Two years ago when I was exploring Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti for my book #ForgottenCitiesofDelhi I was kindly invited by Syed Farid Nizami to his office a couple of times so that I could explore the other side of the baoli.
I discovered the pretty cenotaph that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had eulologised .
Sir Syed wrote: ‘There is a marble burj to the west with a beautiful marble tomb inside. The 99 names (attributes) of Allah and Quranic ayats are inscribed on it. I have not seen such beautiful calligraphy elsewhere. The year is inscribed on it but due to some error by the inscriber it is difficult to figure out whether it’s 1008 or 1080 AH. However, the verse inscribed there rhymes with 1080.’
When I visited it, this structure was encroached upon by a family living next door who closed the structure with bricks and made a toilet in front of it thus blocking the view of the baoli. The toilet has been dismantled and the monument was then under restoration by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The name of the lady buried inside it is known as Bai Kodak Dai.
According to Syed Farid Nizami, this pavilion was probably the point where the palanquins of the Mughal princesses were set down, since there is a direct path to the dargah from here. Emperor Mohammad Shah had a vaulted roof built for devotees to cover the passage from the masjid to the baoli.
#HazratNizamuddin #dargah #baoli