Delhi and the surrounding regions are strewn with remnants of historical heritage. Some of these have been fortunate enough to have received attention, treasured and restored to their former glory but there are many small towns which lie in oblivion waiting to be discovered. One such town which was once a centre of power and prominence but now is lost in obscurity is Farrukhnagar located in the Gurgaon district just 20 odd kilometers from the glitzy city of Gurgaon.
Named after the Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar this town was established by the emperor’s Governor Nawab Faujdar Khan a Baloch warrior. This humble town houses some historical treasures like the Farrukhnagar fort, Sheesh Mahal , Baoli Ghaus Khan and Sethani ki chatri. But such is the state of neglect of these monuments that even the locals are not aware of their existence and one needs to go through lanes, bylanes and garbage before reaching them.
Originally Farrukhnagar was a fortified town developed inside the Farrukhnagar Fort which had five gates guarding it. The fort is now in ruins and what remains are just two broken but massive gates- Dilli Darwaza and Jhajjhar Darwaza .
Close to the Jhajjhar Darwaza is the two storeyed ‘Sethani ki Chhatri’ a decorated cenotaph typical of architecture of this area probably belonging to the wife of an influential merchant of the town. The insensitivity of the people towards their heritage is evident here too as looking at the ceiling one can only see buried in years of neglect what little remains of beautiful intricate murals depicting Krishna. Located close is a three storeyed step well Mitrasen/Ghaus Ali Shahs Baoli. In the claustrophobic main market area is the Sheesh Mahal made in red sandstone by Nawab Faujdar Singh as his palace in 1711. Archaelogical Survey of India seems to have acknowledged this monument as there is watchman who locks and unlocks the gate leading to the palace- so to enter the premises the watchman has to be around or you should be prepared to jump over some broken walls.
What fewer people know is that Farrukhnagar to Garhi Harsu railway track was a part of the oldest metre guage commercial railway track in the world laid in the year 1873. Also the railway station building and the adjoining guest house date back to the year 1873. Another interesting snippet regarding the near by Garhi Harsu railway station is that the epic scene from the movie “Gandhi” (Ben Kinsley 1982) where Gandhiji is thrown out of a train at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa that turned the life of Mahatama Gandhi, is shot here for the movie.
Photo Courtesy : Dr. Kushagra Rajendra