In Search Of The New- Restored Heritage Sites In Delhi For The Winter Wanderer

It’s winter season in Delhi! While snuggling into the blanket may be the ideal option, this weather is also perfect for exploring old monuments for those seeking adventurous modes of leisure! In recent times, conservation projects and discoveries of architectural splendors have added to the list of places one can visit! Here are some places which have recently been restored, and can be visited.

Sunder Nursery– Near the NizamuddinAwliyaDargah was where the Mughal emperor Akbar, had chosen to establish the Humayun’s Tomb as both a mark of respect to his father, as well as display of his own power in Delhi. Sunder Nursery which is right next to these two structures encompasses a part of Akbar’s Delhi. It has been restored by the Aga Khan Trust For Culture, and made into a scenic picturesque Mughal-style garden with lush greenery, flowers, fountains, a lotus pond, and numerous intricate architectural structures, including the SunderwalaBurj, Sunderwala Mahal, and the LakkarwalaBurj,. This place is ideal for family picnics or simply those who want to sit and read a book,while occasionally glancing at the greenery.

SabzBurj– Restored over four years by Aga Khan Trust for Culture, this monument is the latest addition to the list of sites one can visit in Delhi. Located at the intersection of Mathura road and Lodhi Road, this structure was built in the 1530s.Part of the restoration involved reconstructing the installations with glazed turquoise and green tiles, topped by a striking NilaGumbad( blue dome) on its exterior walls. Furthermore, the magnificent ceiling encrusted with lapis lazuli and real gold has also been restored. The level of grandeur has caused scholars to speculate that somebody significant within the Mughal administration was buried here.

Dara Shukoh’s grave–  An unmarked grave in the premises of Humayun’s tomb has recently been identified as Dara Shukoh’s grave by an Assistant Engineer from South Delhi Municipal Corporation. Although this discovery requires more backing, indicating where this much-remembered prince is buried raises interesting questions about Mughal politics. Dara Shukoh, son of Shah Jahan was said to have been brutally killed in a battle against Aurangzeb in the struggle for succession. The tale about this battle is usually told with the perspective to pit “evil intolerant Aurangzeb” against the gentle Dara Shukoh. Yet, if he is buried in a royal tomb, this means that the prince was not denuded of his royal status despite the defeat. This discovery  calls for( as MunisFaruqui has shown) re-analysis of the act of fratricide as more than just an evil illegal act,  perhaps even see  it a common strategy in Mughal politics, considering his continuing royal status after his death.

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