Once bustling with the presence of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, an unfortunate Mughal era structure is today desperately waiting for its upheaval. Famous as Chota Qutub Minar, this historical site is situated in Hastsal Village in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar.

Its original name is Hast Minar. Made with brick and red sandstone, this Mughal era building is also known as Kaushal Minar. It is quite astonishing that this has been completely forgotten. I, myself, got to know about it recently.

Shah Jahan commissioned Hast Minar’s construction as his hunting lodge in the 17th century. That time, it was a five-storey building with internal stairway leading to the chhatri (dome-shaped pavilions) at the top. But with the passage of the time, now only three storeys have remained. For this, much of the blame goes to government negligence.

Two-wheeler or walking is the best bet to reach here. If you plan visiting this place by car then you will have to park it to a safer place, which is quite difficult to find. Reason being, the way proceeding to the minar is too narrow. 

After entering the minar, I had huge disappointment with the view. All efforts in crossing the narrow lanes only to cover this minar instantly went in vain. How can such a historical site be consigned to oblivion?

The surrounding dense population has become a serious threat for its existence. Few years back, Delhi government’s archaeology department took the responsibility of its restoration. However, that does not seem to make much difference to its plight. Iron poles have been erected all around it. At present, the minar is acting like a shelter for pigeons and chickens. In addition, people living nearby have made it a dumping ground.
In such conditions, how can one believe it to be related to Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan? The sheer government indifference and locals’ careless attitude have made the minar sustaining itself quite difficult. The Hast Minar, which once used to be Mughals’ one of the favourite recreational sites, today is waiting for urgent attention.