Hauz Khas in Delhi is an important site that unravels a part of Emperor Ala-ud-din Khilji’s reign from his capital - Siri Fort. This site also holds forth the days of ruin that ravished the grandeur of Khilji’s reign after his death. Hauz-I-Alai is considered to be the only structure of Siri, which has survived the thwarts of ravishing time.
Hauz Khas in Delhi says that this tank was built by Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1300 to ensure continuous supply of water to Siri Fort. Initially, this tank located on the eastern side of Siri, preserved rainwater, which could be later disbursed throughout the year. With gradual passage of time, this tank dried up and Firoz Shah Tughlaq much later mended it. He also constructed various other monuments around the tank. Along with all these monuments, the site of the tank came to be known as Hauz Khas (royal tank).
If you visit this place now, you will be pleased to see that a cosmopolitan town has grown around the site, which has both residential and commercial hubs. I fact, Hauz Khas in Delhi, is now popular as a shopping center because a number of boutiques of famous fashion designers, antique and curio stores have been opened up in this area. Thus after visiting Hauz-I-Alai, you can also visit Hauz Khas Enclave, Kalkaji Temple, Lotus Temple, Nizamuddin's Shrine and Chirag Dehlvi's Dargah.
Hauz Khas in Delhi is a composite site which consists of a tank and several monuments like mosque, madrasa and tomb. Hauz-i-Alai was a tank, built by Emperor Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1300, so that rainwater could be preserved in the tank and distributed across the city of Siri which served as the capital of Khilji dynasty.
History of Hauz Khas in Delhi says that after Khilji’s death in 1316, the tank gradually dried up and remains unused under bushes and shrubs because the Khilji empire met an abrupt end and the city of Siri was deserted. It was much later when Firoz Shah Tughlaq of Tughlaq reign, learnt about the existence of the tank. If you probe into the history of Hauz Khas in Delhi, you will realize that Feroz Shah’s empire was facing a severe scarcity of water during that time as a result.
Feroz Shah immediately took of the project of refurbishing the tank by laying it with concrete walls. He got the tank unearthed, cleaned and filled with water once again. It is learnt that the common men were highly benefited from the water supplied by this tank. He also constructed a number of monuments including tomb, mosque and a madrasa (college) on the southern and eastern banks of the tank. Finally, the site became popular as Hauz Khas which means royal tank.
Though the structures around the tank are in dilapidated state today, the entire site and nearby attractions of Hauz Khas, continue to attract tourists from across the country.
Fast - Facts:
Hauz Khas is Delhi has a prominent location. It is located on Aurobindo Marg just a little beyond Aurobindo Palace.
Built By: Emperror Ala-ud-din Khilji
When was it was built: 1300
The shopping centers and urban residential hubs around the rural site, which bears out the effect of ravishing time through its dilapidated structures.
How to Reach:
Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach Hauz Khas is Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or even avail of the metro rail.
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat
Nearest Railway Station: Nizamuddin Railway Station
Open: On all seven days of the week
As you visit Hauz Khas in Delhi, you will be impressed to see that how a tank and a series of monuments which fell to ruins over centuries have evolved into a tourist hub and a cosmopolitan center. There are a number nearby attractions of Hauz Khas, which are worth visiting
Hauz Khas Enclave has grown up around the tank called Hauz-I-Alai. When Feroz Shah Tughlaq repaired the tank, he also built a tank, a double –storied madrasah and a mosque on the eastern and southern sides of the tank, which make a complete site around the tank.
Kalkaji Temple is also known as Kalkaji Mandir. It is dedicated to Kalka Devi or Kali, a form of Goddess Shakti and draws large number of tourists during the nine-day festival of Navratri.
Lotus Temple Lotus Temple or the Bahai House of Worship, is famous for its architecture. The temple is surrounded by lakes and gardens and attracts tourists from all over the world for its architectural splendor.
Nizamuddin's Shrine is located in Nizamuddin village. It is the shrine of the famous Muslim saint, Sheikh Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Chishti
Chirag Dehlvi's Dargah- This dargah was built to venerate Nasirddin Mohammed, who was popular as Roshan Chiraf Dehlvi.
You must visit the well-stocked shopping centers like Hauz Khas Village market, South Extension Part I and II Market. You can also hop in to Ansal Plaza on Khel Gaon Marg, Panchsheel Market, Nehru Place, Kalkaji Market, C R Park Market and Greater Kailash-1 Market.