The Royal Tank
Hauz khas Village
The first task of gounesco Campus ambassador program will started by us on 19th of July 2015,and the place is mutually decided by our group of 5 GCA and our co-ordinator after disscusing the importance of the historical heritage site (which is a 13th centuary monument) and the present condition of the monument, it’s mobility and it’s beauty which attracted every local and it’s environment in the morning or evening time.So,we choose this site to start our first task and we decided to experience it in morning time because every person in our group is comfortable with tis timing and it is mutually decided and we decided to report our co-ordinator Miss Vaishnavi 7:00AM in the morning but due to rainy weather we reached their by delaying half an hour .But the weather added more beauty and attraction to this place and we experienced the weather which is never expect by anyone so we are very luckiest that day.As,we all are new and never meet before so we start introducing ourselves with each other and start disscussing why we are here and what we do today and how this task is completed.
We are from different academic background and have different opinion’s about the heritage,this is very important thing in any group so we have six young minds on a single topic.That’s fantastic and all of them were excited to explore the monument and we interact with our co-ordinator ,she is very friendly and helpful.She briefed us the purpose of our task and importance of tasks which is given by gounesco and aware us to know about the things around us and explore them.She also collected some suggesstion towards the monuments and gounesco task and feedback from past experiences…So,after this interaction we started exploring the heritage site,we started exploring heritage by first visiting historical tank”Hauz Khas” which is very close to Deer Park. At the entry to the tank,there is a beautifully landscaped lush green park we spotted out Deer’s, peacocks, rabbits, guinea pigs and variety of birds around the tank .
The meaning of the name Hauz Khas in Farsi is derived from the words ‘Hauz’: “water tank” and ‘Khas’:“royal”- the “Royal tank”. The large water tank or reservoir was first built by Alauddin Khilji‘s reign (1296–1316) to supply water to the inhabitants of Siri,second city of Delhi,was originally known as Hauz-i-Alai after Khilji. He was known for “his keen sense of historical precedent, statements of dynastic legitimacy and the power of monumental architecture”. There are some myths behind khilzi that he is very crud rular because this image is created in public by the siri fort construction,in this construction he used the head’s of mangolian Sainik because they are very brave and victorious king and captured mangole’s a number of time.But,there is one more interesting story behind him that he fall in love with rani padmavati,the queen of Cittor’s king Rawal Ratan Singh, but this love is one sided and when capturing chittor Allauddin wanted to marry her,rani padmavatti got burned with their surroundings.And after some time Alauddin was dead.And after the khilji’s the tank was full of mud and lost it’s importance. Then Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351–88) of the Tughlaq dynasty re–excavated the silted tank and cleared the clogged inlet channels. The tank was originally of about 50 hectare (123.6 acres) area with dimensions of 600 m (1,968.5 ft) width and 700 m (2,296.6 ft) length with 4 m (13.1 ft) depth of water. When built, its storage capacity at the end of each monsoon season was reported to be 0.8 Mcum. Now the tank size has substantially reduced due to encroachment and siltation but is well maintained in its present state.
Firuz Shah Tughlaq credited with construction of new monuments in innovative architectural styles, irrigation works and renovating/restoring old monuments such as the Qutub Minar, Sultan Ghari and Suraj Kund, and also erecting two inscribed Ashokan Pillars, which he had transported from Ambala and Meerut in Delhi. At Hauz Khas, he raised several monuments on the southern and eastern banks of the reservoir.Among the notable buildings of historical importance that he built within Hauz Khas precincts is the domed tomb for himself. The tomb which is very austere in appearance, is located at the intersection of the two arms of the L–shaped building which constitutes the madrasa. The notable structures built by Firuz Shah on the eastern and northern side of the reservoir consisted of the Madrasa (Islamic School of Learning – a theological college), the small Mosque, the Main tomb for himself and six domed pavilions in its precincts, which were all built between 1352 and 1354 A.D
Established in 1352, the Madrasa was one of the leading institutions of Islamic learning in the Delhi Sultanate. It was also considered the largest and best equipped Islamic seminary anywhere in the world. There were three main Madrasa’s in Delhi during Firuz Shah’s time. One of them was the Firuz Shahi madrasa at Hauz Khas. After the sacking of Baghdad, Delhi became the most important place in the world for Islamic education. The village surrounding the Madarsa was also called Tarababad (city of joy) in view of its affluent and culturally rich status, which provided the needed supporting sustenance supply system to the Madrasa.
The madrasa structure has an innovative design. It was built in L-Shape as one continuous structure on the south and east edges of the reservoir complex. One arm of the L-shape structure runs in the North–South direction measuring 76 m (249.3 ft) and the other arm runs in the East–West direction measuring 138 m (452.8 ft). The two arms are pivoted at the large Tomb of Firuz Shah (pictured). At the northern end there is a small mosque. Between the mosque and the tomb two storied pavilions exist now on the northern side and similar pavilions on the eastern side, overlooking the lake,which were used as madrasa.
Their is an interesting story about this market that in 1990 an architect Miss.Bima Ramni came here and understand the importance of this place she decided to open a centre for architecture here and soon after it spread over she take this place from locals on rent by paying 2000 in that time whereas the value of place is only 600.And the locals are saying that she is a fool but now the market present their is only by his potential and it is the main attraction of tourist and now a day this place is very popular in food-grains also and many hotels and small restaurents opened here.This place had always been home to fashion designers, until it got flooded with restaurants and pubs. This place is quite complete, in the sense there’s a nice fort and a lake, so good place to just stroll around, it has got restaurants to serve every taste and age and most of them have a good view of the lake and the fort. That’s what makes this place so special, be it in the day or in the night.
Firuz Shah Tomb
The entry to the garden is from the eastern gate which passes through the Hauz Khas village. The garden houses six impressive pavilions. The pavilions with domes are in different shapes and sizes (rectangular, octagonal and hexagonal) and on the basis of inscriptions are inferred to be graves. A cluster of three hemispherical domes, a large one of 5.5 m (18.0 ft) diameter and two smaller ones of 4.5 m (14.8 ft) diameter,
portray exquisite architectural features of foliated motifs on the drums with kalasa motifs on top of the domes. Each pavilion is raised on a plinth of about 0.8 m (2.6 ft) and is supported by square shaped wide columns with entablature which have decorative capitals that support beams with projecting canopies. Ruins of a courtyard with a rectangular plan, are seen to the west of the three pavilions which are built of double columns. The pavilions and the courtyard are conjectured to have been used as part of the madarsa in the past. Another striking structure in the garden, opposite to the Firoz Shah’s tomb on the southern side, is a small eight pillared Chattri seen in the garden which has large cantilevered beams that supported flat eaves all round the small dome.
The most important thing is when students go for class to madarsa they need to pass threw the Feroz shah tomb and this is mandatory for all the students as well as teachers and their for that reason he makes two small entrance on the west and north side to enter and exit of students.He makes it because he want’s every time the students pay attribute to him and they are blessed and completely concentrate their mind to studies.The main tomb inside this monument is Feroz shah tomb which is himself make and the roof of this tomb looks very beautiful because of Central Asian architecture and quaranic inscriptions around it….this is unique in that time architecture.
The northern end of the madrasa is secured to a small mosque. The qibla of the Mosque projects towards the reservoir by about 9.5 m (31.2 ft). A domed gateway from the south east provides entry into three rooms of size 5.3 m (17.4 ft) x2.4 m (7.9 ft) whose utility is not traced. A “C”-shaped layout of a double row of pillars on a raised podium forms the prayer hall, which is open to the sky. The qibla wall seen clearly from the reservoir side has five mihrabs. The avant–garde setting of the central mihrab with a domed chatri (cupola) with open sides is seen in the form of a pavilion projecting into the reservoir. The other mihrabs are set, on either side of the main mihrab, in the walls with grilled windows.
Interview with Locals and visitors:
We tried to interact with people’s around this monument and ask some question about the importance of this water tank.
1.They always see this only for a place for refreshing in the morning and evening time and like to come here to take some rest and youngsters come here for jogging and with their friends on weekends.
2.many of them come here in evening time to taste the food around the site.
3.The only thing we heard from them is this is a Fort in their minds and they know this place by the name Fort but originally it is Madarsa which is built by Firoz-shah and it look like a fort because of it’s structure which is in “L” shaped,and this shape is built to see the tank and garden from the classrooms and to refresh the students and giving them the experience of natural environment.
4.We ask from some visitors why they like this place and how they feel here:they told this place is fantastic to grt refreshed and easily accessible from both bus and metro,and in evening time they come here to experience the sunset on the Lake,it look very beautiful no-one can imagine without experiensing it.
5.Some tourist like this place because of the market which have many interior,fashion designer showrooms and the the food-grains which are available here at a reasonable price.
So,our overall experience about this place is to promot it between travel destination and it needs to advertise and also the ministry give some importance to this place as some projects are also in process.we hope in future this is the preferable destination of tourists because here only they experience the natural beauty of environment with a historical touch.
An outside source has also been tapped by feeding the water from the treatment plant at Sanjay Van into the lake. With these efforts initiated by The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the lake has been revived. More recently the Hauz Khas lake and the surrounding park has been actively developed e.g. the pavement area where people walk and jogging around has been renovated recently. Today the so-called royal lake and the surrounding place is the most beautiful place in Delhi to visit.This water body is now being restored by The Braj Foundation as per the selection of the Delhi Development Authority recently in 2014.The Ministry of Tourism of Government of India is in the process of setting up India’s first night bazaar at Hauz Khas to be called the “Eco Night Bazaar”. The objective is to provide organically grown food-grains, seeds of rare plants, handmade paper products and a safe place to watch cultural festivals. Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTDC) has also proposed setting up an open-air theatre to present cultural fests, folk dances and plays. Eco–friendly shopping kiosk made in bamboo with a bamboo bridge to cross the lake are also planned. Heritage walks are organized regularly by The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a non–profit organization set up in 1984, to highlight the heritage status of the places visited and actions taken to protect and conserve India’s natural and cultural heritage.
The hauz khas village is easily accessible from Green Park metro,it is 15 minute walking distance from there and the food-grains are very popular here and available at reasonable cost so you can come here without carry any tiffin and enjoy your trip/visit.The landmark of this monument is Nearby Deer Park gate No.1 and opposite to Rose garden.
Thanks & Regards:
Me and my Team
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