Lakhs of commuters have been zooming past the Mukerba chowk ever since a grade separator came up there in 2009.
However, hardly any of them ever bother to stop and take a look at a tall octagonal monument — that is ensconced in the southeastern clover leaf — that has almost been dwarfed by the concrete grade separator that surrounds it. This tall monument is known as the Tomb of Paik, a Lodi-era monument that has openings on its four sides.
The tomb boasts arched recesses and a decoration that adorns the neck of its dome. When the government began work around two years ago to spruce up the Capital for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Delhi government’s department of archaeology gave a facelift to the tomb and a new lease of life to the gardens surrounding it.
“Nothing is known about the Paik, whose maqbara (tomb) is believed to be ‘Paik’ that literally means a messenger,” wrote Zafar Hasan in his 1919’s compilation ‘Monuments of Delhi’. Mukerba Chowk is a corruption of a maqbara.
“Earlier it was a two-lane road, so one could see the monument from anywhere. Now it’s visual integrity is lost. The monument now can be seen only from the flyover and not from areas on the ground. Its architecture, its heritage value, everything has been lost,” said Deepna Chauhan, a Rohini resident who has been travelling to Connaught Place via this junction for last two decades.