Fifth City of Delhi

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Watch a dream

Poisoned by a curse

Watch your broken song

And crumbled verse.

The city of your love

Captured by decay

A lifetime of hope

Withered away

You were meant for such times

O’ Wise Fool, where

Tall dreams are not a crime

And treasured is your emerald tear.

Photo and verse: Afreen Hussain (http://www.facebook.com/songsoftheflute)

There in the outskirts of the the City of New Delhi lies a stretch of cursed land where the Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (pronounced Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq in Urdu) had built the fifth city of Delhi.

Curse of the Sufi Saint, Nizamuddin Auliya.

Ghiyas-ud-din, as an Emperor, is usually perceived as a liberal ruler. However, he was so passionate about his dream fort that he issued a dictate that all labourers in Delhi must work on his fort. The Saint [Nizamuddin Auliya], a Sufi mystic, got incensed as the work on his baoli (well) was stopped. The confrontation between the sufi saint and the royal emperor has become a legend in India. The saint uttered a curse which was to resonate throughout history right until today Ya rahey hissar, ya basey gujjar (may it [the fort] remain unoccupied/infertile, or else the herdsmen may live here).

And indeed to this day it has stood still, as the fort lies crumbling, hundreds of years later…in it’s solitude. miles stretch on and no sign of human habitation. It’s like this strategically important city is indeed forgotten by all of human race.

However the rustic beauty of the place and the resonating silence go together side by side like it was meant to be. A curse, so binding, it’s a fact, I do not wish to disturb the peace and serenity. It would feel like dropping an antique urn containing the ashes of a God, and weeping over the lost remains would be bitterly pathetic.

This is my advice to you as a friend, or you could call a person who knows her India well, visit this place. A chance like this comes once in a lifetime, and this is something you gotta see before you leave Delhi. Not very far from the city. It’s Tughlakabad. Subway available just nearby.

This is where you’ll find yourself at par with your soul…as you trying to listen to the drums beating as the emperor presides over his court, and then the saint walking in with his lute, and the words uttered, you already know.

Have a great time…:)

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2 thoughts on “Fifth City of Delhi

  1. Palash

    Went to this place yesterday and was awed by a sense of mystery, desolateness and somehow feel that there are more stories at Tughlaq, which, people dont know. I also feel that something should be done to re-restore the glory of this historical fort.

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