Delhi 101: #13 Back to School – Hauz Khas

Chhatris in the Gardens at Hauz Khas, New Delhi
Chhatris in the Gardens at Hauz Khas, New Delhi

The following act starred Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351 – 1388) who set up a Madrasa (an educational institution) called Madrasa-e-Feroz Shahi – and established Delhi as a great seat of learning. And the present day authorities deserve a pat on the back for landscaping the area to make for fun outings.

Delhi 101: Cover image of book by Ajay JainThis post has been taken from Delhi 101, a book written by Ajay Jain. It is about 101 surprising ways to discover Delhi, one of the most amazing cities in the world for travelers. To know more about the book and to order one, click here.

The madrasa served as a university of its time. The teachings included Arabic, the Koran, Muslim Theology, Philosophy and Law. It attracted scholars from as far as Central Asia to study and teach. Persian was studied by nobles but usually through private tutors. Citizens pursuing commercial professionals went to their own schools where they were taught in their vernacular languages like Hindi and Urdu.

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When you explore the buildings, allow your imagination to go back in time and visualize students pursuing academics in the many chambers of the madrasa. The buildings were said to have been covered with white plaster at the time, and painted in bright colours with golden domes. A large hall, a majlis khana, was used as an assembly hall.

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Firoz Shah decided to build his own tomb at the intersection of the two wings of the madrasa. In the garden outside are chhatris, or domes supported by pillars open on the sides. At one time there were unidentifiable graves here, probably of the teachers, but these have been flattened – in all likelihood by people who used these for shelter over the centuries.

Travel tip: Be careful, don’t take a tumble from the edge of the monument. It’s  steep fall – and don’t think you will go splaaaash! The water tank is some distance away and you will only hear craaaack!

Metro: Green Park. A 15 minute walk from there or a quick rickshaw ride.

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And do join us for a coffee at the Kunzum Travel Cafe in Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, India.

The Tomb of Feroz Shah at Hauz Khas, New Delhi
The Tomb of Feroz Shah at Hauz Khas, New Delhi
The Assembly Hall or Majlis Khana at Hauz Khas, New Delhi
The Assembly Hall or Majlis Khana at Hauz Khas, New Delhi

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  1. I visited here on my trip to India right after I stopped by Kunzum for some tea! Wow is all I could say about the Madrasa! My aunt had to literally pull me away. I could have spent hours waling through the ruins and exploring. A true hidden treasure.

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