Hauz Khas is a blend of residential, commercial and ancient monuments. The famous and recently renovated Hauz Khas Complex has a water tank, a Mosque, Tomb of Feroz Shah Tughlaq and six domed Pavilions, Madrasa which is an Islamic School of Learning College and an Islamic Cemetery; all built during reign of the Delhi Sultanate in 13th Century AD. This town was a part of the second city named ‘Siri’ built by Alla-ud-din Khilji of the Khilji dynasty who ruled between 1296 AD and 1316 AD. Hauz Khas is derived from Urdu words which literally mean ‘Water Tank’ for ‘Hauz’ and ‘Royal’ for Khas.
History has that a water tank was excavated during the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji in order to meet the demand in water supply and water needs of the newly constructed ‘Siri’ Fort. This water Tank was named as ‘Hauz-i-Alai’ after the Sultan; however, later, Feroz Shah Tughlaq [1351 AD – 1388 AD] of the Tughlaq dynasty re-dug the tank and cleared the inlet channels that were clogged by dirt and mud. This Tank measured 123.6 acres in area with a width of 600 metres and length of 700 metres with a water depth of approximately 4 metres. During that era, the Tank would fill to a capacity of 0.8 Mcum post monsoons; however, today, the size has considerably reduced due to siltation, modern developments, colony settlements and land encroachment. But despite these factors, the Water Tank is well maintained and has been preserved as a Historical and Protected Site.
Feroz Shah Tughlaq was also known for his keen interest in innovative architecture seen in several monuments, mosques and palaces constructed during his reign. A few of his architectural brilliance can be witnessed in the irrigation works and renovation of monuments like the Qutub Minar, Sultan Ghari and Suraj Kund. He is also known for erecting two Ashokan Pillars that he had specially ordered and had them transported from Meerut and Ambala. Similarly, the Sultan is also credited for establishing the Madrasa [Islamic School] and several Monuments on the eastern and southern banks of this reservoir or Water Tank.
During the 1980s, the Hauz Khas Village area was re-established into an upscale residential and commercial complex; however, steps were taken to ensure that the 14th to 16th Century Monuments remained untouched and protected. The current state of the Village still retains its old world charm that is further enhanced by the beauty of the well preserved Historical Sites. The entire site is seen planted with Tall Tress and dressed with well manicured green lawns, gardens and pathways. The tank itself has been refilled with water and boasts of fountains set amidst a well developed landscape area.
Today, the Hauz Khas Colony is surrounded by other colonies that include Greater Kailash, Green Park, Safdarjung Enclave and South Extension; also known as the elite colonies of South Delhi. This region also homes the world’s most prestigious institutes that include the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Places to visit in Hauz Khas are the Historical Sites situated within the Hauz Khas Village Complex that also showcases a light and sound show narrating the history of the complex, Deer Park which is situated at the entry point leading to the Water Tank and is a beautifully landscaped green park that is home to small animals like the spotted Deer, guinea pigs, peacocks, rabbits and so forth. Another feature to look forward to is the ‘Eco Night Bazaar’ whose main objective is to promote an eco-friendly environment where one can purchase organically grown food like grains, handmade paper products, seeds of rare plants and a safe venue like an open air theatre for conducting and showcasing cultural festivals. All the Shopping kiosks will be made with bamboo including a Bamboo Bridge to cross over an artificial Lake is also underway.
The Hauz Khas Residential, Commercial and Tourist area is also fringed with numerous Art Galleries, Elite Restaurants and Expensive Boutiques. It is well connected by road to other places in Delhi and offers a number of DTC Buses, Auto Rickshaws and Taxi Cabs on Hire. It is also easily accessible from Indira Gandhi International & Domestic Airports which is located approximately 18.1 Kms or 36 minutes way.
Hauz Khas is situated close to the Nizamuddin Railway Station which is just 8.6 Kms or 22 minutes away, the New Delhi Railway Station located just 12.2 Kms or 30 minutes away and the Old Delhi Railway Station situated just 18 Kms or 43 minutes away.