When I decided to visit Mehrauli Archeological Park, it was of course, its historical significance but the main allure for me was the stories of Jamali Kamali Tomb and Mosque.
As you enter the main gates of the park, the way on the right leads to the resting place of Jamali and Kamali. There are two monuments dedicated to the duo – a mosque and a tomb, both adjacent to each other.
The name Jamali is originated from Urdu word Jamal, which means beauty and Kamali means a Miracle. Jamali was an alias given to a Sufi Saint Shaikh Fazlu’llah, also known as Shaikh Jamali Kamboh or Jalal Khan. He was a renowned saint who lived from the pre-Mughal dynasty era to the rule of Humayun. And now resting in peace in a white tomb in Mehrauli Archeological Park along with Kamali. Although, the identity of Kamali is unknown but is always associated with Jamali.
Some say he was the saint’s student and some say, lover. But his antecedents have not been established. American author Karen Chase in her book “Jamali- Kamali, A Tale of Passion in Mughal India” where she states that they were both homosexual partners. But, the Archaeological Survey of India description at the very entrance of the mosque mentions them as brothers. The debate is ongoing!
Jamali Kamali mosque is situated in an enclosed garden area, built during 1528-29. The mosque is constructed in red sandstone with marble embellishments. There’s a prayer hall, fronted by a large courtyard, has five arches with the central arch only having a dome. The large courtyard floor has hexagon shaped depression with steps and could have been used as a pond or a stepwell. Adjacent to the mosque is where the tombs are. Now locked away. A white tomb with blue and turquoise marble work. People have a strong faith in the tomb of the saint. It is believed if you write your wishes and stick it on the wall of the tomb, the saint will fulfil your desires. Not long ago, the tomb was filled with all sorts of wishes mostly related to the love life.
HAUNTINGS AT JAMALI KAMALI
There are countless stories about the Jinns that are believed to reside within Jamali Kamali complex. Some are said to be real other are entirely fake. Many dare to stay here at night and claim the sightings of lights, apparitions, animals growling and a feeling that someone is standing near you. A wisp of air as if someone just breathed on your neck and a laughing sound are one of the many stories. The best one, however, is of people getting slapped by an invisible force.
Whatever, the stories are, the vicinity of Jamali Kamali Mosque is calm and peaceful and a beautiful place for soul searching (Not literally – soul searching).