Delhi’s quiet spaces: Najaf Khan’s Tomb

Najaf Khan Tomb

With 25 million people living across the Delhi NCR, securing a quiet green space all to yourself isn’t easy.  But we’ve found some.  Fourth in the series is the simply stupendous Najaf Khan Tomb’s.

Najaf Khan’s Tomb is not at all grand.  It’s nothing like Humayun’s Tomb or Safdarjung Tomb.  Nor is it an archaeological site in a public park like Lodi Gardens, that wows you.

It’s simple, quiet and understated.  It’s a tomb in a charbagh: like many others you may know.  But no-one seems to come to Najaf Khan’s Tomb aside from the odd Aunty on her walk around the walls.

The mausoleum, which house the graves of Khan and his daughter Fatima, are locked, but the beautifully maintained charbagh gardens are open all day long.

tomb

The gardener who lives on site (in a small white prefab building), deserves a big round of applause.  There are plenty of trees to offer shade and you won’t be fighting for space, because so few people come here.

So, who was Najaf Khan?

Another Persian who came to Delhi, Najaf Khan was kicked out of Iran by Nadir Shah.  He joined his brother in Delhi, and served under the Mughal Court of Shah Alam II from the 1740s onwards.

A trusted aide, he came to be the highest commander in the Indian army from 1772 until his death in ten years later in 1882.

Khan cleared out corruption in the military, paid premium wages, adopted European tactics and took in fighters from foreign shores.  With the Mughal Empire on its last legs, Najaf Khan was doing everything at his disposal to protect the empire and Shahjahanabad from enemy  forces.

arch broke

A third of once grand entrance gate

He was successful, but just a year after his death Shahjahanabad fell.  The Sikhs, under Baghel Singh Dhaliwal attacked the Red Fort on March 11,1783, and Delhi was under Sikh control.

Located around the back of Lodi Colony near the Karbala, this place is perfect for a spring picnic.  Find it on google maps here.

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