OLD FORT OF DELHI / PURANA QUILA
Location : South-East of India Gate
Completed By : Afgan Ruler Sher Shah Suri
Famous For : Lodhi Style of Architecture
Major Attractions : Sher Mandal, Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid
The Old Fort With Its Medieval Hue, Delhi
|Also Known As :||Purana Qila.|
|Built In :||16th Century.|
|Architecture Pattern :||Mughal-Hindu-Afghan Architecture.|
|Architectural Splendor :||Built in Red Sandstone, Fort Walls are of Octagonal Shape. Extended on 2.41 km and 33.5 m in Height.|
|Visiting Hours :||Open on all Days From 8 am to 6 pm.|
|Time Required :||2½ hours.|
|Etymology :||This Fort is Believed to have been Standing on the Ancient Site of Indraprasta (The Capital Town of Pandavas). Enough Evidence have been Collected to Prove it.|
|Must Visit :||Humayun's Library - An Octagonal Building called Sher Mandal built by Sher Shah.|
|Enjoy :||Boating or Shikara Rides in the Lake Adjacent to the Fort. The timings are summer: 12pm to 7 pm and winter: 11am to 6pm.|
|Don't Miss :||The Talaqi Darwaza Known as the 'Forbidden Gate'.|
|Mosque Inside :||Quila Kuhna Masjid - a Great Architectural Grandeur Made from White Marble and Bright Red Ssandstone.|
|Must Experience :||The Light and Sound Show in Hindi and English. This Show takes you back 5,000 years in history. Timing : 5 pm to 9pm.|
|Other Attractions :||Delhi's Largest Zoological Park Near the Fort, Boat Club.|
|Inside Tip :||The Monument in Ruins Today So Be Careful While Exploring, Your Unjust Movements May Damage The Structure.|
'As long as there are people on this earth, may this
edifice be frequented, and people be happy in it'
-- Inscriptions on a Mosque inside the Quila
As you will move from the bustling quarters of Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi towards the serene zoological park, you will find a colossal stone fort standing in mute testimony to your left. Legend has it that, the fort nestles on the ruins of the princely state of Indraprastha, the original city of Delhi. Today, every stone wholeheartedly sings the drama of blood and blade, enacted between two great dynasties of Indian history. Although the construction was started by Humayun, the Afgan ruler, Sher Shah - who briefly punctured the Mughal reign by defeating Humayun - completed it during his raj during 1538-45, before Humayun regained control of India. Interestingly, the fortress offers an impeccable blend of Mughal, Hindu and Afgan architecture, that creates an impressive sight. There is also a shimmering lake of emerald waters where tourists can enjoy boating in the afternoon, cruising on tranquil waters under the shadow of history. So are you in?
Wander around the humoungous walls that still guard the
glory of this stately fort, and you will come across three exquisite
gateways punctuating the fort from three directions. The fourth one was
guarded bya moat which was linked to river Yamuna. Entering from the south
gate, you'll see a small octagonal red sandstone tower on your right.
Known as 'Sher Mandal', it was later used by Humayun as his library and
observatory. Some Mughal historical documents indicate that it was while
descending the stairs of this tower one day in 1556 that he slipped, fell
and received injuries from which he later died. Rumours exist that after
his death, the Mughals, considering the fort to be cursed one, vacated the
structure and built their capital in a new fort, now known as Lal Quila,
to defend Delhi from foreign invasions.
Just beyond it is the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid, or Mosque of Sher Shah, which, unlike the fort itself, is in fairly good condition. Remember, the mosque is the epitome of Delhi's Lodi style of architecture, where you can see a perfect blend of Hindu elements (square pillars) with Muslim arches and domes, to crate the first genuinely secular architectural style. Gaze at the mihrabs (prayer niches) and you will be overwhelmed to see those richly decorated concentric arches embellishing its walls. . From the prayer hall, staircases lead you to the second storey from where you can enjoy a splendid vista of the fort with the greens of Delhi at the backdrop.
Just inside the main gate, from where you will enter, there is a small archaeological museum, which beside housing curious Mughal artefacts also offers magnificent views of New Delhi from atop. Tourists may also see archaic pottery and other pieces of art and handicrafts, dating back to the Mahabharata era, compiled from recent excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. These excavations have also thrown up material, like coins, associated with the Gupta (about 4-5th century AD) and post-Gupta ages (700-800AD) of Indian history as well, which can be seen in the museum itself. Don't forget to enjoy a memorable boat ride on the emerald waters of the Purana Qila moat with your loved ones. Although it's little more than a large, stagnant pool, the pedal boats here are a popular source of entertainment among Delhites.
The Old Fort is situated to the south-east of India gate and to the north of Humayun's tomb in New Delhi. There is no entry fee and is open from sunrise to sunset. The boats are available for a nominal price per hour rate. Since it is situated at a stone's throw from India Gate, reaching to this ancient fort is a matter of joke for every tourist.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Old Fort
An Erstwhile Seat of Power
How It Looks
Behold the Beauty
On the Cradle of Time
For A Fun
Tour of North India
Tour of North India
- Out of The World