A historical walk in Sanjay Van tracing the ancient Kingdom of Tomars and PrithviRaj Chauhan to Mehrauli in medieval times with Asif Dehlvi’s Delhi Karavan
Our walk started From the Yog Maya Temple
Yogmaya Temple also known as Jogmaya temple, is an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Yogmaya, the sister of Lord Krishna, and situated in Mehrauli, New Delhi, very close to the tomb of Adham Khan and Qutb complex. It is widely believed to be one of the five surviving temples from the Mahabharata period in Delhi and was made by Yudhistra .
In the present shape the temple was built by Seth Sidhu Mal of Chandni Chowk in 1827.
The present day entrance to the Temple.
Panditji doing poona
In his “Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi”, Thomas Metcalfe the Governor General’s Agent in Delhi, ( 1844) writes:
“[The shrine of Jog Maya near the Qutb Minar. Built during the reign of Akbar II (r.1806-37) at the site of an ancient temple, the Jogmaya temple is one of the most important Hindu shrines in the city, but no trace of the original survives.]
The Shrine of Jog (‘Worship’) Maya (‘Wealth, also a name for Luchmee the goddess of wealth’) at the Kootoob dedicated to Devee an Hindoo goddess is said to have been from time immemorial the site of idolatrous worship. The two temples represented were built, the one by Rana (‘King- Chief’) Peertee or Pritvy Raj (‘Peertee or Pritvy Raj: Lord of the Earth’), and the other by his chief almoner. Rana Peertee called also Rae (‘King’) Pittorah, the latter a corruption without any meaning, was the King of Ajmere and Indra (‘God of Elements’) Put (‘Town or City’) the ancient Hindoo city of Dehly, the name being derived from Delu or Dehlu, the chief Zumundar or land proprietor of the place.”
His diary has 130 paintings by one, Mazhar Khan. This is of the temple as it existed then.( I had the opportunity to see an exhibition of this collection recently in Delhi and took photographs of the prints.)
We were accompanied by Mr K K Mohammed ( Ex Director ASI) and Stella Dupius ( writer of Yogini Temples in India)
The karavan enters Sanjay Van where Lal Kot ( Red Fort ) was once situated. The fort was built by Anangpal Tomar around 1050 A.D
main akeila hi chala tha jaanib‘e manzil magar
log saath aate gaye aur karvaan banta gaya
I started the journey to my destination alone, but
People kept flocking and the caravan was formed
A view of the Qutb Minar from the ruins of lal Kot
This was once a water reservoir or Anang Tal built byAnangpal Tomar
The ASI has done extensive excavations in the area and this is the remains of a house : rooms
“lal Kot , the citadel of the Tomar Rajput king Anangpal, is now survived by its stone build ramparts and remains of a moat available only at very few places; same is the case with dressed quartzite veneering and semi-circular bastions. Another wall, which is a later construction, is provided with massive towers and is pierced by several gates, known as Ghazni, Sohan and Ranjit Gates. Excavations have shown that the original citadel of Lal Kot was oblong in plan and the high stone walls to its west which enlarge the original enclosure and are usually regarded as its area are a later construction. A study of excavated remains have shown sequence of two successive periods, i.e., Rajput and early Sultanate periods. A palatial structure was found together with other structures. Prithviraja III, popularly known by the name of Rai Pithora, had extended the Lal Kot by erecting massive stone ramparts around it. The new enlarged city had Lal Kot at its south-west base, which is known by the name of Qila Rai Pirhora, the so called First City of Delhi. According to Timur, the rubble built ramparts were pierced by thirteen gates, out of which Hauz Rani, Barka and Budaun Gates are still extant.”
The wall runs an impressive course . It reminded me of Hadrian’s wall in U.K. Of course that was much better preserved, marked and marketed.
the walls are constructed from random rubble internally but with a facing of quartzite blocks. there are rounded bastions at regular intervals.the stone was cut so accurately, writes Lucy Peck, that it allowed precise alignment in a system that did not use mortar, although the surface of the blocks was not smooth.
In front of one of the ramparts of the Citadel of Lal Kot
The tomb of Haji Rozbih and Bibi ( said to be a female relative of PrithviRaj Chauhan who became a disciple of Haji Roz )
Haji Roz is said to be the first Sufi saint to enter Delhi. His grave is very well hidden and we were led to it by Syed Mohammed Qasim and Asif Dehlvi .
Rahmat Miyan , the mojavir of the Dargah who told us the history of the place too. Winter or summers he sleeps here and safeguards the area. According to him The Bibi is PrithviRaj Chauhan’s daughter, Bela . But there is no verification of this by any other historical source that i could find. If anyone does , please share.
Who in this world has no need?
Whose prayer achieve acceptance?
It is called Bhima’s ( The Mahabharat hero) Chitanki . Bhima was supposed to have the strength of an elephant so this huge stone was like a chitanki or 1/16th of a seer ( chhitank bhar) for him.
Nobody knows how or why this stone came here.
It reminded me of Krishna’s butterball in Mahabalipuram
And yes this area has it all. Starts with the temple and ends in the Dargah
The entrance to Lal Kot from near Adham Khan’s tomb.
Adham Khan’s Tomb
According to R V Smith , Adham Khan’s tomb was made by Akbar on the pattern of The Dome Of The Rock .
It is certainly different from the typical Afghan and Mughal structures.
from Metcalfe’s Reminisces
“The tomb of Udhum Khan, who having assassinated his foster brother, (see page ..[f.45v]) attempted also the life of the Emperor Ackbur the Great by whose orders he was thrown from the battlement of the palace.
[The Tomb of Adham Khan near the Qutb Minar. This tomb was built by the Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605) in 1526 for Maham Anga, his wet nurse, and her son, Adham Khan, a nobleman and general in Akbar’s army, who was executed on the Emperor’s orders for committing murder. Khan’s mother passed away from grief soon after. Around the central chamber is an arcaded verandah, above which rises the corona of the dome in which there are several passages, hence the tomb is also known as ‘Bhul-Bhulaiyan’ or labyrinth. It is one of the last in the Lodhi style tombs.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i maqbara-i Adham dar Qutb.
The name is generally pronounced so like your Adam, that new arrivals are sometimes made to believe that the building is really the Tomb of our common Progenitor.
[The Tomb of Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq Dihlavi near the Qutb Minar, on the bank of the Hauz-i-shamsi. ‘Abdul Haq Dihlavi, born in 1551, was a writer in Arabic and Persian, who won favour from both Mughal Emperors, Jahangir (r.1605-28) and Shah Jahan (r.1628-58). He died in 1642. ]
Inscribed: maqbara-i Shah ‘Abd al-Haqq Dihlavi.
The Tomb of Shaikh (‘Tribe; Caste’) Ubdool Huq(‘Slave of God’) Dehlevee (‘Of Dehly’). “
From Metcalfe’s diary
It is worth noting that most Mughal buildings had the 6 sided star . This according to Mr k.K. Mohammed is not derived from the Star of David but is the Indian Shiv Shakti symbol adopted by the Indian artisans. It was developed in India in the Lodi period and continued till early part of Akbar’s reign
A mother or grandmother feeding her child. Just as perhaps Maham Anga may have fed the young Akbar and his foster brother, her son, Adham Khan.
apnii qabr mein tanhaa aaj tak gayaa hai kaun
daftar-e-amal ‘aamir’ saath saath jaataa hai
Who has ever gone alone to the grave?
‘Amir ‘ the book of deeds also goes with one.
The banda bahadur Gurudwara, Mehrauli
A view from the jaali on the ladies side into the dargah of Hazrat Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
Metcalfe writes :
Khvaja Qutb al-Din Bakhtyar Kaki from Ush, who was known as Qutb-Sahib from his residence near the Qutb Minar, went to India with the earliest Muslim invaders and became a disciple of Khvaja Mu’in al-Din Chishti of Ajmer. He died in 1236 and was buried in a simple grave at Mehrauli. The beautification of the tomb did not apparently begin until the 16th century, but the tomb itself remained an open enclosure. In this drawing, it is shown surrounded by a simple balustrade with a velvet canopy over it. To the left is part of the wall of coloured floral tiles traditionally associated with Aurangzeb. The surrounding enclosing wall of marble ‘jalis’, with marble gates, was built by Farrukhsiyar in 1713.
Watercolour of a view of the shrine of Qutb-Sahib at Mehrauli by the Delhi artist Muhammad Yusuf (fl.c.1845-1875), c.1845. Inscribed in Persian in red paint: (above) ‘naqsha darga-i Hazrat Qutb al-Aqtab’; (below) ”amal ‘abdihi Muhammad Yusuf ‘afa Allah ‘anhu.‘”
The inner gate to the shrine