Located in Southern part of Delhi, Hauz Khas is one of the ancient monuments of India. Hauz Khas Complex has been established in the year 1284 by Alauddin Khilji for supplying water to the Siri Fort. The name Hauz Khas means a special pond that has been built during medieval history. There are a number of monuments, madrasa, and mosque that overlooks the lake. The village is featured with domed tombs of the 15th and 16th century. The complex is now a great tourist spot surrounded by beautiful boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.
In the beginning, the water tank was built to fulfill the needs of the Siri Fort in the second city of Delhi. Gradually it was modified by Feroz Shah of Tughlaq dynasty. He cleared the clogged channels of the tank and re-excavated the silts that blocked it. The dimensions of the tank are 600*700*4 (width*length*depth). Previously the storage capacity of the tank was 0.8 Mcum but presently the capacity is reduced due to certain factors such as siltation and encroachment. During the rule of Feroz Shah, the city was known as Ferozabad. He was a great ruler and was known for achieving mastery over arts and innovative ideas. Thus he used his innovative skills in designing monuments with his unique architectural styles. His renovated certain old monuments like the famous Qutub Minar, Suraj Kund, Ashokan pillars and Sultan Ghari. He also raised various tombs and monuments along the banks of the water tank.
As the royal water tank grew old, the inlets of the reservoir got blocked and the lake went dry. In the year 2004, a new plan was developed according to which rainwater is stored at the ridge by the embankment and then it is diverted into the pond. There is also an outside source that has been used to feed the water of the tank. With the help of the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage, the Hauz Khas Lake has been again revived. Along with the tank, the pavement and jogging area, surrounding park have all been renovated for the tourists to have a wonderful experience in a clean environment. Presently it the best place to visit in the city of Delhi. The Braj Foundation has been given the authority for maintaining the lake by the Delhi Development Authority. Recently, the Evolve Engineering group has put forward a proposal to the Delhi Development Authority to use the floating and constructed marshland for again bringing life to the royal tank.
The main attraction of the complex is the tomb of Feroz Shah. Other structures present inside is the mosque, a madrasa (a theological college), domed pavilions and all these were built in the 13rth century. Before the rule of the Tughlaq dynasty, the pond was called Hauz-i-Khas. Later, Feroz Shah renovated it as the royal tank. After entering the complex, you can find a T-shaped pavilion surrounded by ruins. The unique feature of the complex is the stone railings that have formed a quad outside the entrance. Such railings are seen in Buddhist structure and are not familiar with Islamic buildings. However, the entire fort is a fantastic place to know the architectural design of the ancient period. It reflects the artistic mind of people of medieval age and culture of that period. Inside the complex, there are graves of Feroz Shah, his sons, and grandson.
Entering the complex is absolutely free and it is opened on all days of the week from 10 in the morning till 6 in the evening. There is a deer park at the entrance of the tank where you can find various animals such as peacocks, guinea pigs, varieties of birds and obviously spotted dears. In the evening, a show is performed by the Tourism Department narrating the history of the Hauz Khas Complex. The Indian Government Ministry of Tourism has set up a night bazaar at the village of Hauz Khas called as ‘Eco Night Bazaar’ in order to provide food grains, handmade paper products and seeds of unique plants that have been produced organically. Also, an open theatre and a place for watching cultural festivals have been proposed to be made at the place.
The complex is accessible from all city centers by road and metro as well. The nearest metro stations are Hauz Khas and Green Park of Delhi Metro along the yellow line. ISTM is the nearest bus stop located near to the Hauz Khas Fort. Upon reaching there you can plan for other nearby attractions such as Kalkaji temple, Lotus temple, Hauz Khas Enclave, Chirag Dehlvi’s Dargah and Nizamuddin’s shrine. There is a number of hotels to stay nearby such as Haveli Hauz Khas and Hotel Park Residency.
There are certain environmental threats that the water lake is facing and due to this a case have been filed against the restaurants those who are gradually spilling huge wastes into the Hauz Khas Complex which is a threat to the natural vegetation of the region. So the National Green Tribunal of India have taken steps against it and asked them to promise such environmental protection otherwise their business could be in danger.
After you have completed visiting the nearby restaurants, shops, bars, and the village market, you need to visit the other part of the complex which is completely historical in nature. An old iron gate is the starting of this beautiful region. Through this gate, you would be transferred into a different world where there is a mosque, madrasa, tomb of Feroz Sah Tughlaq and various monuments of the medieval era. And definitely, you would have the sight of the restored lake, the royal lake due to which the area got its identity. This is the place where you can make good use of your camera. Thanks to the Delhi Sultanate, Alauddin Khilzi who created such stunning monuments and a lake which proved to be such a wonderful destination for the tourist.
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