Late Mughal Residences (17th – 18th centuries)

Elegant arches adorn the transitions between interior and exterior spaces.
Elegant arches adorn the transitions between interior and exterior spaces.

Situated to the East of the tomb of Nasiruddin Mahmud (Sultan Ghari), off the Mehrauli Mahipalpur Road, the ruins of these residences date back to the late Mughal period of the 17th – 18th centuries, thus making them the oldest surviving specimens of residential architecture in Delhi.

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Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban

A 'true arch' spanning the main entrance to the tomb.
A ‘true arch’ spanning the main entrance to the tomb.

The Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban (1287 AD), situated within what is now known as the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, occupies a position of immense importance in the evolution of architecture in India. It was in this structure, that for the first time, true arches were employed in the spanning of openings. All Islamic buildings built before this tomb contain ‘false’ corbeled arches

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Tomb of Mubarak Shah Sayyid

Tomb of Mubarak Shah Sayyid
Tomb of Mubarak Shah Sayyid

The tomb of Mubarak Shah (died 1434) is situated within Kotla Mubarakpur, at the heart of the modern day New Delhi South Extension I. The structure is one of the early tombs to be modelled on the typical octagonal style that rose to prominence during this period.

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Rajon ki Baoli

Rajon ki Baoli
Rajon ki Baoli

The Rajon ki Baoli, inside what is known today as the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, is arguably one of the most beautiful baolis in Delhi. Constructed during the reign of Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517), it derives it’s name from being first used by masons (raj). It consists of four tiers, adorned by elegant arcades, with steps leading down to the water level, which usually remains below the second level from the bottom. As in most other baolis, a well at the back allows for water to be drawn up directly using a bucket. Attached to the west of the baoli is a mosque and a twelve pillared tomb.

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Kalan Masjid, Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi)

Kalan Masjid, Shahjahanabad
Kalan Masjid, Shahjahanabad

Tucked away inside one of the many ‘pockets’ of Purani Dilli (Old Delhi), the Kalan Masjid (1387) is one of the seven mosques built by Khan i Jahan Tilangani, Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s prime minister. Stylistically similar to it’s six contemporaries, it is one of the few medieval mosques of Delhi which are still in use. 

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