Mehrdad Shokoohy & Natalie H. Shokoohy

Tughluqabad: a paradigm for Indo-Islamic urban planning and its architectural components


London, publication date December 2007

pp. 272; 330 illustrations including maps, survey drawings and photographs, appendices, bibliography, index

ISBN: 978-1-870606-10-3 hb

PRICE: £38.00.     US$76.00 plus p&p.


As an early fourteenth-century capital of the Delhi Sultanate, Tughluqabad is a significant historical site of Delhi and also a prototype for many of the later towns in India.   The ruins of Tughluqabad represent the advances in architectural design and engineering skills of their time, and the well-preserved town walls, street layout and other urban features provide us with the earliest example of Indo-Muslim urban planning and its architectural components: a key to understanding the morphology behind later Indian cities.


Selected Contents:

1. Preface

2. Introduction

3. The morphology of Hindu and Muslim towns:   principles and practice

4. Construction of Tughluqabad

5.   The fortification walls and the gates: method of layout and construction of the town

6. The Citadel

7. The Fort

8. The Town

9. Tughluqabad and later sultanate cities

Appendix I. The lake and its waterworks

Appendix II.   The Tomb of Ghiyāth al-dīn  

Appendix III. ‘Ādilābād.  

List of Figures and Plates, Bibliography and Index  


For more information see the link to Tughluqabad on the Welcome Page  




Annual of the University of Greenwich Urban Design Unit

8 volumes ISSN 1358-3255


The series Urban Design Studies explores all aspects of urban design, including the way it is taught, in articles by leading practitioners and academics.   As our present urban forms have evolved as a result of their earlier history, our present views, ideologies, intentions, and even perceptions - whether false or real - effect our modern de­signs, and the cities of tomorrow. The debate on these issues is of prime concern, and Urban Design Studies was a pioneer in launching this multi-faceted subject as a discipline.



While what governs the shape of our cities and the environment of public or semi-pub­lic spaces is of course effected by the historical background of the place, by social traditions and by contemporary perceptions of urban dwellers towards their society, beneath it all there seem to be certain similarities in the form of urban envir­onments word-wide which make them immediate­ly identifiable to everyone. Studies on urban de­sign will, therefore, remain part of a wide-rang­ing inter-disciplinary debate, without geograph­ical boundaries or historical limitations.   Urban design history too, cannot be merely a theoretical investigation of former de­signs or events, but is more likely to be an in­vestigation into the existing form of a city and its effect on the life of its inhabitants.


The series is essential reading for those involved in research and debate on all issues which have a bearing on the design of our urban envir­onments. For contributors and articles in the individual volumes please see the list below.


Mehrdad   Shokoohy & Natalie H. Shokoohy

Kirtipur, An Urban Community in Nepal - its People, Town Planning, Architecture and Arts  


258 pp. 150 plates, 17 maps, 38 architectural drawings, 18 inscriptions, 10 graphs and tables, glossary, bibliography, index.

ISBN: 1-870606-02-8

Price £43.00.   US$86.00 plus post and packing


“The best overall introduction to the town and its architecture”

(George Michell, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1996)


“A lovelier spot than this the heart of man could scarce desire”


The Kathmandu Valley in Nepal was thus described by Henry Lawrence, the British Resident in the mid-19th century.   Kirtipur is the fourth largest town of the Kathmandu Valley and an early description of the town appears in Ambrose Oldfield’s 1880 account:  


“Kirtipur in the early history of Nepal was the capital of a small independent principality, but it was afterwards annexed to Patan.   It stands in a commanding position upon the level crest of one of the low rounded hills … and overlooks the city of Kathmandu on the north and that of Patan towards the east… Kirtipur has never been an extensive city but its almost impregnable position gave it an importance disproportionate to its size”.


The town has a complex social structure, unified by ethnic and cultural bonds, but diverse in the hierarchy of its social groups.   Until recently it preserved its rural society in close proximity to Kathmandu and Patan, which are becoming increasingly metropolitan.   Kirtipur is inhabited by Newars, the most ancient population group of the Valley, known for their artistic skills and responsible for the much admired architectural forms which have produced the townscapes of the Valley.   Kirtipur itself has preserved many elegant old houses and a number of important religious Buddhist and Hindu buildings.


An international team of experts, many from Nepal and some from Kirtipur present detailed studies covering a wide range of subjects concerned with the town and its people.   The book remains a main source on this historic town, and was instrumental in putting it on the map both for outsiders and residents.


Select contents:  


Marc Barani: The residential unit – symbolic organisation

Padam B. Chhetri: Kathmandu Valley Land Use Plan and Kirtipur  

Robin Lal Chitrakar: Water supply and sanitation.

Chris Miers: The Newari House

Shankar M. Pradhan: Land use and population survey

Gauri Nath Rimal: Private and public involvement in conservation policy development  

Ramendra Raj Sharma: Traditional houses of Kirtipur, their types and building materials

Mehrdad Shokoohy: Introduction. History.   The Newars, the people of Kirtipur.

        Urban Fabric.   Tourism and its effects on Kirtipur

Natalie H. Shokoohy: Buddhist monasteries  

Sukra Sagar Shrestha: Historic public buildings. Art and Antiquities.

            Social life and festivals

Uttam Sagar Shrestha: Land use changes in Kirtipur.  

              Road Transport and Communications  

Sudarshan Raj Tiwari: Tiered temples of Kirtipur, a study of their form and proportion  

Appendices: Inscriptions from Kirtipur.   National Museum, Kathmandu, images from

          Chilancho Vihar and objects from Mul Bhagvansthan, Chilancho




Mehrdad   Shokoohy & Natalie H. Shokoohy

Hisar-i Firuza, Sultanate and Early Mughal Architecture in the District of Hisar, India


138 pp., 47 architectural drawings and maps, 142 photographs, index

ISBN 978-1-870606-00-4 (pb)

Price £19.00.   US$ 36.00   plus post and packing

ISBN 978-1-870606-01-1 (hb)

Price £27.00.   US$54   plus post and packing

“The monuments that form the subject of this volume can hardly be classified as remote since they are situated no more than 150 kilometres north-west of Delhi.   Yet no survey of Indian Islamic architecture includes information on the mosques and tombs of Hisar, Hansi, and other nearby sites in Haryana state. … Scholars will be grateful to the authors for providing clear descriptions, photographs and elegant measured drawings of previously undocumented buildings.”

(G. Michell, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1989)

The Hisar district of Haryana is rich in historical buildings of both the Sultanate and Mughul periods, concentrated mainly in Hansi, the ancient capital of the region, and in Hisar-i Firuza, founded in 1356 as the new regional capital.   The book is the first and only detailed study of history, Islamic architecture and town planning of the major sites of the district including Hisar, Hansi, Tosham, Fatehabad and Barwala, as well as Ladnun in Rajasthan which until the late 14th century was under Hisar.   The text is supported by 47 architectural drawings and 142 photographs.

Select contents:


Hisar: History, town plan, water supply, the Palace of Firuz Shah, Lat ki Masjid, Gujari Mahal and garden complex, Jahaz Kothi, tombs, mosques and the idgah.  

Hansi: History, Town, Fort, Barsi gate, Dargah of Chahar Qutb, site of the idgah.  

Tosham: the Baradari.   Fatehabad: town plan, monuments in the Purana Qila.  

Barwala: Dargah of Bara Maqdam Pir, Bara Gunbad.

Appendix: the Jami mosque of Malik Daylan in Ladnun.