HAZĀRSOTUN, the palace-complex of Moḥammad b. Toḡloq (725-752/1325-1551) at Jahānpanāh (Delhi). The original palace was built by ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Ḵalji (695-715/1296-1316) on the open ground between Qelʿā Rāy Peṯorā (the so-called first city of Muslim Delhi) and Seri (the second). Here, the last Ḵaljis held court and it was on the roof of the Hazārsotun that Qoṭb-al-Din Mobārak Shah held his transvestite orgies and from which his head was thrown down by the conspirators who assassinated him. It was also here that Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Toḡloq was proclaimed sultan in 720/1320.
His son, Moḥammad, abandoning his father’s new foundation of Toḡloqābād (the third Delhi), established a new residence at Jahānpanāh (the fourth Delhi) between Qil ʿā Rāy Pithorā and Siri, enclosing it within two lines of walls which linked the two older foundations. Hazārsotun, further enlarged, became the sultan’s principal residence. Today, little remains on the site apart from a structure known as Bijai-Mandal (Welch and Crane, p. 150, ground-plan; Lewis, pp. 41-42; Gibb, III, plate 4; Nath, 1979, plate 3), consisting of a platform with, to the west, a tomb-shaped building which probably served as an entrance (Welch and Crane, p. 148, plate 20). Steps lead up to a rectangular hall, which must have been the sultan’s hall of public audience as described by Ebn Baṭṭuṭa, with groin vaults, and, over a part of it, an octagonal upper chamber, which may have once supported a now-vanished kiosk. Partial excavations during 1930-34 uncovered the bases of wooden pillars, which Ebn Baṭṭuṭa described as supporting an exquisitely carved roof. The chief architect, according to Badr-al-Din Čāč, was Ẓāhir-al-Din al-Jayuš.
Forty meters from the Bijai-Mandal stands Sultan Mo-ḥammad’s mosque (known today as Begampuri Masjed), to which there was formerly an entrance from Hazārsotun into a separate annex(maqṣura) at the northwestern corner (Welch and Crane, p. 131, ground-plan). This large mosque (external dimensions: 94 x 90 meters; central court, 75 x 68 meters) displays Persian influence in its four domed ivāns (arched portico) and in the use for the first time in India of blue-glazed tile work. The only other surviving structure associated with Hazārsotun is the ruin of an elaborate weir (known as Satpula), which controlled the flow of water through Jahānpanāh to Toḡloqābād and the Jumna (Welch and Crane, p. 155, ground-plan).
Aḥmad Ḵān, Āṯār al-sÂanādid, Delhi, 1847; repr. Delhi, 1965.
Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, 1930-34.
Badr-al-Din Čāč, Qaṣāʾed, Cawnpore, 1873.
P. Brown, Indian Architecture:The Islamic Period. 2nd ed., Calcutta, 1942.
Ebn Baṭṭūṭa, Reḥla, ed. Ch. Defremery and B. S. Sanguinetti, 4 vols., Paris, 1853-58, III; tr. H. A. R. Gibb, The Travels of Ibn Baṭṭuṭa, A.D. 1325-1354, 5 vols., Cambridge, 1958-2001, III. H. M. Elliot and J. Dowson, The History of India as Told by Its Own Historians, 8 vols., London, 1887.
M. L. Hasan, Monuments of Delhi, 3 vols., repr. New Delhi, 1997.
M. Hu-sain, The Rise and Fall of Muhammad bin Toḡloq, London, 1939.
M. Husain, Toḡloq Dynasty, Calcutta, 1963.
P. Jackson, “Delhi: The Problem of a Vast Military Encampment,” in Delhi Through the Ages, ed. R. E. Frykenberg, Delhi, 1986, pp. 18-33 [omitted from the 1993 paperback edition].
C. Lewis and K. Lewis, Delhi’s Historic Villages, Delhi, 1997.
R. Nath, History of Sutlanate Architecture, New Delhi, 1978.
R. Nath, Monuments of Delhi. A Historical Study, New Delhi, 1979.
T. G. P. Spear, Delhi: Its Monuments and History, Oxford, 1943.
A. Welch and H. Crane, “The Toḡloqs: Master Builders of the Delhi Sultanate,” Muqarnas 1, 1983, pp. 123-66.
A. Welch, “Hydraulic Architecture in Medieval India: The Toḡloqs,” Environmental Design 2, 1985, pp. 74-91.
A. Welch, “Architectural Patronage and the Past: The Tugluq Sultans of India,” Muqarnas 10, 1993, pp. 311-22.
T. Yamamoto, M. Ara, and T. Tsukinowa, Delhi: Architectural Remains of the Sultanate Period, Tokyo, 1968-70.
(Gavin R. G. Hambly)
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 20, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, pp. 95-96