Visit Delhi and you will be surprised to discover some hidden gems as travel destinations. In this post, I shall take you through the lanes of Mehrauli- one of the oldest villages of Delhi.
How to reach Mehrauli village?
Wondering about the unknown travel destinations of Delhi? Today, I take you to the back lanes of Mehrauli. I went walking to this amazing but secret part of Delhi and look, what I found? People interested in the history and culture of Delhi would definitely like this post.
You need to get down at the Qutub Minar Metro Station. Ensure that you have adequate water with you as walking around Mehrauli is quite a laborious affair. You also need to have a sturdy pair of boots.Don’t worry- the roads aren’t uneven. It is just that the monsoon slush does not dampen your feet.
To get into Mehrauli village, take the road that veers right from the entrance of the Qutub Complex. This way, the famous tower of Qutub will fall towards your left.
Why Mehrauli is a must on your itinerary when you visit Delhi
Since, it was a rainy day I did not feel the heat in the air- it was quite cool while walking.
But, let me tell you this- walking on this road gave me goosebumps! I wonder how many generations of people, kings, commoners etc would have walked upon this ancient street.
Do you know that Mehrauli is one of the oldest settlements in the human history? Some people say it is more than 1000 years old!
Temple of Lord Krishna’s sister
A few metres ahead is the ancient temple of Yogmaya. She is the sister of Lord Krishna, one of the heroes of the mankind.I did not feel like taking the photograph of the temple. But, here is a snap of the two golden lions that guard the temple.
This temple is one of the most ancient temples of Delhi- it is more than 5000 years old! When, the Turks captured Delhi more than 800 years ago, they demolished it. The temple was renovated by King Hemu in the 16th century. The modern look of the temple is ascribed to its renovation in the `19th century.In fact, all the ancient temples in Delhi wear a modern look.
So, you see, Mehrauli is littered with monuments that are as old as 5000 years! Where else in the world can you such exciting monuments, where else?isn’t Mehrauli a backpacker’s paradise? Now, I hope you realize why this place is a must for all travellers planning to visit Delhi.
As you walk further down the road, you encounter an imposing monument towards your right. It is a grave and this one is dedicated to a noble who was killed by a medieval king, Akbar.
Interesting stat about this tomb- It was used as a party hall by the British officers!
No full stops in Mehrauli!
Though, Mehrauli was overrun by so many invaders over the past 1000 years, the it still has retained its life and colour. People in Delhi are generally lovers of life and energy and there are no full stops in Mehrauli too!
This is Shehzad who sells home made remedies to the locals here. All his “medicines” are stocked in a gunny bag. There is a speaker that belts out his message exhorting the passers by of the virtues of his drugs.
Mehrauli is a melting pot of cultures
Shehzad is from Bengal which is more than 1500 kilometres from Delhi and there are many more such Bengalis working here. Over the years, Delhi has become a melting pot of many kinds of people, such is the allure of Delhi.
But,dear lovers of Delhi, do you know that there is a small memorial to the fallen soldiers of the British Indian Army who fought in the First World War (1914-1919)? Tell this to your friends when they are planning to visit Delhi after reading this.
Arches and much more!
But,Mehrauli is still all colour after all these centuries of turmoil.And, if you have a keen pair of eyes, you can behold some fantastic looking arches and doorways.
In another part of Mehrauli, you see a lady selling rakhis or sacred threads that are supposed to ward off evil from brothers.
The festival of rakhis is round the corner and the friendly lady is ready with her wares.
And in case you may want to buy gigantic cigarettes or hookahs, my dear friends , here is the shop.
I am a non smoker, though!
Meanwhile, as I continue walking onward, I stumble upon yet another “ancient” temple. This one is dedicated to Lord Shiva , the God of Death. The temple is located on the Maharaja Agrasen Chowk. Maharaja Agrasen is the founding father of the trading community of North India and has a stepwell or “baoli” named after him in Central Delhi.
And what dis we find here? A Jahaz! A Ship!
More surprises on the way…the next stop is this Jahaz Mahal whose origin is unknown.No one knows who constructed it but its architecture and form is appealing. Have a look.
The word “Jahaz” means ship. Does this structure give you a feeling that you are looking at a ship?
I spotted a pillar bearing some words in Sanskrit.It was inverted and was supporting one of the canopies of the Jahaz Mahal. Is it possible that this structure was made by the demolished pillars of a pre existing Hindu temple or palace?
The words suggest that the pillar was erected in 1508 AD, more than 500 years back.
And, if you care to turn your head backwards, you will see an exquisite pond- Hauz Shamsi.
The legend says that the pond came into being after the hoof of the horse of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish hit the ground.
Do you believe in this story?
Let us hit the road again and here is what we see- three dogs sleeping in a row.Wow! Such bliss and carelessness !
Ok, let us cast our gaze on some ancient doors, please.
And , can Mehrauli escape the traffic jams? Can it really? A three wheeler struggles to negotiate with the clogged Mehrauli streets.
You will find cars and autos everywhere when you visit Delhi?
Cars..yes cars also try to make their way into Mehrauli! Why can’t the people understand these small things that these streets are far too narrow for vehicles?
Many people who visit Delhi for the first time notice far too many cars on Delhi roads.
So, that takes me to the end of this post my friends. I wanted to introduce you the little known monuments of Mehrauli and Delhi as I believe that travel destinations such as these have a soul of their own.
I hope you like this post.