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Zafar Mahal

The Last Tribute To The Mughal Era

Zafar Mahal is the summer palace of Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor. Today, the palace is in ruins, yet exudes historical charm and attracts tourists.

In 1920, the Government of India had declared the palace a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904. Presently, visitors can find encroachments on the palace’s eastern and southern walls.

Zafar Mahal was a famous spot for summer retreat of the Emperor and his favorite wife Zeenat Mahal.


Emperor Akbar II constructed Zafar Mahal in the 1820s. His son Bahadur Shah Zafar reconstructed the gateway of the Mahal in marble and red sandstone. The gateway is an impressive structure. The Mahal is named after his son.

The history of Zafar Mahal is enveloped in despondency, as Bahadur Shah Zafar, known as poet-king, wished his burial at the confines of Zafar Mahal in Delhi and the well-known Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki’s Dargah. However, after the First War of Indian Independence in 1857, the British deported him to Rangoon. Here, he died of old age with no tribute.

According to history records, Bahadur Shah Zafar wrote the famous couplet titled “Do Gaz Zameen.” It means “Two Yards of Land.” In this couplet, he has grieved for his fate of not getting even two yards of land for his burial at his chosen place in his own palace.


Zafar Mahal features Mughal style of architecture. The Mahal is situated 300 feet away from Ajmeri Gate of Khwaja Kaki’s dargah to the west. It features a grand gate, which Akbar Shah II had built. It has three storeys built in red sandstone adorned in marble. It is about 50 feet wide and features 11.75-feet gate opening known as Hathi Gate. This was constructed to let fully adorned elephants with howdah enter the Mahal.   

Most structures of Zafar Mahal are exposed to sunlight, which creates new patterns on the Mahal’s walls and corners throughout the day. Chambers of the Mahal are interconnected through stairs, corridors, and doorways.

There is a steep staircase that goes to an upper floor and passes along the domed tomb of the nephew of Iltutmish, Alauddin. Iltutmish was the Sultan of Slave Dynasty. Above the Mahal structure is a pavilion, which is supported by carved pillars.

Moti Masjid in white marble is the most striking feature of Zafar Mahal. It was built in 1709 by Bahadur Shah I. The structure has minars, parapets, and a single tomb.

Information for Tourists

  • Nearest Metro Station: Mehrauli metro station
  • Timings: Sunrise to sunset
  • Location: 818, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli Market Badiwala Kua, Mehrauli, New Delhi- 110016
  • Best time to visit: October to March

How to Reach

Mehrauli Village is located in South Delhi. It is well connected with a road network and is a part of Qutub Complex. Indira Gandhi International Airport is 17 kilometers from Mehrauli. Zafar Mahal is located in the narrow streets of the village.

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