Gol Gumbad – Delhi

Situated at the eastern extent of Lodi Road near JLN stadium in Delhi, Gol Gumbad is one of a number of tombs, graves and small mosques that surround Nizamuddin,  the historic village which gets its name from the Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin. From the outside the tomb suggests it was constructed during the Tughlaq period, but architectural details within indicate it is a Lodi period building dating to the 15th century.

The tomb has a square plan, measuring 13.5m on each side with a recessed arch and central doorway. There’s a staircase on the southern side that leads up to the terrace, although this tomb now seems to be always locked. Peering in through the doorway, the actual grave marker appears to be missing, so this is yet another tomb for which we know absolutely nothing about the occupant. As is so often the case with such monuments, the interior appears to be now used for storing various items, some of which give hints that perhaps some renovation is about to commence, or has been suspended.

After a bit of research it would appear that the Gol Gumbad is about to receive a bit of a facelift. The Delhi government has joined the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme, with a private firm, ResBird Technologies Group, adopting the monument through the city’s Archaeology Department which will oversee the renovations. Other prominent monuments in Delhi such as the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Jantar Mantar have already been adopted through the scheme. This will not only ensure the upkeep of the monument itself, but also enhance nearby amenities such as providing clean drinking water and offering WiFi connectivity at the site.

ResBird Technologies is part of the Bird Group, who seem to have developed an app for IOS and Android that offers tourists an audio guided tour of various Indian monuments. The app is called ‘Audio Odigos’, there’s a little more information on their efforts here. I have just installed the app to take a look, but sadly at the moment the content is very thin on the ground with only three sites in Delhi and two in Agra. With the app having been launched well over a year ago, I am a little disappointed with the amount of content it currently has.

I hope all these good intensions are followed through to fruition. I will certainly revisit the app and the Gol Gumbad on my next trip to India (goodness knows when that will be) to see how things have progressed on both fronts.

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Categories: Delhi, Gol Gumbad, India

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