India – History and Society – for those who wish to think and learn for themselves
In 1326, Muhammad bin Tughlaq decided to build a new city in the vicinity of Delhi. The city of Jahanpanah (refuge from the world) was built over the next few years. This was the fourth city of Delhi (several more were to follow). Jahanpanah’s status was quickly in peril as Tughlaq decided to move his capital south to the Deccan plateau in peninsular India. Another ill-fated capital, the infamous Daulatabad was built. Unfortunately, this never had enough water supply for its residents and therefore was soon abandoned as well.
One of the few remnants of Jahanpanah is the Begumpur Mosque, one of several beautiful mosques built by the Tughlaqs. It is similar to the smaller but more ornate Khirki Mosque in South Delhi. The design is central Asian in inspiration with perhaps Persian and Uzbek influences. It is quite spartan. It is thought that the mosque besides serving as a Friday mosque also served as a centre for learning with an attached madrasa (Islamic school).
The Begumpur Mosque was possibly built in 1375 by the prime minister Khan-e-Jahan Telengani. It lay occupied as a village for centuries until the Archaelogical Survey of India expelled the villagers in 1921. It can be approached via Sarvodaya Enclave in South Delhi with the ruins of the Bijay Mandal fortifications and palace nearby.
It now serves as cricker pitch for local villagers and a place where goats doze in the hot Delhi afternoons.
Please read more on: