Red Fort, India Gate, and Qutub Minar are some of the usual suspects when it comes to monument-hopping across the city, but Delhi also has numerous other lesser-known monuments that are equally worthy of your time. We’ve picked out some of our favourite, offbeat Dilli monuments that might not be as well-maintained and huge as the popular ones, but are more likely to be less crowded and of course, they’re associated with their fair share of interesting stories (some are even said to be haunted).
Ditch The Usual: Have You Visited These 5 Lesser Known Monuments?
Adham Khan’s Tomb
Close to Qutub Minar lies the 16th-century tomb of Adham Khan, a minister of Akbar’s royal court. Adham Khan killed one of Akbar’s favourite ministers, so the emperor ordered that an octagonal tomb should be created instead of a hexagonal one, to denote that it’s a traitor’s tomb. The monument is one massive mausoleum with stunning archways, and you can even see the Qutub Minar from here. Think about all the great pictures you can take!
Timings: Open 24 hours
Nearest metro station: Qutub Minar
Ghalib Ki Haveli
In the lanes of Ballimaran (Chandi Chowk) lies a forgotten, 300-year old haveli which was once the residence of Mirza Ghalib, one of India’s most celebrated Urdu poets. A hakim (physician) who was a fan of Ghalib’s poetry gifted the haveli to him and today, it is a heritage site that houses some of his original manuscript boards that can give one an insight into the poet’s life, and displays clothes that belonged to him and his wife.
Lover of Ghalib’s poetry? This is definitely one heritage site that you absolutely must visit.
Timings: 11 AM - 6 PM (Monday closed)
Nearest metro station: Chawri Bazar
Jamali Kamali Mosque & Tomb
Constructed in 1528, Jamali Kamali in Mehrauli is both a mosque and a tomb of two individuals – Jamali and Kamali. Shaikh Jamali Kamboh alias Jamali was a Sufi saint known for his poetry and Kamali, it is believed was the poet’s male lover. The Jamali Kamali Mosque is made out of red sandstone with white marble embellishments. All the five arches of the mosque have been beautifully ornamented and the two-stories structure is enhanced by octagonal towers in all the four corners.
While the mosque and the tomb look every bit like a stunning work of architecture, people are often too scared to drop by due to the stories that Jinns reside here. Fascinated by architecture and intrigued by ghost stories? You know where to head now.
You can also check out more historical monuments like Balban's tomb and Metcalfe's dome in Mehrauli Archaeological Park when you're there. For more information on Mehrauli Archaeological Park, read here.
Timings: 10 AM - 6 PM
Nearest metro station: Qutub Minar
Displaying the architectural styles of pre-Mughal dynasties, Khirki Mosque is a 14th-century monument that, as the name suggests, is also called ‘The Masjid of Windows’. It’s one mammoth masjid with four open courtyards, four towers on all four corners and numerous gateways. Time and the weather have caused the domed roof of the mosque to cave in, but it still remains a beautiful ruin that is any photographer’s delight.
Timings: 7 AM - 7 PM
Nearest metro station: Malviya Nagar
A 14th-century fort constructed by Muhammed Bin Tughlaq, the Adilabad Fort lies very close to the relatively popular Tughlaqabad Fort. One of the reasons why this fort makes it to our list of offbeat monuments is because you can get a bird’s eye view of the entire Tughlakabad region from here. While a major portion of the fort is in ruins, the ASI has made efforts to beautify the region with plants and you will still find massive structures that have stood the test of time.
Timings: Sunrise - Sunset
Nearest metro station: Tughlakabad