V for Village of Hauz Khas

Hauz Khas Village is located in  South Delhi, India. The Complex houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. It was part of Siri, the second medieval city of India of the Delhi Sultanate of Allauddin Khilji Dynasty (1296–1316). The etymology of the name Hauz Khas in Urdu language is derived from the words ‘Hauz’: “water tank” (or lake) and ‘Khas’:“royal”- the “Royal tank”. 

In the 1980s, Hauz Khas Village, studded with domed tombs of Muslim royalty from the 14th to 16th centuries, was developed as an upper class residential cum commercial area in the metropolis of South Delhi, India. It is now a relatively expensive tourist cum commercial area with numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques and restaurant. The present status of the village also retains not only the old charm of the place but has enhanced its aesthetic appeal through the well manicured green parks planted with ornamental trees all around with walk ways, and the sophisticated “gentrified” market and residential complexes which have sprung up around the old village. The tank itself has been reduced in size and well landscaped with water fountains.

In December last year, on one weekend, Az and I visited Hauz Khaz Village. We parked outside the Deer Park and walked through the park to the Hauz Khas Complex. People were peeking at deers through the wired fence. The deers, who are used to human attention, were grazing and lazying around like ordinary cattle, least interested in the human folk.
As it was a weekend, the Village was quite crowded. The complex with all its monumental components is quite a pretty sight. With the gorgeous ruins against the greenery and the water body, we were taken back in time. The ruins were brimming with families, couples and groups. There were also young musicians getting ready for an evening program. The park around the water tank is very vast and I was quite tired at the end of our walk around it. The deer park is a part of this park area. Apart from the deers, there were also peacocks, and swans and ducks at the water body. There are also monkeys roamig freely in the park area. They have a good time scaring the visitors. The vicinity of the complex is dotted with numerous restaurants, boutiques and galleries. By the time we headed back it was almost dark.

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