Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Barah Khamba

Location - Hauz Khas/Green Park (click here for the map location)

Co-ordinates - N28 33.177 E77 12.122

Closest Metro Station - Hauz Khas/Green Park (Yellow Line)

Landmark - Aurobindo Place market

Barah Khamba from the entrance gate.

Barah Khamba literally means 12 pillars. As expected, the square tomb stands on 12 pillars, 4 large ones on the corners and 2 small ones on each of the 4 sides. Each side measures 10.5 metres. The 'Delhi Heritage' board at the entry says 'At one time there were several cenotaphs inside this building,...' All that remains now is some cardboard boxes and clothes drying on a line.

Drying clothes and cardboard boxes have replaced the cenotaphs.
The graves outside the structure, together with a bastion, a dry well and a structure which would have probably held a lamp still survive. The bastion like structure can be seen on the left of the tomb in the first photo. It is said to date back to the Lodhi period. My guess is the square shape on the inside in addition to proximity with other Lodhi period construction leads to this conclusion. I will however need to read more to ascertain this. The square shaped inside has a row of small niches just below the squinch. The north and south walls have arched openings just above the main arched gateways on either side.

The row of niches below the squinch.
Close up of the dome

Like its neighbours, Dadi Poti ka Maqbara Barah Khamba is fortunate enough to be blessed with some artificial lighting, which I later figured was a last ditch ASI effort to beautify the city before the commonwealth games. However, I would rather have spent the money on 'real restoration' of the monument than spend it on lighting a monument which has clothes drying inside it. Anyway, what the lighting does is make all of them look beautiful and surreal after evening, which sort of serves the purpose in a posh neighbourhood, where only 1 in a 1000 walking past will ever think of entering it.

Barah Khamba lighted in the night

Inside the tomb with light streaming in. Photo Courtesy: Rachel Leven

1 comment: