Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lonely Tomb: Neela Gombat

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

Another blistering day of summer and the temperature reached 45 degrees in Delhi. 1pm at Nizamuddin East. Many are resting on the green turf behind Humayun tomb to get rid of searing loo and scorchy sun. The bits of Humayun tomb are visible and the peak is sparkling under the super hot sun. Its another 15 minutes walk following the railway track to reach Humayun Tomb. Heat wave is unbearable. "A glass of water please?" But where is the water? No shops, no stalls in close vicinity. Look right. There's a tomb which is partially covering the Sun. It looks spectacular under the sun. It looks like its playing hide and seek with the sun. A part of its has shed and the other side is so bright that you can't see with eyes straight open as if someone is reflecting sunlight off a mirror on your face. Meet Surinder the security guard and the sole manager of this historical property. He talks about this tomb.

This Octagonal tomb is known as Neela Gombat or Blue Dome. This is not a major tourist attraction spot but lot of tourists stop by this tomb and spend quite some time on the way visiting Humayun Tomb. You can enter here for free without buying any ticket. This work of ancient Indian architecture is located right behind the Humayun tomb adjoining Nizamuddin Railway track. It’s called Neela Gombat because its "onion" shaped peak is made up of glazed blue tiles which was rare those days. There are rumours about this tomb. It is said that it has been built by Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khana for his faithful attendant Fahim Khan in 1625. But there is no historic signboard here which tells the story of this tomb. However Surinder versed a totally different tale about the Neela Gombti. He said that Humayun’s wife Hamada Banu Begum's special attendant used live in this tomb who specially made Churis(Bracelets) for her. After his death he was buried here. Now Fahim Khan could have bourne two identities. He could be Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana's servant as well as the servant of Hamida Banu Begum. Both are believable. But Wikipedia does not mention anything about the Bracelet making history. Maybe some secret stories are only told only at the right place, right time and to right kind of people.

This spectacular tomb has awesome view from all across its sides. The maintenance is really poor. Each sides of this Octagonal tomb look unique. Sadly you can’t enter inside the tomb due to security reason. It’s closed forever and is only opened for cleaning purpose. A devout Muslim is reading namaz next to the tomb. Bangladeshi refugees have made plastic tents across the railway track to live there. "This place is not good Sir. Anything can happen here. All wrong kind of people live by the railway track. See these lights are missing. We lost many signboards as well." said Surinder with a very emotional tone and points his finger to the empty light holders. Thieves and beggars steal lights and sell them outside. "Sir this tomb looks awesome during the sunset and also when the lights are on in the evening". He sits on the floor with a frustration look and stares at the empty light holders. Lonely tomb stares back at him.


Anonymous said...

Moving out of our place during the month when heat is at maximum, Goshhh its impossible for me, Hatts off to you.

I really like the way you write and bring out many lovely and great things which gets hidden in fast life of Delhi.

Pupps said...

Thank you so much. I try to write my best. Please do read my other stories and also give me more ideas and if there is any area of improvements.

Thanks again,

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