Ruined

A secret resting place.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Although of stone, it looks so soft and gentle.

The tomb of Atgah Khan in central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti shelters the memory of a Mughal-era noble who was murdered by a rival in Emperor Akbar’s court.

Encircled by multistoried shanties, the mausoleum’s 16th century aesthetics contrast sharply with the makeshift nature of these modern-day brick structures. The way is through a small courtyard that might be mistaken for a private residence.

Except for its marble dome, the red sandstone edifice is embellished with floral patterns and marble inlays of Islamic calligraphy – someone has scrawled ‘I love you’ below an inscribed verse.

A west-facing enclosure wall is left with remains of yellow, blue and green tiles; they impress upon the senses like recollections of a faded dream. Next to it is an arched courtyard; its slender flute-shaped columns have blackened with time.

Inside the dark chamber, the daylight enters through lattice screens. There are three graves; each is ornately inlaid with calligraphies and floral patterns.

Rarely visited by lovers of old buildings, the tomb’s forsaken state has infused its stones with a special tenderness. The place should stay a secret.

Where Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, Near Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah Time Morning to Evening Nearest Metro Station Jangpura/Pragiti Maidan

A beautiful hideout

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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City Monument – Atgah Khan’s Tomb, H. Nizamuddin Basti

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