December, 2020July 15, 2022
Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan – Metcalfe House in Mehrauli
Just when I entered the Mehrauli Archaeological Park in December 2020, I read about the tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan on a signboard. I visited all the monuments in the park. I even went out of the park to visit Gandhak Ki Baoli and Zafar Mahal but I missed Quli Khan’s tomb. I came back to the park and searched for it. I asked many people but to no avail. I followed the direction but I didn’t reach there. Thus, I sat in a park to relax and met a person who directed me to the tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan. Had he not told me about it, I would have left the park without visiting the tomb. Note that it was my second visit; the first was at the beginning of the year in January and then this one was in the first week of December when 2020 was ending.
Delhi is a land full of stories and ancient sites. These sites, structures today are specimens of their past, which give us a slight idea of how the past would have been. On every nook and corner of Mehrauli, you will find ancient sites and structures. Some of them are protected and some are abandoned. Some of them have retained their shape due to maintenance and restoration while some of them are broken and damaged. The tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan is a nicely protected monument and still holds its charm though the aging can be sensed. Also, love birds have painted their names on the walls of the tomb which is pathetic.
Read Here – Tughlaq Era Chor Minar Hauz Khas
History and Architecture of Quli Khan’s Tomb – Metcalfe House
Quli Khan’s Tomb was built for Muhammad Quli Khan who was the foster brother of Emperor Akbar. He was the brother of Adham Khan and son of Maham Anga. Adham Khan’s Tomb is located near Mehrauli Bus Terminus. However, it is not known when Quli Khan’s tomb was built. Moreover, it is also not known who commissioned the construction of this tomb. There aren’t enough resources available that can tell us about Quli Khan in depth. Make sure that you don’t confuse Muhammad Quli Khan’s Tomb with Shah Quli Khan’s Tomb which is located in Narnaul.
It is said that the tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan was built in the 17th century during the time of Jahangir. The octagonal tomb of Quli Khan is built in traditional Mughal architectural style. This monument is based on a raised platform which gives it a unique look as compared to other monuments of Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The interior of the tomb is decorated with colored ink, the most prominent is blue. The way it has been decorated from inside, the calligraphy, etc. one can imagine his influence in Mughal court. After the Mughal regime came to an end and the British took over, several monuments were used for personal purposes. Muhd Quli Khan’s tomb was no exception.
Read Here – Tomb of Azim Khan
Sir Thomas Metcalfe transformed Muhammad Quli Khan’s Tomb into a retreat house
Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe was a civil servant who was the last British Resident of Governor-General (the 4th Baronet) at the court of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II. He bought the tomb and transformed it into a retreat house or resort. The tomb was modified in European style and was used as a monsoon resort. The tomb was famously known as Dilkhusha. The tomb complex was extensively decorated and designed to make it look like a retreat house for pleasure and leisure purposes.
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Metcalfe used to lend the tomb for bridal parties and honeymoon. The tomb’s central hall was used as the dining hall. He also constructed other structures such as tanks, water channels, staff quarters, ziggurats, guest houses, etc. all based on European designs. The water channels used to lead to a water tank which is known as Metcalfe’s Boathouse and Dovecote. It is said that the tank belonged to the Lodi period. Later, Metcalfe restored it and used it for swimming and boating purposes. Near the tomb of Quli Khan, he also built a folly in Mughal style. The folly has arches and domes.
Read Here – Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
How to Reach Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan?
The tomb of Quli Khan is located inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The nearest metro station is the Qutub Minar metro station on the yellow line. One can either take a walk or also can rent an auto-rickshaw from the metro station. The distance isn’t too far and one can easily walk. There are no entry fees as it is among the entry ticket free monument of Delhi at present. It may have a ticket in the future, not sure.
This is perhaps the most beautiful and maintained monuments as compared to other monuments of Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage took the responsibility for this tomb’s restoration.
You need at least three to four hours to cover Mehrauli Archaeological Park which is spared in around 42 acres. Along with the tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan, the park has several monuments; some are known and some are unknown.
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I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.