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Mehrauli Archaeological Park Conservation

The area of Mehrauli is probably the oldest continuously inhabited area of the city. As such it contains the architectural legacy of many centuries. Lal Kot, the first fortification of the city of Delhi, was established by the Tomar Rajputs in the Mehrauli area in AD 1060. The Chauhans extended this by adding the fortifications of Qila Rai Pithora, and after them the Il-Bari Turks continued to rule from this location. Though later capital cities were built at other sites, this area was not abandoned and many important buildings continued to be located here during successive dynasties - the Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Lodis, Mughals, and the British.

Following the successful completion of the Lado Serai project (2001-02) the DDA invited INTACH Delhi Chapter to prepare a proposal for the conservation of unprotected monuments that stand on DDA land surrounding the ASI protected Sultan Ghari tomb. Permission of the ASI was sought because the ruins were located within 300 m of the centrally protected monument, the Sultan Ghari tomb. This permission was only received in 2004. Work finally commenced on site in February 2005 and was completed in March 2006 at a total cost of Rs. 58.68 lacs.

INTACH Delhi Chapter received a grant of Rs. 2.25 lacs from Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for conservation work on the Gumti in October 2001. The conservation work took six months to complete and was carried out with a two fold aim: first, to carry out urgent repairs to restore the structural integrity of the building; and, second, to restore some of the lost elements of the building such as minarets and tile work, in order to enable visitors to understand the original architectural character of the monument.

The five buildings/complexes include the ruins of a residential complex on the eastern edge of the land, an individual courtyard unit entered through an arched gateway south of the residential complex, ruined remains of a mosque in close proximity to the Sultan Ghari tomb, a grand well and part of a much larger western settlement immediately adjacent to the Sultan Ghari tomb..

Phase II of the project that proposes landscaping the area and conversion of one of the residential enclosures into an interpretation centre by restoring a single dwelling unit has received approval in principle from DDA, but funds are awaited.

To order a copy of the project report complete the form (click here)