Hauz Khas Fort & Lake (New Delhi)

During a visit to New Delhi in college days, me and 2 of my friends, had an evening free and we planned to go shopping. The nearest options for shopping in New Delhi, from where we were staying, were Hauz Khas and Delhi Haat, as directed by our local friends. 

Pavilions & Tombs in Hauz Khas Fort

Hauz Khas Complex
Pic Courtesy: SanjayPandey - Own work  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
 
After shopping at Delhi Haat, we headed at Hauz Khas. It was a khas (splendid) experience indeed! The shop that impressed me the most was an antique shop that had newspaper that were ages old, some old lamps, 60’s cinema posters, 40’s book prints. Of course, the prices were sky high and all I did was to admire the things. We just walked by. There were these several high end shops and designer boutiques. Hauz Khas village cafes are cute and artsy. It is definitely one of the best places for shopping in New Delhi. We did a good deal of window shopping and kept walking the lane and at the end of the lane was something more interesting.

HAUZ KHAS FORT & LAKE COMPLEX:
It was a monument or should I say it was a huge complex of monuments. What I did not realize was that I had reached the Hauz Khas District Park that comprises of the top places to visit in Hauz Khas including Hauz Khas Complex, Tombs of Tughlaq period, Firuz Shahi Madrasa, Hauz Khas village lake & more. These are one of the lesser known historic places of Delhi. I was so impressed by this place that I pulled my dis-interested friends into this place. Once they were in with me, they too were extremely impressed by this place. I was astonished by its size and the lake! I was breathing fresh air in a cosmopolitan jungle of New Delhi. The locality was green and the tank was filled with birds. Its most definitely the best place to experience sunset in Delhi. Deer Park Hauz Khas is also located inside this complex. This is the one of the best free places to visit in Delhi.

Hauz Khas Lake
Pic Courtesy: Kapil Pal - Own work  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
 
Hauz Khas Fort
Pic Courtesy: Sidra Ali Anwar - Own work  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
 
The monuments were created during the Alauddin Khalji Dynasty in the 13th century. This water tank was built by Khalji and then de-silted and made usable by public in 14th C by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. 
And several tombs and mosques and madrasas were built around this tank, including Firuz Shah’s own. Alauddin Khalji excavated this large tank, for the use of the inhabitants of the city Siri, the 2nd city of medieval Delhi, that he founded. Its original name was Hauz-i-Alai. 

Firoz Shah Tughlaq built several buildings around the lake which we call today as Hauz Khas Complex. Though it is commonly referred to as 'Hauz Khas Fort', there has never been a fort here. The monuments around includes a Madrasa which is an Islamic school, called the Firuz Shahi Madrasa.  This is a unique structure. This is L shaped, located at the south east edge of the reservoir. At that tip is the Firuz Shah’s tomb and the northern end is the mosque. The two storied open air building all along is the madrasa where the education takes place, which were all built in 1354 CE.  As we entered through one of the entrances of this Haus Khas Complex, we directly were at the top of one of these Madrasas and simply jumped to reach the platform beside the lake. Note this, we just jumped… Nothing of climbing down sort…!!!

Hauz Khas Complex and Deer Park

Hauz Khas Madrasa
Pic Courtesy: Devansh Goel - Own work  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
 
HAUZ KHAS TOMB of FIROZ SHAH
At the south east edge of the tank, at the intersection of the Madrasas is the Firuz Shah Tomb.  He was the 3rd ruler of the Khilji Dynasty who ruled from 1351-1388 CE. His tomb has 4 graves. One is his own and 2 of his sons’ and 1 grandson’s. These were repaired during the reign of Sikandar Lodi in 1507 CE. 
As I have mentioned earlier, at one end of the Madrasa is the mosque. It’s almost in a ruined state now. It’s different than the rest of the buildings and it’s built completely with red stone and the arrangement of the stones is beautifully seen outside with mud mortar as fillers between them to fix them… I loved this mosque than the rest of the monuments in the entire complex.
And we started walking around. Hauz Khas complex has 6 pavilions all together and three of those 6 are clustered together. These are probably the tombs of the teachers of Madrasa built as am emotional support to the students of the deceased teachers to sit & study there.
Hauz Khas Fort
Pic Courtesy: Appleseed422 - Own work  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Sunset in New Delhi at Hauz Khas Complex
 
We continued to walk around. It was one of the lovely evenings I’ve spent. The sunset was great behind the thorny bushes in Hauz Khas lake. 
It’s one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen with the birds returning to their nests and chirping along their ways, with the ducks swimming, with delhi-ites having their evening jog and walk, with kids playing cricket almost religiously, elders relaxing in the waterside seats. This place would easily top my list of Delhi things to do for free.
And we three walking and walking and walking until we realized we were coming around in the same place and had gotten lost..!!! The way we jumped down couldn’t be jumped up..!!! It was alteast 10 feet tall and a route with steps had a grilled door at the end which was locked…!!!
We somehow found a way out (definitely it was not our way in…!!!). We came out into a god knows what road and started to walk all by ourselves in the darkening moment by moment time, in almost lonely road. Remember, this was when we had the old Nokia phones that didn't have GPS. We somehow after roaming a bit, reached a main road with a lot of traffic and it was already dark and we were getting a bit scared. I went up and asked a policeman, how to reach the nearest railway station. He helped us. May God bless him and his family and friends!!! 
We reached back home and the whole experience was nothing less than an adventure for someone like me who doesn’t know east and west in Delhi. Still, I was amazed. Hauz Khas Complex stands today sturdy against all odds of man and nature ever since 13th century, giving a breathing space and a piece of nature to the cosmopolitan New Delhi. 

Hotels in Hauz Khas village are available in all price points. 
This locality is well known for its cute, artsy bnbs, hotels & hostels.

On Google Maps: Haus Khas Complex
Nearest metro stations: Haus Khas, IIT & R.K.Puram
From India Gate: 12 km via Chanakyapuri
From Karol Bagh: 14 km via Pusa Hill Forest
From Faridabad: 33 km
From Noida: 20 km

Dedicated to Pratima and Swagata

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

29 comments:

  1. OMG Bhusha! Was history your major...am sure u wud hav topped in all...nice pics to rem too. I will def chk ur blog, if I want an idea to have a trip.

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  2. Hey Sujay,
    Ha ha ha.. History was not my major... I'm so glad my blog would be of some use to you on your trips... Thanks dear... :)

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  3. OMG.....thank you for refreshing our golden memories Busha....It was an adventurous moment for us........ :)

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  4. Hey Pratima,
    It's indeed Golden Memories...!!! :)

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  5. Very informative post. When people say "Delhi" only 2 places come to mind - Red Fort and Kutub Minar. This definitely is a nice place to visit and is added to my wish list.

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  6. It looks like you had a nice trip.. Thanks for all the information..

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  7. Hi:)

    This is a very interesting tour with lovely photos. I was awe struck by the sun set photo with perhaps more than hundred birds flying in the evening sky.

    I am really impressed with that police man. He is a kind man.

    Although I have been in Delhi many times, I have never visited this spot. Many thanks for showing me around this exotic place.

    Have a lovely day my friend:)
    Joseph

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  8. I learned a lot form this post...well written and presented. I especially liked the part in the antique shop with the old newspapers....History right there in front of your eyes
    Thanks for sharing

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  9. hey bhush..

    nice blog.. liked the part where u went round and round which means that earth is round :D.. good that u found that thing out there.. :D

    and when u made praises on that policeman..

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  10. @Rajesh,
    Glad to know my blog has added a place to your wish list... :D Happy Travelling...

    @Aysegul,
    Ur welcome sweety.. :)

    @Joseph,
    Thanks a lot.. Glad you liked that pic...
    Of course, the police man was a kind person. So is our Indian Police and Defence Force.. Hats off to them. Jai Hind...
    Do visit next time. Its an awesome place, as I've said, its a sheer accident I visited this place. No one has ever told me about this place...

    @Baron,
    U r welcome dear. Glad that u liked... :)

    @Krish,
    Mudiyala ennala...!!! :D :P
    Hats off to that policeman again. Jai Hind...

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  11. very nice place and fantastic images.. u r so lucky ma.. :)

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  12. hey how come you visit so many places you are very lucky u know. All the pics were nice and liked your description too

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  13. Hi.. This is my first visit to your blog and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your narration is fast paced and photos are beautiful. Thansk for sharing information about this lovely place.

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  14. Hi Iniyaazh,
    Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting... Welcome to my blog...
    Do drop by often. I would love your visits & comments and followups...

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  15. Fantastic post...
    thanks for sharing so many shots :)
    I love it !!

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  16. Hi Anya,
    Thanks a ton sweety.. :)

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  17. Interesting place, I would love to be there.
    May be soon.

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  18. Interesting adventure.Wonderful photos and information.Next time when you plan to go to some places, take a compass with you!

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  19. Hi Indrani,
    It's indeed an interesting place. :)

    Hi Mojo,
    Thanks dear... And about the compass, good idea... :D

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  20. The pictures are out of this world. Your story reminds me of this aphorism: "The world is a book; those who stay at home only read the first page".
    Thank you for your visit and a kind comment.;)
    xo

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  21. One of the many beautiful places I missed... Glad you can show me! :-)

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  22. Hi Protege,
    Thanks for dropping by. Thanks a lot for yourr comments... :) I'm glad u liked my photographs...
    Do drop in often would love your visits and comments... :)

    Hi Jose,
    I'm glad that I could show u as well... :)
    Do visit next time u come to India... :)

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  23. Thanks for taking me on a cool trip. After drug rehab, I want to take a trip there

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  24. Hi Drew,
    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by n commenting...
    Recover soon dear and start your journeys.. :) All the best.. :)

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  25. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing information for traveling. This is a very informative information for me .

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  26. Hauz Khas was my favorite place in New Delhi! I loved the artsy community and browsing in the unique shops. I was impressed by how the ruins were left untouched in their decaying beauty.

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  27. Despite recent commercialization of the HKV, this still remains the pretties and peaceful areas of Delhi. I have lived in South Delhi for a whiule and I occassionally keep going there. I hope I have also seen other other hidden but connected monuments in the nearby areas of Green Park and Hauz Khas Colony.

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