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Metro to Mehrauli

With Metro preparing to reach Mehrauli, it is time to start exploring its attractions.

entertainment Updated: Jun 17, 2010 03:06 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times

This month Delhi Metro is reaching Mehrauli. Do not imagine that this south Delhi locality is all about Qutub Minar (Why bother when the tower is visible from far?) To make a good use of the Mehrauli Metro stop, HT City suggests you to discover Mehrauli’s other temptations, such as; the fantastic Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

Delhi would still do fine if it had no monuments, except those in this complex. Spread over 100 acres, this hilly green space has 70 monuments covering almost everything — tombs, mosques, caravanserais, gardens, gateways, ‘follies’ — and from almost every period. There are the Lal Kot walls of the pre-Islamic times, Qutub Minar (right next door) of the Slave Dynasty, tombs of the Lodhi period, pavilions of the Mughal period and ‘follies’ of the British.

The Jamali Kamali mosque and tomb — the park’s principal attraction — mixes up two dynasties. A poet, both in Sikander Lodhi’s and Humayun’s courts, Sheikh Fazlullah, aka Jamali Kamali, built his own tomb in 1528. A rare Delhi monument having retained almost perfectly-preserved interior decorations, it is kept locked. If you insist, the chowkidar may open it for you.

The lovely Lodhi-era Rajon ki Baoli, Delhi’s oldest step-well, has cool arched corridors where you may lounge for hours with a book. Otherwise climb down the steep stairs to reach the lowest level where once heat-stricken Delhiites would go for refuge. The roof of the adjacent tomb offers cinemascope views of the Mehrauli countryside with ruins emerging from under a sea of thick green vegetation.

Even if you don’t want to run and touch all the ruins, you must climb the slope facing Jamali Kamali, to reach a structure called Metcalfe’s Folly. It is a kind of lighthouse offering a spectacular view of the park, which in its entirety, like an instant 2-minute noodle, equivalent of Delhi sightseeing.

Timing: Sunrise to sunset
Nearest Metro Station: Mehrauli (Coming soon)

First Published: Jun 16, 2010 17:20 IST