A Walk Around Hauz Khas

In the early fourteenth century, the second Khalji ruler, Alauddin founded the city of Siri, on the plains where his armies met the Mongols in battle. Due west, outside the walls of Siri, he built a large hauz or tank, that was known as Hauz-e-Alai, to supply water to the new city. In the years after Alauddin’s reign, the channels that fed the tank silted and the hauz dried up. Firoz Shah Tughlaq(r. 1351–88), the most prolifi c of the Tughlaq builders, restored the abandoned hauz which then came to be called Hauz-Khas (royal tank). At the same time Firoz Shah built the Madrasa-e-Firoz Shahi as well as his own tomb at a focal point in the complex. The connection between the buildings and the royal tank was strengthened by the sets of steps leading down from the madrasa to the tank. On the other side, the buildings were edged by a beautiful garden. During the thirteenth to fi fteenth centuries, Hauz-Khas, surrounded by an impressive madrasa, the tomb of an emperor, and a number of smaller tombs, mosques, and other buildings, invariably fi gured in the descriptions of the city by visitors in glowing terms. Today, while the adjoining Hauz Khas Village Complex is mainly a centre for upmarket boutiques, the tank and its surroundings make for a rewarding heritage walk. Timings: Sunrise–Sunset Entry: Free

Open PDF