double storeyed structure that surrounds a large chamber.

Tomb of Muhammad Shah: The four corners of this tomb are decorated with marble minarets enclosing the grave of Muhammad Shah and his wife Nawab Sahiba Mahal. The architectural pattern of the structure is an amalgamation of Saiyyad and Lodi styles. One of the specific features of this tomb is the prominent lotus on the main dome. It is believed to be the oldest structure in the Lodhi garden.

Hindu Rao House: Built in the 19th century by the officer, William Fraser as his residence. And when he was murdered by Shams- ud Din Khan, Hindu Rao bought the house. Thus it became popular as the Hindu Rao House. During the first revolution for Indian independence in 1857, it became the British headquarters.

Anushree is a versatile writer, theatre actress with an immense passion for any form of art. Her blogs will take you through the different horizons of infracultural stories.

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