Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid -a Wonder that is not seen...!
We have heard in news, time and time about ASI poor management of Monuments. We have also seen on social media and youtube from experts, comedians and others talking about conditions of monuments in the current era. People may be thinking this information as false or should not be taken seriously.
But It is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. I will tell you why....
Map of the Monuments
Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid
Archaeological Survey of India(ASI for short ) has 3686 monuments /archaeological sites / heritage buildings. Here in this article , we are going to see two monuments in this article that are part of the list of monuments. The Monuments are Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid.
Both these monuments are located in the southern part of New Delhi in a village called Begumpuri.These monuments are located in Malviya Nagar area . Monuments are approachable by Aurobindo Marg and Gamal Abdel Nasser Marg . As shown in the map above ,there are street roads coming from Aurobindo Marg ,August Kranti Marg, Gamal Abdeel Naseer Marg(Outer ring road) connecting to the monument.
Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid are series of monuments that were part of the City in the medieval period built by Muhammad bin Tughlaq called 'Jahanpanah' . There are other monuments that are located near to these two monuments which were part of the city. Some of the monuments which were part of the old city and are located in the Malviya Nagar area are Khirki Mosque ,Lal Gumbad ,Sat Pula etc .
- Preserving “our heritage” - The Hindu
On a couple of occasions mention has been made in this column about a rather novel approach to heritage conservation that is being tried by a diverse group of people at the 14th century Begumpur Mosqu
- Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid: Melancholy Evenings at Jahanpanah | The Travelling Slacker
Jahanpanah, the fourth city of Delhi roughly covered Malviya Nagar, Panchshil, Adchini and Begumpur areas. Bijaymandal and Begumpur Mosque are two biggest
Conditions of the monuments
Bijay Mandal and Begumpur Masjid are located quite next to each other as one can see on the map and the video . There were supposed to be excavation conducted by ASI in 1920 to 1930's conducted within the vicinity of the monuments connecting some links to the medieval period . But there are no evidence /artifacts found in these excavations which are published and are still unknown .
Bijay Mandal is supposed to have many structures like Octagonal Pavilion,Thousand Pillared hall and so on. But now it is Looking like an abandoned farm in the middle of a village in a city. As seen in the pictures in this article , the monument is maintained poorly . There is a heavy growth of weeds( wild plants) in and around the monument. There are no safety nets provided which will prevent people from damaging some of the sensitive areas of the monument. Bijay Mandal has no proper history of preservation and maintenance.
Begumpur Masjid is one of the standard medieval mosque ever built in Delhi .It is one of the few remnants of the old city that was built during that time and present for us to see and preserve it for the future. Now the monument is like a storehouse where people can dump materials .The monument is in a pity condition as one can imagine .As per the guidelines set up ASI, there is supposed to be a 100m boundary wall around the monument to protect its ordinal look.But now there is heavy encroachment near to masjid .This is not only spoiling the aesthetics of the building plus the skyline view too. There are some buildings which are close to the monument, that could be damaged in an event of disasters like an earthquake or fire accidents
Now the Monuments have also become a nice place for a poor man's casino where you can drink different brands of alcohol ,smoke cigarettes/ hookah and play different games like cards and chess. The monuments are located in congested areas of Delhi. Because of this, there is road passing right next to monuments resulting in the heavy vehicular movement which helps in slowly degrading the monument from its present state.
Who do we blame for the Condition of the Monuments ?
These two monuments are the living evidence of this Great Historic city ' Jahanpanah ' .And now they are in ruins and abandoned because of the lack of notice by any one. Who do we blame this ? ASI, Heritage students ,Archaeologist , Conservationist,society and so on .
Can we blame ASI alone for all the downfalls ? or should we also take equal responsibility for the conditions of the monuments? Is it not out our responsibility to make sure the monuments which we are visiting or staying near to, are kept in a good condition and clean. It is our responsibility to look into the history for the future generations as it is part of our long list buildings that is connected to the past. Because in 50 yrs from now, if these Monuments are not preserved well, at the current rate of degradation , these monuments might crumble down to become just a distant memory....
We have heard of regulatory authority for telecom,banks, stock marketing ,education... and so on ..why don't we have one for monuments, museums archaeological sites and so on to help and monitor them .
This book gives a detailed account of monuments in Delhi
This book helps in knowing brief history of monuments in delhi