1. Sabz Burj (Green tower).
One of the most interesting facts about the little known history of Sabz Burj (Green tower) is that for several years during British rule, the Sabz Burj (Green tower) was used as a police station. It is located close to the Humayun’s Tomb Complex.
Sabz Burj literally means the ‘Green Dome’ but its nowhere close to green in color. In fact, now the tower is referred to as “Neeli Chattri” (Blue umbrella) because of its shiny blue colored dome.
The tower was supposedly built in between 1530-50 A.D though it is not known who commissioned it. The medium height, octagonal tower is influenced by Central Asian architecture. It consists of alternating wide & narrow sides. One can still see green, yellow and blue tiles in varied patterns on its drum
Sabz Burj: the green dome. Photo courtesy: Aga Khan Trust.
This is a monument in the Nizamuddin area of south-east Delhi.
2. Colonel James Skinner (1778 – 4 December 1841) (East India Company officer)
He was an Anglo-Indian military adventurer in India, who became known as Sikandar Sahib later in life, His father was Lieutenant-Colonel Hercules Skinner, an officer in the East India Company Army of Scottish origin, while his mother was a Rajput princess, daughter of a zamindar, she was taken prisoner at the age of fourteen. When he was 12 years old his mother committed suicide.
Colonel James Skinner
3. Mother of Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana. Khanzada Jamal Khan Mewatti was the nephew of Hasan Khan, opponent of Babar. He had 2 beautiful daughters, the elder was married by Humayun and he asked Bairam Khan to marry the younger daughter, who became the m/o Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana. Humayun did this for establishing a political alliance with Khanzadas of Mewattii.
Rahim’s mother ———-??? was the daughter of Jamal Khan of Mewat ?????
Alwar has been a part of Matsya region of olden times whose capital was Viratnagar. “Alwar” was formerly known as “Ulwar”. Alwar is named after a Khanzada ruler, Alawar Khan, who established his kingdom in this region in 1412. Alawar is descendent of Chandrawanshi rajput Nahar Khan who converted to Islam in thirteenth century during Firuz Shah Tughlak’s regime. Hasan Khan Mewati is descendent of Khanzada (Raj put) Nahar Khan. Khanzada Hasan Khan fought against invader Babar and later on Hasan Khan’s nephew Jamal Khan gave his two daughters to Humanyun and Bairam khan in marriage. Bairam khan’s son from this marriage was later known as famous Raheem Khan-e- Khana, he was Akbar’s navratna. In the 1550s, Khanzada Rajput king of Ulwar was overthrown by Akbar’s military campaign to encircle Mewar Kingdom. Akbar said to have arranged to killed his former Regent, Bairam Khan while the latter was on his way to Hajj; after he had been court martialled by the Emperor for his blood thirst.
4. Chor Minar – A tower with a gory past history
Chor Minar or ‘Tower of Thieves’ is a 13th-century minaret with 225 holes, situated just off Aurobindo Marg in the Hauz Khas area, in New Delhi.
It was built under the rule of Alauddin Khilji, of the Khilji dynasty (1290–1320) in the thirteenth century.
According to local legends, it was a ‘tower of beheading’, where the severed heads of thieves were displayed on spear through its 225 holes, to act as a deterrent to thieves, though some historian suggest that the Khilji king slaughtered a settlement of Mongol people, nearby, to stop them from joining with their brethren in another Mongol settlement in Delhi, the present day locality of ‘Mongolpuri’.
During wars, only the heads of chiefs were displayed; those of common soldiers were simply piled into pyramids.”
5. Maham Anga also built a mosque, ‘Khairul Manazil’ ca 1561 CE in Mughal architecture. It later served as a madarsa, and now stands opposite, Purana Qila, Delhi on Mathura Road, south east to Sher Shah Gate. It was here that a slave tried to kill Akbar, after his return from hunting and moving towards Nizamuddin Dargah, but the arrow hit a soldier in his entourage instead, who was hurt, albeit not gravely.
This rubble built masjid called Khair-ul- Manazil, , the most auspicious of edifices’ with five arched openings in its prayer hall, double-storeyed cloisters and an imposing gateway of red sandstone on the east, was built in A.D. 1561 by Maham Anga, wet nurse of Akbar, with the assistance of Shihabuddin Ahmed Khan, a powerful courtier and relation of Maham Anga, during the reign of Akbar.
An Attempt to Assassinate Akbar at Delhi, 1564-from the Akbarnama
This illustration depicts an attempt on the life of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) at Delhi in 1564.
Akbar is shown in white on horseback clutching an arrow. His retainers pursue the would-be assassins and kill one of them.
By Jagan with Bhawani the Elder and faces by Madhav, c. 1590-95, (watercolor on paper, 33.8 x 19.4 cm.), Victoria and Albert Museum, London
6. Ashiqa-Deval Rani-Khizr Khani
“King Karan fled with his daughter Devala devi but his wife Kamala Devi was seized by Alauddin Khalji’s general but on the way back to Delhi on reaching Jhalore the queen was released by Devda Rajput of Jhalore and King Karan’s general”.
“They fled from there in jungle to reach Baglan but on the way, the queen died due to serious wound caused while escaping”.
“Another version says that Kamala Devi, ex-wife of King Karan Dev was now Alauddin Khiljis Mallika-i-Jahan. She wished to secure Deval Devi who was about six months old when Gujarat was invaded in 1297. She was saved and carried by her father to the South”
“Karan Dev was defeated and turned out of Ellichpur. His daughter Deval Rani fell into the hands of Alp Khans soldiers near Ellora Caves. She was taken to Delhi and married to Khijr Khan-Crown Prince (Alluddin Khilji’s Son), after a few years”.
Deval Rani’s mother-Kamala Devi and Khijr Khan’s mother- Mahru were Alauddin Khilji’s wives. Hence Khijr Khan and Deval Devis fondness was disliked, so they had absconded to Delhi. Finally they were married after many objections.
Khizr Khan Deval Devi
7. Another opinion on Lal Gumbad- Malviya Nagar Delhi
Sufi saint Shaikh Kabiruddin Auliya lived here and after he died, he was buried here. (During later part of Tughlaq rule) – Kabiruddin Auliya was disciple/ student of Shaikh Roshan Chirag-e Dilli who was disciple/ student of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
Feroze Shah Tughlaq had designated Lal Gumbad as his tomb but later he gave it to Kabiruddin Auliya.
There is some debate among historians, on who made this tomb. – Agha Menhdi Hussain says, “this tomb was made by Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq for himself”.
But, Persi Bown opines that the tomb was built during Gyasuddin Tughlaq period. This tomb is very similar to Sultan Gyasuddin Tughlaq’s tomb in Tughlaqabad.
But it is also believed that it was Muhammad Tughlaq who built it as his rest house/ vacation place (aaramgaah). It’s also possible that he made it as his own tomb
Western wall has iron “Raqaabs”. It’s believed to be thieves’ work to climb the wall and steal gold “Kalash”.-Hence it is also called Raqabwala Gumbad.
Raqabwala Gumbad aka Lal Gumbad
8. Rauza-i-Munavvara aka later Taj Mahal
Shah Jahan had named Mumtaj Mahal’s tomb as Rauza-i-Munavvara
(The Illumined Tomb)
It got to be known later as Taj Mahal-a corruption of Mumtaj Mahal
9. Salima Sultan w/o Akbar and Step M/o Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana
Salima Sultan is buried in Madarkar Garden Agra.
10. Shah Jahan
Abraham Eraly writes that According to Bernier, Shah Jahan had had constructed under his palace in Dely two deep caves, supported by vast marble pillars.
Piles of Gold were stored in one and those of Silver in the other.
(For safety the precious metals were saved in prodigious sizes, to render them useless for purposes of commerce.)
11. Akbar’s music-loving daughter – Meherunnisa (begotten by Queen Daulatabad Begum) fell in love with the court-musician Tansen, and Akbar allowed her to marry him after Tansen underwent conversion from Hinduism to Islam.
(There are some accounts to the effect that Tannu Pandey aka Tansen was converted to Islam, when he was very young, by his Guru Pir Mohammad Ghous of Gwalior).
12. Genghis Khan reportedly decided not to conquer India after meeting a unicorn, which bowed down to him; he viewed it as a sign from his dead father and turned his army back.