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HAUZ KHAS

HAUZ KHAS

BEYOND THE BOUTIQUES, art galleries and restaurants that have taken over the village of Hauz Khas, are the medieval monuments from Feroze Shah TugHluq’s reign. In 1352, the sultan erected a number of buildings on the banks of Haul Khas, the large tank which was excavated by Alauddin lji for his city of Sin. The tank, which shares its name with the surrounding village, is now dry.

Contemporary accounts claim that Fenoze Shah was a prolific builder, and during his 37-year reign he constructed an astounding 40 mosques, 200 towns, 100 public baths and about 30 reservoirs.

Among the buildings around Hauz Khas are a madrasa, Feroze Shah’s tomb and the ruins of a small mosque. The madrasa is built close to the edge of the tank. Plaster carvings and niches for books can he seen inside. The chhatris (open pavilions) in the entrance forecourt are said to cover the teachers’ burial mounds. At one end of the madrasa lies the austere tomb of Feroze Shah. Winered painted plaster calligraphy decorates its interior.

The complex is best viewed in the afternoon, when sunlight filters through the jails to cover the graves of the sultan, his sons and grandson with delicate star-shaped shadows. East of Haul Khas, off Aurobindo Marg, is a small tapering structure called Chor Minar (“Tower of Thieves”) dating back to the 14thcentury Khilji period. Its walls, pockmarked with holes, are said to have held the severed heads of thieves, intended to deter others from crime. Close by, to the northwest, is the Nth Masjid (“Blue Mosque”). Named after the blue tiles above its eaves, it was built in 1505 by a certain Kasumhhil, nurse to the governor of Delhi’s son.

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