Kalu Sarai could not survive post independence

The obsession to document ignored, dying heritage of Delhi took me to Kalu Sarai next. Kalu Sarai ,for the lay observer, is the IIT coaching hub of Delhi having scores of coaching centres packed into its environs. Amongst all the hustle to get into the best colleges of India ,lies a nearly 700 years old mosque in utter ruins . That is what pulled me towards the place

Kalu Sarai Masjid, as it’s known, dates back to the reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq . His Wazir Junan Shah Tilangani was a prolific builder with almost all of his work like Begumpuri Masjid , Khirki Masjid, Kalan Masjid etc still standing and in respectable condition. However Kalu Sarai Masjid is in the worst state amongst all his creations.

The now defunct mosque is hemmed in from all 4 sides and totally occupied by locals. They have not only built rooms inside it but even toilets. To add to that they have specially kept pet dogs to drive away anyone approaching the mosque for clicking photos.

With this info in mind, approaching the mosque from front would be fruitless and dangerous. Hence I took the help of nearby coaching centre building hoping against hope that its roof will be open. And the risk paid off. Thankfully , the door on the top was open and I was able to click some photos of the monument from the top. The space between domes were being used to dry clothes.

Pic 1,2 and 3 were clicked by me. Pic 4 and 5 show the inside of the place some years back and are picked from internet .

This 700 years old monument survived earthquakes, wars, invasions, apathy, ruins but could not survive post independence urbanization

Source: Rameen Khan

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