Delhi Golf Club

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Mughal (late) monuments, eight

Mosque, Mir Taqi’s and other tombs, Lal Bangla…

Richi Verma, 7 Golf Club monuments to sport a fresh look, January 2, 2018: The Times of India


Late Mughal-era monuments located inside the prestigious Delhi Golf Club complex are set for a makeover. There are eight ancient monuments and tombs inside the complex, out of which just one is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The remaining seven buildings have been identified for facelift by Intach’s Delhi chapter as part of 19 monuments in a joint project with the Delhi government.

The most prominent building among those set for an overhaul is Mir Taqi’s tomb. Experts say the only reference to this particular tomb is found in a listing by Zafar Hasan in the 1920s. While not much is known about Mir Taqi, the building itself is a late Mughal structure and requires extensive repairs. “It’s a single-domed building and stands on a raised platform reached by three stone steps. No grave now remains in the central chamber, although there are many on the platform,’’ said an Intach official.

The next building under consideration is an unknown mosque — from the same era which is in a ruinous state. The building has a single chamber with a vaulted roof and parts of the structure have collapsed.

There is another unknown tomb in the vicinity — an impressive structure, given the name ‘Lal Bangla’. “The structure has an extensive enclosure containing three-domed mausoleums. Two of these are supposed to be resting places of Lal Kunwar, mother of Shah Alam II, and Begam Jan, his daughter. Both these tombs are built on the same plan and the one near the entrance seems to be of an earlier date, and consists solely of a square room standing on a raised platform. It contains no grave, and it is not known to whom this tomb belongs,’’ another official said.

The gateway to the enclosure is double-storied, flanked at either corners by small cupolas. The enclosure wall, built of bricks, is now partly demolished. “The gateway of Lal Bangla and the three mausoleums in it are all constructed of red stone, which probably accounts for this group of buildings being so called. It may also have been so styled after the name of Lal Kunwar who was buried there,’’ the official said.

The tomb of Sayyid Abid, who was a companion of a general of the emperor Jahangir, by the name of Khan Dauran Khan Khwaja Sabir Nusrat Jang, is also on Intach’s list. The latter constructed the building. The structure is in poor condition and requires massive repairs. There are two more small unknown tombs in the vicinity, which will be conserved, but not much is known about them.

The structures appear to be Mughal, but no details on them could be found. An official said work was in progress to prepare a detailed project report after assessing the complete condition of the monuments and address areas that needed immediate attention. “Conservation work on these buildings will be done under Phase IV. Structurally, the monuments are in good shape, but they need conservation work to address the deterioration caused over the years. The final DPR will be submitted to the government early next year and work should begin soon,’’ said an Intach official.

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