Perfect Ruins

What it must have been once
Perfect Ruins. It may be an oxymoron but holds perfectly true for the ruins at the Tughalakabad. Colossal is the first word that comes to mind when you cross a bend on the Mehrauli – Badarpur road and have the first glimpse of what was the third city (of the 7 cities) in Delhi. Once inside, the 12 foot thick walls make the traffic sounds simply disappear. It is quite clearly meant to be a military strong-hold but in his hey days had seen splendor too. The famous traveler Ibn Batuta (made more famous by the song in the movie Ishqiya), spent a significant time here under the tyrant king Mohammed Tughlaq. In his words, “..inside Tughlukabad is the great palace whose tiles the Sultan has gilded. When the sun rises they shine with a brilliant light that makes it impossible to keep one’s eyes fixed upon it”. Today that palace is just two broken perpendicular walls, conspicuous in their isolation

Remains of the Palace

On the eastern side there are some spectacular ruins of what was once a market place. Some houses are clearly recognizable. From some of the bastions you get breath taking 360 degree view of a vast flat land. It reminds you of a famous curse associated with this place. Nizamuddin Aulya, the famous sufi saint had once cursed Ghiyassudin Tuglak with the words, “Hunuz Dilli dur ast” (Delhi abhi door hai)

As you sit some 20 meters above the ground, cool breeze gently ruffling you with nothing but silence to give you company, Delhi truly seems far away.

Tughlakabad City

Delhi seems far away

kisi zamane ka ghar

Must have been some one’s home once

Ruins of Tughlakabad

Splendid Ruins

(Ibn Batuta Quote from the book City of Djinns by William Dalrymple)