Located in the grounds of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in Delhi, the famous Dara Shikoh Library now functions as the office of the Archaeological Department of Delhi Government. Built by Dara Shikoh, Mughlal emperor Shahjahan’s son and chosen successor, this building boasts of immense historical importance. The death of Dara in 1659 also meant the destruction of his library as it was given to the subedar of Lahore, Ali Mardan Khan. The building further changed hands before finally being captured by the British in 1803. The subsequent owners have modified the building a number of times till recently when it came under Delhi Government.
This perhaps explains why nothing typically Mughal in style or architecture is visible here. The entire complex is surrounded by jamun trees, huge white pillars, representing British architecture, and wooden blinds covering the verandahs. The only remnant of the splendor of Mughal architecture could be seen in the basement with its red sand-stone arches and ornamental pillars.
An Archaeological Museum has been set up in Dara Shikoh Library Building and it comprises of two galleries. Relics excavated from three Sites in Delhi ranging from the late Harappan times to the Medieval Period are on display in one gallery and the other one displays sculptures in the custody of the Archaeological department.
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