Monday, January 24, 2011

Hauz Khas

We went exploring in a neighborhood not far from ours called, Hauz Khas. The name is derived from Urdu - Hauz meaning "water tank" or lake, and Khas meaning "royal." This area dates back to the end of the 13th Century during the period of the second (of seven) city of Delhi, known as "Siri."
The ruins here are quite beautiful. Hauz Khas is being renovated by the Archaeological Survey of India, and includes a Mosque, a seminary and a series of Muslim tombs.The neighboring Hauz Khas Village has been built up around narrow, winding alleyways. It offers some very good restaurants and boutiques to explore and sample. The village is probably as close as you can find for a hip, trendy neighborhood in Delhi - unfortunately with the standard rubble, debris and trash found almost everywhere in urban India. We'd been to the village before to try a restaurant and to explore some shops, but oddly, we had never wandered to the far side to visit the ruins.
The archaeological site has wonderful, new, easy to read signage that explains almost every aspect of Hauz Khas. The kids had fun exploring 700 year old chambers and climbing the ancient stone stairways of the complex. The park includes a wonderful, renovated stone walkway (90% complete as of Jan '11) that encircles the lake. The water is a bit green, but the park is peaceful and fairly well maintained. The park also seems to be quite a college scene... students were walking and hanging out; joking and enjoying each other's company. We had a really good day. Hauz Khas was a great place to be on a sunny winter's day and a fun way to spend time as a family - especially since Saturday was Evan's ninth birthday!

No comments: