If you thought that the Purani Dilli area happens to be the oldest place to visit in Delhi, it is time to know and explore Mehrauli in South Delhi to get the right answer. As we gather, Mehrauli was earlier called Mihirawali; with the passage of time, the name got twisted. If you wish to explore more of Delhi, the real Delhi, beyond its markets and commercial centres, Mehrauli could be your best stop. Below, we share a few important details on the five places to visit in Mehrauli worthy of being visited on a weekend.
1. Visit The Haunted Jamali Kamali
Jamali Kamali is believed to be a haunted site by the Delhites, but is actually home to tombs dedicated to the Sufi saints, who once lived at the same site. As per the historical records, the saints lived during the pre-Mughal dynasty rule of the Lodis. The monument was built in between 1528-29 in red sandstone with marble decoration. The heritage site exudes peaceful vibes in the day, though it is advised not to wander in its premises after dark.
2. Check Out The Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage sites of Delhi. It is the most recognizable feature today. First timers to Delhi can start their exploration of this heritage place from Qutub Minar. The construction of Qutab Minar marked the end of Hindu Kingdom in India & the beginning of Muslim rule in India which ended with the arrival of the British. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the place where Qutub Minar stands today was once occupied by about 27 Jain and Hindu temples. These were demolished and the stones reused to build the present complex.
3. Visit The Ancient Yogmaya Temple
The city of Delhi has seen many invasions by Aurangzeb, and one of the sites that became a target of rampage was the Yogmaya Temple in Mehrauli. It can be located right behind the Qutub Minar. A temple dedicated to honour Hindu deity Durga or Parvati, the shrine has a stone image of her, who incarnated as the sister of Lord Krishna from the womb of his foster mother, Yashoda. Perhaps, it was after this temple, that the city of Delhi was formerly named Yoginipur. The temple has legends associated with the Mahabharata war, and we suggest you visit the shrine to hear the story.
4. Marvel At The Architecture Of The Alai Darwaza
The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built by the first Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala –Ud-Din Khiliji in 1311 AD. This is the first building in India to employ Islamic architecture principles in its construction and ornamentation. The mosque was the first mosque built-in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India.
5. Visit The Ahinsa Sthal
Ahinsa Sthal is located on the main Mehrauli Road at the peak of a small hill. It is situated at the intersection of Mehrauli Badarpur Road and Aurobindo Marg. This place of non-violence or peace as the name suggests is so named because a 14 feet large statue of Lord Mahavira stands here and it is now considered a sacred place by followers of Jainism. The statue was set up here in the mid 1980s and the area around the sculpture has been developed into a lush green park, over time.