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I recently shifted to Adchini in South Delhi and soon I realized that my backyard boasts of several historical attractions. Jahanpanah, the fourth medieval city of Delhi roughly covered the present day Malviya Nagar, Panchshil Park, Adchini and Begumpur areas. It was never really preserved or promoted but still several attractions have survived the onslaught of time. Bijaymandal and Begumpur Mosque are two biggest remnants of that era and they are at a visible distance from each other (and from my room). The following photographs were taken during a couple of evening strolls around them. Most of them look dark and gloomy because they were taken during and after the sunset as the oppressive heat prevented me from going out earlier.
It is a very confusing structure. I still don’t know what purpose it served and why it was named so. Part of it is believed to have been built by Alauddin Khilji, thus predating the rest of the city built by Tughlaqs. The good thing is that you can climb up several flights of stairs and reach the top in order to have a very clear view of the area. The Begumpur Mosque is also clearly visible from the top, although sandwiched between residential colonies. Sentimental people can reach the top to view sunrise and sunset, soak in the cool breeze and write poetry.
Begumpur Mosque is a colossal structure, apparently the second biggest mosque in Delhi after Jama Masjid but no longer in regular use. But the vast courtyard and lines of finely sculpted pillars indicate the prominence it once enjoyed.
The domes are visible even from a distance but part of the roof has been destroys and it looks to have been dissected from above for a better view of the interiors. From inside, you can just see the ugly residential apartments through this opening.
It is also possible to climb up the stairs and have a great view from the top and walk along the domes.
Anyways, the inner courtyard, the majestic gates and the stairs are reasonably intact and local people gather here for social meetings, for a game of card and as it turned out, even for a drink. Just have a look at the following image if you don’t believe me.
I had included Jahanpanah among the 10 offbeat attractions in Delhi but I think I will have to explore more of it myself.