Delhi’s Heritage at Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Jamali Kamali Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Close to the glorious Qutub Minar, lies a huge historical space in neglect. This is Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Spread over a vast expanse, these beautiful monuments and artifacts stare into nothingness, narrating Delhi’s rich history.

View from Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Idyllic views

The walled city authorities did not find it worth protecting or caring for the park. A free entry to the walking trail and dark, dusty monuments in bad condition are also proof of the same.

View of Qutub Minar from Mehrauli Park's Rose Garden
Qutub’s background to the rose garden

The small entrance through which we entered lead us to the beautiful sight of rose garden, with the Qutub Minar towering in the backdrop.

See how Qutub Minar glitters after sundown.

The sign board (rather sign stones) gave some direction to the monuments that lay ahead.

One of the direction pillars

Crossing the rose garden, a lovely green zone is a welcoming sight with green plantation on both ends. (Thank God atleast a green cover was provided by the authorities).

The nursery is a savior
Rare green sight

As you take left towards the Jamali Kamali Mosque, on has to pass by a lush green grassland. The elevated section of the land has Metcalfe’s Folly. It is indeed sad to see names scribbled all over, including the dome structure. Wondering how did they get up there? It is not an architectural masterpiece but offers a panoramic view of the park and surrounding area.

Metcalf’s Follly

Keep walking further till the walls of Jamal Kamali Mosque appear on right. This is was the only place we could explore properly.

Jamali Kamali Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Jamali Kamali Mosque
Arched walkway of Jamali Kamali
The silence was eerie

It was nearly the closing time and hence we could not enter other tombs or baolis. So we had to take pictures from outside the gate. However, we came back a week later to cover the whole park.

Rajon ki Baoli is the largest and most ornamented of all three step-wells in the Mehrauli park.

The beautiful Rajon ki Baoli in Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Rajon ki Baoli
Arched walkway in Rajon ki Baoli in Mehrauli
The arched walkways

With four floors and rooms at each level, this baoli is named after the rajmistries or masons who used it. It is believed to be constructed during the 16th century, by Daulat Khan during the rule of Sikander Lodhi. Moreover, the step well appears like a courtyard of the medieval period with passages that have carved symmetrical arches that form the three sides.
From our Instagram post

The other two baolis, Anangtal Baoli and Gandhak ki Baoli have not been maintained. In addition, they lie in neglect serving as a rubbish bin for the locals residing around. Anangtal does not even have a marking or signboard.

Right opposite Rajon ki Baoli lies another unnamed tomb and mosque. Also, a staircase leads to the terrace of this picturesque structure from where you can see the boundary walls of the park.

An unnamed mosque structure in Mehrauli Park
The unnamed mosque

Moving further, we chanced upon the tomb of Quli Khan. As legends have it, Quli Khan was Emperor Akbar’s foster brother, born to Maham Anga. (Remember Ila Arun in Jodha Akbar?)

Tomb of Quli Khan in Mehrauli Park
Tomb of Quli Khan

The octagonal tomb built in the 16th century was bought and remodeled by  Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe, the Governor General’s last British Resident agent at the Mughal Court of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. It was refurbished as a pleasure house or Dilkhush in Urdu by surrounding it with sprawling gardens and rest houses. Besides, he used to rent out Dilkhush to honeymooning couples for an idyllic view of the Qutub Minar.

The tomb has a striking resemblance to Mughal architecture with entrances on alternate sides and walls with floral calligraphy and Quranic verses.

Among other structures of the park, there are several other unnamed tombs, structures and graveyards, protected but unnoticed.

An unnamed tomb in Entry gate of Mehrauli Archaeological Park
The unnamed tomb
Damaged ceiling of an unnamed tomb in An unnamed tomb in Entry gate of Mehrauli Archaeological Park
The crumbling ceiling

This was the last leg of our visit to Mehrauli Park and we headed home with lots of good memories. This place is indeed a photographer’s delight and great for History enthusiasts like us.

How to reach Mehrauli Archaeological Park  

There is a story behind this as well.
It’s an easy-to-reach place but not really noticed, because it is not highlighted or advertised anywhere. I have stayed close to this place for four years but never came to know abut this hidden gem. Having read so much about it recently, I convinced my husband to explore this less-known place. Little did we know that the place would not be an easy one to find.

Entry gate of Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Easily missed entrance

We passed by two entrance gates twice but did not realize those were the entry gates. (Not even the gates mention that it is an archaeological park). One of the entrances is 1 km away from the Qutub Minar metro station. A narrow kuccha road through the wilderness leads to the park. We chose not to tread on this path since these kinds of secluded paths are unsafe, and full of uncertainties.

The second entrance gate is near the Qutub Minar roundabout. Google also led us to Mehrauli Bus terminal. However, we are not sure if there’s any entrance to the park or not at the bus terminal.

Entry fees to Mehrauli Archaeological Park



The park has a parking space inside. But we still do not have an idea where to drive through. (We hopped into an auto from the Qutub Minar metro to the gate near the roundabout. This costed us Rs.50). Bikes and cars are parked outside this small gate near the main road. Heavens save your vehicle from being towed away or damaged since it seems to be an unauthorized parking space.

Wheelchair friendly?

Not at all

Is Mehrauli Archeological Park Pet Friendly?

Though the notice boards warn against bringing in your pets, we still saw visitors bringing in their pet dogs for a walk. (Sigh!) A lot of strays roam inside the premises, harmless, lazing around.

Friendly dogs in Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Harmless furries often fed

Though poor maintenance and garbage menace were major turn-off for us, we still recommend this place once for history and photography enthusiasts. We visited the park twice and witnessed the neglected glory of history which needs to be told and restored.

3 thoughts on “Delhi’s Heritage at Mehrauli Archaeological Park

  1. Yeah we agree. After dark and when no one’s around, it feels haunted. But a beautiful place to be in.

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