Quli Khan’s Tomb: Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Tomb of Mohammed Quli Khan or the Metcalfe’s Dilkusha

The ruins of grandeur that extend for miles on every side fill it with serious reflection,” he wrote. “The palaces crumbling into dust… the myriads of vast mausoleums, every one of which was intended to convey to futurity the deathless fame of its cold inhabitant, and all of which are now passed by, unknown and unnoticed. These things cannot be looked at with indifference.”

Inside the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, you’d find a shining well maintained structure. It is the Tomb of Quli Khan or the ‘Dilkusha’ of Thomas Metcalfe. It belongs to the seventh city of Delhi and I’d love to tell you about it coz I love my city.

Quli Khan Tomb

Tomb of Quli Khan which was later converted as Metcalfe’s Dilkusha

Metcalfe’s Dilkusha inside the Mehrauli Archaeological Park belongs to Mohammad Quli Khan, foster brother of Adam Khan,a general and foster brother of Emperor Akbar.

Metcalfe bought the Quli Khan ka Maqbara (Tomb of Quli Khan) which was built in the 17th century and made many changes in the structure along with building several follies of his own. There are many of them inside the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

Main hall of the Mohammad Quli Khan’s tomb was converted by Metcalfe into a dining hall. Two additional wings were added, out of which ruins of only one is seen now. Metcalfe also converted some of the old Mughal and Sultanate era buildings surrounding the tomb into guesthouse, staff quarters and stables.

Structures of note which were built by Metcalfe include the Ziggurat, Canopies (chattris) and gardens among others. Remodeled in style of European residence along with boathouses, gardens and pavilions, Dilkusha was Metcalfe’s pleasure resort to which he retreated during the monsoon season.

Metcalfe's Folly, Mehrauli Archaeological Park

This Ziggurat is one of the follies built by Thomas Metcalfe inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Thomas Metcalfe brought and remodeled the tomb of Quli Khan and renamed it as ‘Dilkhusha’ (the heart’s delight). His retreat was spread over expansive lush area now enclosed within Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

As the story goes, Metcalfe persuaded the power that be that he wanted to move into his ‘Dilkusha’ to keep an eye over Emperor Bahadur Shah II who also had his Zafar Mahal palace in Mehrauli to spend his summer time.

You would like to read my post on Mehrauli Archaeological Park for more on structures inside this ASI protected compound.

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