Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Explore Lodi Tombs in Lodhi Garden

Lodhi Garden is one of the biggest heritage parks in India, earlier it was called Willingdon Park and very close to Prithviraj Road. If you enter the Lodhi Garden by the main entrance in Ratendone Road you come first to the tomb of Sikander Shah Lodi. The tomb stands inside a large walled enclosure, and it has repaired by the government. Sikander Lodi was the second of the Lodi kings and under him the empire of Delhi recovered some of its former glory. He lived mostly at Agra and built a city there which he called Sikandarabad. Nowadays it is a village which is famous because Akbar’s tomb was built there.

The next building you come to is mosque. Close to the mosque is a great square building with a big dome that looks like a tomb. But it is really the gateway to the mosque. Because it is so large it is called the Bara Gumbad. It was built by Abu Amjad, a Mughal noble in the service of Sikander Lodi. Near the Bara Gumbad is another tomb very much like the tomb of Sikander, some people called this the tomb of Bahloi Lodi. But as it has no inscription we do not know for certain. Probably it is the tomb of one of Sikandar’s nobles. In Chirag Delhi is the tomb, which scholars believe to be the tomb of Bahloi Lodi.

Some distance away, near the road that runs from Nizamuddin to Safdarjang, is another tomb. It is like Sikandar Lodi’s tomb and is the tomb of Mubarak Shah Sayyid. He was the first of Sayyid kings and his tomb is the oldest of the Lodi tombs.

Style & design of Lodi Tombs

All these tombs are very much alike. They form a separate style of their own. Some people call this the Pathan style, but the best name for it is the Lodi style, for the Lodis were not frontier Pathans, but Afghans. This style grew up in the 15th century after the invasion of Timur, and it lasted until the time of the Mughals.


If you see carefully tombs are not square but octagonal. Around the tombs are verandahs that are supported by strong square stone pillars. The domes are low or half domes. Around the domes are a number of little chhattris. Each chhatrri has a little dome, so that the little domes gather round the big ones like chicks round the hen.


The mosques have a special feature, which no other mosques in India have. If you go to the back (or west wall) of the mosque you will see at each corner a round tower or minaret. The tower is fat at the bottom and becomes thin at the top. The tower is divided into five storeys or stages. What does this remind you of? Look at it again and you will see that it is a little copy of the Qutub Minar. The building of these mosques used the Qutub Minar as a model for their minarets.

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