March 16, 2016

Zafar Mahal - Delhi

Site Name: Zafar Mahal
Site Type: Monument, Palace
Location:  Mehrauli area, Delhi, India
Highlights: The last monument built by the Mughals

Nearest Railway Station: Delhi
Nearest Airport: Delhi
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Delhi city
Restaurants: Many options and varieties across the city

Delhi has around 1300 monuments. Out of those monuments, hardly 30-40 monuments are being visited by the tourists. Most of the monuments remain unknown to the world. Let us explore about one such little known monument called Zafar Mahal. It is located near Dargah Qutb Sahib in Mehrauli area in Delhi.


History

Zafar Mahal is considered as the last monument built by the Mughals. The Mahal (palace) was built by Akbar Shah II in early 19th century. The gateway was reconstructed by his successor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor. 

The structure was the summer palace of Bahadur Shah II.

Zafar Mahal

Zafar Mahal was originally called as Lal Mahal and Rang Mahal. The structure was constructed near the Sufi saint Kaki's Dargah by Akbar Shah II. The entrance which was called as Hathi Gate was added by Bahadur Shah II. The palace was also renamed after his name as Zafar Mahal. 

Zafar wanted to be buried in this complex, however his wish could not be fulfilled. After the First War of Indian Independence (called as Sepoy Mutiny by the British), he was arrested and exiled. Nevertheless, many of his predecessors were buried in this complex. The graves of the Mughal Emperors such as Bahadur Shah I, Jahandar Shah, Shah Alam II, Akbar Shah II and even Zafar's son Mirza Fakruddin are found within the complex of this palace. 

Bahadur Shah II also added one more floor to the palace and built a Chhattri in the middle of the palace. 

Except the Hathi Gate, the other parts of the palace are in ruins today. The Hathi Gate is architecturally attractive. It has a big arch where even an elephant can enter easily. There is a beautiful balcony with three small arch openings. 

Moti Masjid, a small Masjid built completely in white marble, having attractive onion domes, is adjoining the Palace complex. 

A domed pavilion in the courtyard is another attractive feature of the palace.

Happy travelling.





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