QULI KHAN’S TOMB


CONTRIBUTED BY SAHIL AHUJA

Quli Khan’s Tomb, relegated to a pristine, forgotten corner of Mehrauli Archaeological Park, is one of the most stunning tombs in the entire city of Delhi. Its magnificence is matched only by its seclusion. Annexes were added to the tomb by Sir Thomas Metcalfe, the British Agent (negotiator) at the court of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah “Zafar” II, from 1835-53 A.D. who bought the tomb and converted it into his monsoon retreat.

Quli Khan's Tomb Pixelated Memories Sahil Ahuja (2)

Description                 The tomb belongs to a certain Muhammad Quli Khan. There are no records available that mention Quli Khan but he is said to be the son of Maham Anga, emperor Akbar’s foster mother. Quli Khan was a foster-brother to the emperor and also a general in his army. The tomb stands in a larger, extensively landscaped and multi-layered complex which is a part of the Archaeological Park but is aesthetically separate from it. Around the tomb, several of the additions made by Metcalfe still exist, including chattris, ziggurats, stables and an irregular gateway. Though Metcalfe’s additions were brought down by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), one of the annex was left intact.
History The tomb was built in 17th century. It is not known who commissioned it.
Construction Each side of the tomb is inset with an arched niche, alternate sides have an entrance built into the niche. Exquisite bands of calligraphy border the niches, the medallions are either inscribed with Quranic calligraphy or floral patterns, the entrances are surrounded by a profuse tile work in blue and yellow, while the non-entrance niches are surrounded by intricate stucco work mirroring complex floral patterns.On the inside, the base of the dome is marked by arched niches, all decorated in brilliant blue and red stucco work. Similar art work is used to embellish the arched windows, the recessed corners and the roof too, though much of the central artwork on the dome is now gone and only the medallions remain.
Protection  The structure is today a protected monument under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India and is being maintained by INTACH.
Ownership    Archaeological Survey of India
Location         Mehrauli Archaeological Park is close to the Qutb Complex and one of its entrances is opposite the Ahinsa Sthal close to the Lado Serai Bus Stop (when coming from Badarpur).
Remark     The compound around the tomb is now flush with vegetation. Guards have been employed to patrol the ArchaeologicalPark, however their job is aggravated by the hugeness of the Park and the presence of several functioning mosques and thoroughfares within it.For a detailed write up on the gate click more!

Quli Khan's Tomb Pixelated Memories Sahil Ahuja (7)

You have new information on this heritage resource do let us know ! Write to us at info@cattsindia.org

Disclaimer: The article expresses individual views of the author. The rights to the content of the article rests with the author.

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