It was during breakfast when we heard the unexpected news that we were going on our first trip in senior school to Sultan Ghari. I immediately bubbled up with excitement. We jumped into our bus and made our way to Sultan Ghari which was located in Malakapur village of Vasant Kunj near our school.
Sultan Ghari was the first Islamic mausoleum(tomb) built in 1231 CE. It was originally planned for Sultan Iltutmish as he had decided that spot for his burial. Unfortunately, Sultan Iltutmish's eldest son, Nasiruddin Mahmud who was to be crowned king after him, (Iltutmish) died in a battle. Iltutmish buried his son at the tomb. It is said that his dog, horse and a best friend are also buried in the tomb. Sultan Iltutmish was then buried at the Qutub Complex.
During this trip, I observed the Hindu and Islamic designs on the walls, but we could only observe the graves from the small entrance to the actual burial site which is enclosed inside a fort like structure. I was amazed at how well the tomb was planned especially since it was the first Islam tomb in India. Built with red sandstone from the exteriors and bastions at the four corners it still stands tall with a great and interesting history. I thank all my teachers for taking us on such a great learning experience.
Veda Kalra - 6C
On 24th February, our class (Grade 6) visited the tomb of Sultan Ghari. We were first told about the historical and cultural significance of the tomb. We learnt that Iltutmish (from Delhi's Slave Dynasty) was unable to fight the rulers of Gaur in a battle near what is now the border of Bangladesh. So, he sent his son Prince Nasir-ud-din to fight on his behalf. Unfortunately, the prince died, and his father built this tomb in his memory. During our visit we could take a peek of the actual grave. The locals irrespective of their religious beliefs still pray here. We were confused why the domes were slightly triangular but later learnt that the misshapen structure was because the craftsmen were yet to learn how to build in traditional Islamic architecture styles. It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to visit the tomb and learn about the history of the place.
Arhaan Ray - 6C
Sultan Ghari was built in 1225CE for Iltutmish, who was the Sultan of Delhi. Unfortunately, his son, Prince Nasiruddin Mahmud died before him in a war. Since this was unexpected, Iltutmish buried him in the tomb which he had chosen for himself.
This was one of the few Islamic structures built in the early Medieval period in India, the domes are not perfect, but the tomb is nonetheless majestic. As it was built by local Hindu laboureres, it has a few features of Hindu culture, for example, pillars put alongside the prayer wall have the 'kalash' with lotus flowers carved into them.
I saw the grave of the great "to be Sultan" from a small opening built on the side of the covered burial chamber. It was covered with a 'chaddar' and placed on an elevated platform with his friend buried next to him below the platform. The burial chamber is in the centre of the complex, made of rubble and white marble. To its west, is an altar for praying.
All of this highly fascinated me and makes me want to go there every week.
It is an inspiring place to visit, and to me it is beautiful because of what it symbolizes, unity in the cultures of Hindu and Islam.