Narnaul has quite a few Akbari-era structures and many of them are relatively well maintained. Though, it cannot be strictly said so regarding the Tomb of Nizam al-Din, while fortunately, the Mosque opposite is undergoing repair works. One reason for the density of Akbari-era structures here could be Narnaul’s strategic location on the route from Delhi/Agra to Marwar, while the other could be its association with Sufism, to which Akbar ardently subscribed. Moreover, Narnaul had a mint during the Emperor’s reign. Islam had established itself here almost half a century before it did so in Delhi (more on that in a later post). One of the most revered saints, Shaikh Mohammad Turk Narnauli had a 13th Century shrine whose devotees spread across faiths, and where religious sojourn culminated.

In Akbarnama, it is mentioned that Akbar met Chishti Shaikh Nizam al-Din in Narnaul. The Saint breathed his last in 1589 CE, and was buried here in this Tomb, a square-shaped stucco-covered funerary. Interestingly, this structure, though of Akbari-era has significant traces of Lodhi-era architectural styles, overshooting the Sur architectural elements that had come to dominate and subsequently branching off towards the earlier Mughal construction patterns.

The Tomb measures 9.5 m by 9.5 m. All the four portals of the tomb have deep recessed arches divided into two parts, which contain arched openings. Its corners have arched squinches. The walls are divided into two parts. The upper part is having four intersecting arches which are interlocked to make plain pendentives at each corner. On both sides of the main portals, there are two blind niches. The parapet covering the whole structure is made up of bricks and rubble. The opening is decorated in lintel style, which is attached in a Lodhi style.

The terrace of the tomb is accessible by steps and on the terrace there is no balustrade around it. In the centre of the terrace, there is an octagonal drum, plaster of which is almost chipped off and is exposing the skeletal rubble masonry. The octagonal drum is having a single domical roofing, and is crowned with a finial rising from an inverted lotus and made of rubble masonry. The chamber is decorated, most of which is fading.

The inscription on its doorway, which is now missing, reads, according to Subhash Parihar’s Muslim inscriptions in Punjab Haryana and HP, (3.86, pp 48-49)

“Alas! The leader of the world, the administrator of religion, has passed away, whose holy nature was kneaded out of pure light. The exalted Shaikh, as he had an angelic disposition, so when I counted the date of his death, it came out, “He was an angel.” 997 AH (1589 AH).”

The Mosque opposite was built by one Niamatullah in 1622 CE, which is a single-aisled three-bayed Mosque. Next to the Tomb are two canopy-like tombs on extreme need of attention. A madrassa runs adjacent to the Tomb in the complex.




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).

Solah Rahi Tej Talab, Rewari, Haryana (सोलहराही तेज़ तालाब, रेवाड़ी, हरियाणा)

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.

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