Explore this lesser visited complex surrounded by residential areas of Sarvapriya Vihar and the Begumpur 'urban' Village with the walk.
The name Jahanpanah means “Refuge of the world”, the name used for the fourth fortified city of Delhi constructed by the most controversial Prince Jauna aka Mohammad Bin Tughlaq in the 14th century. Mohammad enclosed the older cities of Lal Kot and Siri of Aluddin Khalji and built his new city in the centre with his citadel or palace and grand mosque at its heart. One can see monuments of later periods and not just Tughlaq era structures, including, a Sufi shrine, single bay arched building and, a curious domed building (due to its architecture and large dome resting on the octagonal drum) with openings for air and light, all belonging to Lodhi period.
It is believed that one Sheikh Hasan Tahir, a saint during Sikander Lodhi's reign, is buried along with his descendants, followers and family members, and this is now a revered Sufi shrine. Another curious building, known as the Bijay Mandal or Vijay Mandal (Victory Pavilion), once a watch tower, has an unusual cruciform plan and openings on all four sides with slabs of Quartzite stone. There are ruins of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq's palace and its most fascinating part, the Hazar Sutun or thousand pillared hall, which once had grand interiors with carved wooden ceilings and paintings.
One of the most interesting mosques of Delhi, one has to walk through the village of Begumpur to reach the Begumpuri Masjid. The date of construction and chief builder of the mosque is still debatable. Some of the vital features of the mosque are its open Sahan or courtyard, arched colonnade on four sides topped with domes, three square domed gateways and on the west side, the prayer hall and gateway which has a turret like design, ladies chamber, which could have been used by royal ladies. From Bijay Mandal, one gets a breathtaking view of the Qutub minar at the center of Mehrauli which is hardly a Kilometer from this place.
Apart from the architectural descriptions, few events of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq's reign such as the political experiments of shifting his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, introduction of copper and brass coins, external dangers, internal rebellions, constant threat of Mongols in Northern India and also details from the travelogue of Ibn Battuta, a traveller from Morocco are also shared. The monuments of Jahanpanah create amazement and curiosity among the visitor only satisfied by a visit there!