Kos Minars in south Delhi have lost the charm because of urbanization!!

In south Delhi three ancient markers of distance called Kos Minar     (the word derived from the Persian kuroh or the Sanskrit krosaare roughly equal to 3 miles)  and they stand as vestiges of past era method of calculating distances between places . They were built for the convenience of travelling caravan and the kings to know the distance and location. Though they have been around since 3rd century (Mauryan period) in the subcontinent, Sultan Sher Shah Suri of Sur dynasty in the 16th century was the first ruler  to have  consolidated their uses. Later the Moguls popularized them.   

During the Mogul period, the rulers ingeniously  used the Kos towers and made addition like road side inns for travelers and to change the horses for the  rulers and  army commanders while on tour. They were well equipped with horses and men  to serve as an outpost and  and to pass on royal messages from other areas to the ruler. Akbar along the Grand Trunk (GT) Road all the way from Agra to Ambala built many Kos Minars for travel and communication. . 

The three Kos towers in Delhi - in Badarpur, Badarpur border (village Tajpul) and Jasola Vihar are all protected monuments under the ASI and  were built by the Moguls  and now they stand in the midst of urban jungle and remain unnoticed by the people.  Thousands of commuters using the  busy Mathura Road every  day, but most never  take a glance at  them.  This is also true of the tower near  Jasola Apollo Metro station’s gate no 1.

Many protected monuments across the states  in the urban jungle are pushed to  obscurity. Buildings, highways, over passes, etc block their view.   Caught in the heavy  vehicular traffic, the people have no time to view them while in a hurry to move away from the urban chaos. This is true of two Kos Minars in Badarpur. Decades ago they were visible to the commuters, but after the urbanization had begun monuments in the center of the cities have lost their relevance to the past and are relegated to the back stage. 

In places like Tamil Nadu, one can view clearly the statues of unwanted leaders not related to freedom in the busy areas of the cities But at many  Hindu temple entrances ate blocked by shops allowed by the state Hindu religious department. example; entrance to the famous historical Nellaiappar kovil (dedicated to Shiva) known for its stone musical pillars at Tirunelveli city. 

Kos Minar in the midst of urban roadways, Badarpur, Haryana.  1.bp.blogspot.com

According to Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), kos Minars,  solid round pillars 20 feet high  were built on masonry platform and were useful to measure the distance;  each kos being about 3km. The Kos Minar located  by the ramparts of the Old Fort in Delhi, inside the sprawling zoo complex is well protected 

With the introduction of metros and express ways in Delhi, Kos minor lost its charm, but not its heritage values.  They may be plain tower, unattractive and uninspiring but in the past era its utility value was way high and they stand as the  the legacy of early rulers of Delhi. ''Though blackened by time, the kos minar still stands as a pillar of certitude'' (The Hindu - Businessline.  dated June 12, 2020)