HAUZ-I-SHAMSI (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - History)

News-CRUX-10     4th December 2023        

Context: A 13th-century reservoir which was once a emperor’s dream is about to be restored in Delhi. It is the Hauz-i-Shamsi, a project which was Sultan Iltutmish’s “dream come true”.


  • About: It is a water storage reservoir or tank.
  • Built by: Iltutmish of the Slave Dynasty in 1230 CE
  • Also Known as: Shamshi Talab
  • Features: Hauz-i-Shamsi originally covered an area of 2 ha (4.9 acres).

oThe domed pavilion (pictured) constructed by Iltumish to mark the foot print Muhammad's horse located in the middle of the tank is a double storeyed structure made of red sandstone supported on twelve pillars.

oThe reservoir also finds mentions in the works of famed traveller Ibn Batuta who had described the Hauz-i-Shamsi as a rectangular-shaped reservoir that was spread across an area of one mile by two miles.

  • Jal Itihas Utsav: Ministry of Jal Shakti organised a ‘Jal Itihas Utsav’ here to raise public consciousness about safeguarding water heritage sites.


  • He was the third of the Mamluk (Slave) kings and first Muslim sovereign to rule from Delhi, and is thus considered the effective founder of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • He made Delhi the capital in place of Lahore.
  • He introduced: Silver coin (tanka), copper coin (jital), organized Iqta system and introduced reforms in civil administration and army.
  • He set up official nobility of slaves knwn as Chahalgani/Chalisa (group of 40).
  • He completed: The construction of Qurub Minar started by Qutubudin Aibak.
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