4 kms east on the road to Hodal from Badkali in Nagina tehsil of Mewat, one encounters a non-descript village that goes by the name of Mohammad Nagar (aka Havananagar). The village boasts of the ruins of a spectacular Haveli made in Lakhori bricks (will cover that some other time). The village really caught the attention of archaeologists, when a team led by BR Mani carried out excavations here, and deciphered that the cultural sequence of the site was similar to Harnol. The site is damaged now, but some traces of the excavations still remain. I found Shunga-period sherds here, and some bones.
Trenches in the form of squares measuring 10 x 10 meters were laid and five quadrants of four squares were taken up for excavations that were continued up to natural soil. 34 Habitational Layers were encountered in both trenches, and natural soil was encountered under the 34th layer. The soil had kankar deposits through which water began to ooze out.
A 35 cm thick deposit over the kankar mixed natural soil with water yielded sturdy red ware sherds that were not found in the upper layers. This layer represented Period 1 (700 – 500 BCE). Period 2 was represented by layers 29-33 having red ware, grey ware and some sherds of Painted Grey Ware (PGW). Iron objects too were found from these deposits, and this suggests Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley civilizational period (1300 – 500/300 BCE). Layers 22-28 represent deposits associated with Northern Black Polished ware (NBPW) which existed between 700 – 200 BCE. Here remains of a brick wall having four courses and a drain with vertically placed bricks in EW direction were noticed. Evidence of post-holes also suggested the existence of thatched huts. Red, grey and NBPW were the main ceramic products excavated. Layers 12 to 21 represented the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE). Lowest course of a circular structure with wedge shaped burnt bricks were found suggesting that this might be a Stupa.
From its sealing deposit three similar terracotta dealings with the figure of yupa (a Vedic-era sacrificial altar) were discovered. Terracotta bangles, beads, plaques with human and animal figures, and incurved bowls in red ware comprised the main ceramic industry of this period. A 4 meter deposit belonging to the Kushan Period in the form of house complexes, a narrow lane running east to west and paved with bricks was noticed. A sunken wall of 26 courses of bricks with an opening in its upper courses suggesting evidence of a window was noticed. From the exposed southern section of the damaged part of the mound several huge structures were noticed, some of which rose to almost 40 courses of bricks. Terracotta human and animal figurines, beads, stone beads and four Kushan copper coins were found. Red ware ceramic included bowls, basins, vases, lids and lamps. Layer 1 to 3 were associated with the late mediaeval period. Part of the structure was exposed in the southern part of the trench which was constructed by using bricks and stones. A large hearth full of ash too was discovered. Some dishes of fine red ware besides other ceramics in associated red ware were found. Seven courses of a structure with reused bricks were also noticed in sectional scrapping, which are seemingly contemporaneous with the mosque towards the north-east of the trench on the mound, which has now been rebuilt. A most interesting find was a loose mutilated sculpture of a seated deity in red sandstone.
At Mandikhera on the Arterial Nuh-Ferozepur Jhirka Road take the road leading east towards Nai Nagla village. After about 1.5 kms with mustard fields on either side (in winters) you reach this mound. The mound is in a damaged state after having been abandoned post the excavations in 1997-1998. Said to be from the late Harappan period, the Western portion of the Mound has had earth removed to build embankments to protect from breaches at the nearby Rawli & Kameda Check Dams.
The excavation was carried out to a depth of 16 m from the top having structural phases of different periods with 40 Habitational Layers. The bottom most 4 Habitational Layers unearthed Black-Slipped Ware and Red Ware (associated with the Neolithic, Harappa, Bronze and Iron Age dating to 700-500 BCE). Layers 31 to 36 yielded sherds (broken ceramic) of the Painted Grey Ware (PGW), Grey and Red Ware (Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley Civilization dating to 1300 – 500/300 BCE). The PGW overlapped with the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) as terracotta plaques (a lady figurine) were unearthed. Bangles, beads including arecanut shaped ones, bone point and carnelian bead were discovered. NBPW sherds were excavated along the Habitational Layers 27 to 30. Habitational Layers 18 to 26 were brick structures from the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE) with iron objects, lower part of the terracotta mould showing human legs, toy cart and crucible exhumed. Habitational Layers 8 – 17 are the early and later Kushan Period (3rd century BCE – 3rd century CE), where burnt bricks, iron arrow head, shell bangle, decorated tile, and a terracotta relief of a male deity (most likely agni-dev or God of Fire) were found. Along the Habitational Layers 1 – 7, mediaeval artefacts, including brick masonry works, Red and Glazed Wares were discovered.
The Western and Southern faces of the wall at the SW corner have a tapering nature, which suggests that it may be the base of a Mauryan Stupa (322 – 185 BCE).
Fortunately, this is the only Tomb in Ferozepur Jhirka that is not occupied, or encroached. Unfortunately, the state of the Tomb is no better even without occupation or encroachment. But, the Tomb is massive and has a striking resemblance to a Tomb in Tauru. The stone masonry Tomb is built inside a compound wall, which is broken and the surrounding is littered with debris of fallen stones and bricks. Locally referred to as Eidgah wali Gumbad or Qabristan ka Gumbad, the Tomb is magnificent in scale and intricacies. Lattice screens quite unlike any other in Mewat, battlements on the neck of an octagonal drum and at the base of the dome add to the grandeur. Though plasters have fallen off, and the interior of the Tomb with a cenotaph looks wounded, there is a palpable aura to the structure that is surrounded by by a green and haphazard cover. The identity of who lies buried here is unknown.
I have often wondered why such grand mausoleums are built? Is it a class issue? Or, is there any other reason? My colleague and a go to source for such doubts is @ayaz_ansar1 who often enlightens me on such issues. My question is if Islam allows for building Mausoleums? Originally in Islam it was strictly forbidden to decorate tombs or to visit somebody’s grave, not to mention building a construction above the tomb stone. However, mausoleums, tomb architecture covering graves developed despite the contradictions, and became one of the significant features of Islamic architecture. All Muslim tombs represent merely a temporary residence for the buried deceased until the final judgment is made. Some believe awliya’ (holy men) also enjoy the same status after death. During his lifetime, a saint exudes barāka (blessing) that continues to emanate from his grave. But, this kind of exalted reverence is discouraged; nevertheless, the practice has continued unabated and has turned into a bida’ (a tradition not based on the Koran).
It is believed that two angels Munkir and Nakīr visit the dead in the grave during the first night, so the vault should be big enough to allow the corpse to sit. Axial burial is a must. The body is laid horizontally and the face is turned toward Mecca. The word Maqbara occurs in the Koran in the plural form “maqābir”.
This is referred to as Unknown for the identity of who lies buried here is not known. Popularly, the Tomb is known as Baradari Tomb, for its 12 entrances.
This is the closest Tomb to the narrow valley in the Aravallis that separates Firozepur Jhirka from Tijara in Rajasthan. It is through this valley that the spring (Jhir) flows, and is responsible for lending the town the name Jhirka which was named Firozepur Jhirka by Chajju Khan, brother of Bahadur Nahar Khan of Kotila. The place was earlier called Jhir. Babar is supposed to have visited these springs as well in his expedition through Mewat. He records in his Baburnama,
It was near Firozpur Jhirka that the alliance between Sangram Singh and the Khanzada chief Hasan Khan was concluded before marching to oppose emperor Babar at the Battle of Khanwa. The Baradari Tomb is square-shaped and has four big and eight small entrances. The Tomb is in fine plaster work with floral designs and Arabic inscriptions of Quranic verses. The Tomb is covered with a hemispherical dome on an octagonal base. There are small minarets in all the four corners of the Tomb in various stages of decay. This Tomb is in the possession and maintenance of a Madrassa running in the campus.
Located near Sector 1 in Rewari town, and next to Nehru Park is this expansive pond that was constructed by crowd-funding during the Mughal era in the 17th and 18th centuries. Rewari has always been a water-scarce town, and to overcome these hardships, a series of ponds were constructed as part of public works. Moreover, the town’s water supply was salty, and thus for potable water facilities, locals used to rely on wells made around this pond. This pond was built under the aegis of Gangaram Bhagat. The name Solah Rahi actually means, a place where 16 paths meet. The condition of the pond is dire, with embankments in the form of carved walls having collapsed, and encroached by slum dwellings. Also, the walls are being used for drying cow-dung cakes used as fuel. Even the water channels that used to feed the pond once upon a time have been blocked and/or choked. Massive quarrying takes place illegally as well. Within the Nehru Park lying next to the pond stands a majestic temple, squarish in dimensions, and built on a raised plinth. There are three domes that are fluted and have inverted lotuses as finials. The temple has three cusped arch entries on all four sides. Two set of stairs lead to the roof.