The Delhi Golf Club, a municipal course in the early 1930s became a corporate entity in 24th February 1950. Situated on the erstwhile Mughal lands known as Babarpur it was built around the existing monuments.
I knew that there were three important tombs inside Delhi Golf Club but nothing prepared me for the veritable feast of the senses for a monument lover like me.
The Lal Bangla as the tomb complex of Lal Kanwar, the mother of Shah Alam II and his daughter BehumJaan is visible from the road itself.
There’s was a gateway here as per Maulvi Zafar Hadan but that’s no longer visible.
There is another building which is much bigger but has no tombs inside.
Saiyyed Abid a Jahangiri noble was also buried here. His tomb is mentioned and can be seen from the top of Lal Bangla
This is a simple tomb and with the golfers near it doesn’t give a sense of the stillness of frsth but a vibrancy of life.
Mr Singh who has been working with the club for 35 years took me around on a golf cart. I was like a child in a toffee shop. So many riches all around me.
We passed by Saiyyed Abid’s tomb and stopped in front of a vaulted one. The graves have disappeared but the building stands.
The winding and very sloping dirt track led me to one of the prettiest tombs I’ve seen known as Barakhamba because of its 12 pillars. Originally built in the shape of a cross now only 3 side compartments remain of the four.theres a single grave in the middle compartment and it is hauntingly beautiful.
Situated at hole 17
According toMaulvi Zafar Hasan it is of Lodi era.
My golf cart was very handy as it was a hot day in May,
The pillar stump
This was originally a Baghichi or small garden with enclosing walks and a low arched doorway. Those have probably given way to the greens.
The ceiling has definitely been repainted recently but it’s been very aesthetically done.
The walls and side shave also been attractively redone.
This is an early Mughal tomb. Octagonal from outside and square inside.
The ceiling has been repainted but the original itself must have been attractive from the markings.
On all four entrances there are guldaan or flower vase designs which in its original state must have been a riot of colours.
Painstakingly decorated for the after life!
The delicate work on the outer casing of the tomb and the inner floral patterns clearly visible were very pretty.
Some random walls and graves with which the Golf club is dotted.
From here we went to what was once the Baghichi or walked garden. Today only one wall with its imposing gateway stands. There’s a tomb inside in front of which a swimming pool has been built and drinks are served.
Well we still weren’t done. This area was known as Babarpur and was a thriving necropolis. Of course a mosque was needed and my guide too me to one. Perhaps attached to a tomb no longer extant.its also Mughal era.
I have described the monuments as per popular conception. More details based on my research will be in my forthcoming book next year InshaAllah
Where Stones Speak II