Our first tryst with Asif Khan Dehlvi of Delhi Karavan, where we had explored the rich heritage of Mehrauli Archaeological Park, had turned out to be a huge success and had instilled in us a craving to explore Delhi’s gems furthermore. Therefore, on the bright morning of 13th February, when the world was caught up in celebrating their love for each other, the highly spirited POSist Team decided to celebrate our love for nature instead!
Super excited for the trip, we all assembled at the Qutub Minar once again, eagerly waiting for the walk to begin. This time, we’d decided to trek our way through the famous Sanjay Van to Qila Lal Kot which is the ruins of the once formidable palace of Tomar Rajputs. The 10 km forest is said to be haunted, and the sprawling trees seemed to whisper old folklores and tales that they’d witnessed throughout the years. Asif further set the mood by telling us little anecdotes of the forest and some popular spooky tales as well.
As we moved forward the jungle trail, taking in the quiet beauty of the forest, we spied some Neelgai, basking in the winter sun, a majestic peacock strutting, looking a tad surprised to see some eager visitors early in the morning, and exotic birds serenading. We also picked up a companion on the way, a stray canine whom we fondly named Honey, who accompanied us throughout the walk.
The jungle seemed to be alive with the chirping of the birds, the quiet rustle of trees, and our gay chatter. With the cool breeze kissing our faces, and the sun peeking from behind the clouds just enough to keep us warm and energetic, we had a great time chatting amongst ourselves, taking pictures, and also taking in the natural beauty. The awesome hoodies done for our team by Champu.in kept us warm and snug in the cool morning hours.
We sought a trail that took us to a rocky stairway, which led us to the tomb of Haji Roz Bih. We listened with rapt attention as Asif told us about the Slave Dynasty, and shared some beautiful anecdotes of the time.
We further learned about the seven cities of Delhi, Qila Lal Kot, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughlakabad, Firozabad, Shergarh, and Shahjahanabad. Asif carved a map into the dust with a stick, and we were transported back to the times of medieval Delhi while listening to the historical escapades of rulers of the time.
Moving on, we trekked a little upwards and reached the rocky wall of the Qila Lal Kot fortress, wide enough to accommodate the horses racing on them, where we paused to take in the breathtaking view. High above the ground, with the cool breeze and light drizzle, we had a great time capturing those unforgettable moments in pictures.
A little ahead we reached a rocky enclosure where we decided to sit and relax, as we listened to the mesmerizing storytelling of Asif. His beautiful narration of the story of Raziya Sultan, and how she came into power is sure to stay with us forever.
As the sun started to shine on our heads and the clock ticked off, with a heavy heart we began our descent. Once back on the planes, Asif addressed us for the last time, but we, of course, would not let him go without a sher(couplet), and he obliged us with beautiful lines of Ghalib that seemed perfectly apt for the day.
"Ugg raha hai dar-o-deewar se sabz Ghalib
Hum bayabaan me hain aur ghar me bahaar aayi hai."
The literal translation being, “Greenery is growing out of the doors and walls 'Ghalib'
I am in wilderness and spring has arrived at my house”.
Qila Lal Kot one of the lesser known trekking and tourist destinations of our city Delhi, is the abode of the kind of peace and serenity that we city dwellers often seek in foreign mountains. The beautiful couplet says that we seek happiness and prosperity outside in the world, which is however present instead in our homes and hearts.
We ended our day with the customary Choley Bhatoore, and left with our bellies as well as our souls satiated. The trip turned out to be the perfect way for the POSist team to get out of the city life, and appreciate the beauty of nature. Rediscovery Delhi's old world charms turned out to be a rejuvenating experience for us. Until the next excursion 🙂