Mehrauli Archaeological Park In Delhi Gets A Facelift

A group of monuments, some of which bore the scars of graffiti on their walls, and the rejuvenated water body, previously choked with silt and garbage, were unveiled in a remarkable transformation
Madhi Mosque in Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Madhi Mosque in Mehrauli Archaeological Park Shutterstock

In a testament to Delhi's rich heritage and commitment to conservation, the Mehrauli Archaeological Park has undergone a remarkable transformation thanks to a revival and restoration project. The new initiative has revived this sprawling archaeological park, bringing life back to its monuments and a historic water body that had long suffered neglect.

The rejuvenated monuments, some of which bore graffiti on their walls in the past, and the restored water body, once plagued by silt and garbage, were unveiled by Lieutenant Governor (LG) V K Saxena. This celebrated archaeological park, located in South Delhi, sits in the vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Qutub Minar.

With its rich tapestry of heritage, Delhi has a duty to safeguard its historical treasures. Just a few months ago, this area was shrouded in dense overgrowth, debris strewn around, and the water body concealed beneath layers of silt. However, in a mere span of 6-7 months, the area has been dramatically rejuvenated. LG Saxena, who is also the Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), expressed his vision of more such projects to revive heritage sites, offering "gifts" to the people of Delhi in the future.

Jamali-Kamali's Mosque and Tomb at Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Jamali-Kamali's Mosque and Tomb at Mehrauli Archaeological ParkShutterstock

In a bid to address any questions about the legality of past demolition actions, the LG reiterated that structures built illegally would face consequences while legally constructed ones would stand unaffected.

During the unveiling, Saxena and DDA officials explored the rejuvenated iconic sites within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, including the Quli Khan Tomb, Balban Tomb complex, and Metcalf House. In an innovative step, a monument identified as the "Unknown Circular Monument" has been adaptively repurposed into a cafeteria following its preservation.

The project, valued at Rs 2.6 crore, has not only breathed new life into these historical sites but also transformed the park's ambience and aesthetics. This monumental endeavour commenced in March of this year. Saxena, foreseeing a surge in visitor footfall following this restoration and redevelopment work, confirmed that, indeed, it would increase.

The Mehrauli Archaeological Park is now a testament to this unwavering dedication, boasting restored and conserved heritage structures, including the Balban's Tomb complex. Previously hidden under thickets of weeds, the park now showcases improved landscaping and additional greenery surrounding these historic edifices. Strategic vantage points offer mesmerizing views of the Qutub Minar from within the park, and the revival of the Quli Khan Tomb breathes new life into a once dilapidated structure. In addition, the monuments have been interconnected with pathways, granting access to all 55 heritage structures that were once off the beaten path. This revitalized space promises to be a cultural gem for residents and tourists alike, a testament to the resplendent history and heritage of Delhi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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