Mughal Mehraab

I have visited Humayun’s tomb many a times but never ventured into the Sunder Nursery.
Thanks to Sanjeev Singh who took me there as its not so easy to find the mehraab in the beautiul but expansive garden inside.

It is a visual treat. One has to walk quite a bit from the entrance of the Nursery to get here but you can drive down too if the guards allow.
That is veritable treasure trove.
#SundarNursery has many beautiful monuments from the Mughal period but nothing to beat what is now known as  the #MughalMehrab
This used to be a sarai built by Azim Khan and extended all the way up to the Din Panaah (Purana Qila) and there ruins of a haveli of Azim Khan  in the Zoo. It was called AzimGanj ( ganj meaning bazaar) and could possibly have been in place during the building of Humayun’s tomb as a support / help of the workers there.At that time many monuments were being built in Delhi even though Akbar’s capital was in Agra.

There is a kos minar inside the Zoo which bears witness to the importance of this route which connected Agra to Delhi.

I am indebted to Sanjeev Singh for giving me this additional knowledge.
Being on the Agra Delhi road it would have been a centre of activity during the Mughal times before the court and capital shifted to Shahjahanabad.
Located near Humayun’s tomb where Akbar would have come to pay respects to his father, it would have been used by the courtiers who travelled with the Emperor for rest and recreation.
The central arch is 14 ‘ wide and 19.9’ high and contains 3 mehrabs
The #MughalMehrab used to be a Mosque built in the Mughal period inside what then was a sarai of Azim Khan .
It is such a beautiful place for meditation and prayers. I can visualise tired travellers stopping in the sarai and then coming to this wall mosque to pray fro success in their venture and safe passage. Travel was beset with its own problems in those days.
The courtyard  contains unknown gravesbut since its over run by grass, shrubs and even tress there are no traces of these.
Till the 20th century there are accounts that the #MughalMehrab was ornamented with coloured paintings.

The courtyard is 6′ above the ground& used to b enclosed by walls 9’4″ in height and was furnished with arched openings. One can see the stumps of the arches in the above pphotograph. THe romantic in me can visualise the niche for incense sticks and lamps. The sweet smell emanating from it and the flicker of the lamps in the wind providing light for the worshippers. The glow and soot from these lamps must have presented an ethereal atmosphere for connecting with the MAker.  I wish i could go there with incense sticks and lamps/candles  but that might disturb the environment so will just say a prayer for the souls sleeping in such a tranquil place.

How to get there: It is located in Sundar Nursery opposite the parking lot of Humayun’s tomb.
Nearest Metro station is JLN Stadium
Being a government nursery it keeps government hours.
Entry is free but  its at the discretion of the guards there as it is a govt nursery.

Comment List

  • sanjeev Singh 21 / 09 / 2014 Reply

    बहुत अच्छा लिखा है … मुग़ल मेहराब का तो आप ने नक्शा ही खींच दिया , सचमुच बहुत खूबसूरत रही होगी . बहुत बहुत बहुत शुक्रिया दिल्ली के इस अनजाने ख़ित्ते के बारे में बताने के लिए . दरअसल दिल्ली का यह ऐसा हिस्सा है जिस के बारे में लोगों को बहुत कम पता है . जो मूल सराय है वो आज के चिड़ियाघर में है. उस को अजीमगंज सराय कहा जाता था . गंज का मतलब बाज़ार से होता है . ज़ाहिर है , कि किसी अज़ीम साहब के नाम पर ये सराय थी जो कि बाज़ार का काम भी करती थी . यह सराय दीनपनाह ( पुराने किले) को हुमायूं के मकबरे से होते हुए आगरा जाने वाले मुख्य मार्ग पर थी . इस रास्ते का गवाह वो कोस मीनार है जो आज भी चिड़ियाघर में है. संभवतः जब हुमायूं के मकबरे को बनाने का काम प्रारंभ हुआ होगा तो लोगों की ज़रूरतों को पूरा करने के लिए आस पास आस पास बाज़ार और सराय भी बनी होंगी ऎसी ही एक सराय अरब की सराय है . ये ठीक है कि अकबर अब आगरा जा चुका था पर दिल्ली का महत्त्व कम नहीं हुआ था इस वक़्त भी दिल्ली में इमारतें बनायी जा रही थी . इसी वक़्त के आस पास की एक अन्य महत्वपूर्ण इमारत खैर उल मंजिल मस्जिद है जिस को माहम अंगा ने दीनपनाह के सामने बनवाया. राना आपा आप से दरख्वास्त है आप वहाँ अगरबत्ती या और कोई ऎसी चीज़ ना ले जाएँ जो कि हमारी धरोहर को नुकसान पहुंचाए . कुदरत ने दिल खोल कर यहाँ खूबसूरती बख्शी है . उस ख़ूबसूरती में हम सब की सिर्फ प्रार्थनाएं और दुआएं शामिल होनी चाहिए.

    • Rana Safvi 21 / 09 / 2014 Reply

      Thank you. I added the additional information you gave in the blog also.

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