Delhi has stood quiet observer to the ascent and fall of numerous rulers and domains, of all shapes and sizes, from time immemorial. Huge numbers of these rulers have left their impressions on time, through building different landmarks and posts. The celebrated internationally Indraprastha, of the Pandavas, is accepted to have been situated at a similar site where the Old Fort of Delhi stands today.
There are numerous such legacy posts in Delhi which boggle the creative ability of a guest, with their extravagance, magnificence and workmanship. Here is our rundown of the most popular posts in Delhi.
1. Qila Rai Pithora
Oldest among the surviving forts in Delhi to visit, the Qila Rai Pithora was built by the Chauhan Rajput king, Prithviraj in the 10th Century. It is an important remnant of the historical events that Delhi has witnessed and is probably the first of the urban settlements in the Delhi region.
Chauhans took over the control of Delhi from Rajput Tomars in 1160 and their capital was moved from Ajmer in Rajasthan to Delhi. Known by the name of Rai Pithora, Prithviraj Chauhan resisted invaders valiantly, but the dynasty ended in 1192, when Qutubuddin Aibak defeated him.
2. Lal Kot, Mehrauli
Mehrauli is a heritage site near Delhi known for housing the Lal Kot Fort, the Qutub complex of monuments and other heritage sites. Situated in Gurgaon, it is home to many tombs of Balban, Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar, Shah Alam II, Akbar II, Mohd. Quli Khan, Sultan Garhi and Jamali-Kamali and mosques like the Palam Mosque, Madhi Masjid and Bagichi ki Masjid.
This well-planed complex is about 2 kilometres from the Qutub Minar and has immense importance as an archaeological site. It has with stepwells as well as palaces known as Jahaz Mahal and Zafar Mahal.
3. Siri Fort
A Turkish tribe settled in Afghanistan, the Khilji dynasty followed the Mamluk or Slave dynasty by the end of 13th century. Allauddin Khilji laid the foundations of Siri Fort and also commissioned a victory tower which is better than the Qutub Minar.
He had a reservoir named Hauz Khas excavated to meet the needs of the Siri township, which survives to this day. The semi-circular gateway, with lotus motifs, built by him and known as Alai Darwaza is help up as an excellent example of the true arch as per Islamic Architecture till today.
4. Tughlaqabad Fort
Tughlaqabad Fort was built by the Turkish Governor, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, with ramparts raised 10 to 15 meters high and a 6.5 kilometre border. The stature of this octagonal structure, with high battlements, is imposing as befits a citadel which served to defend the kingdom, and its ruins still remain as testimony to its splendor.
The ground plan of the city was irregular, but its stone fortifications impress to this day. The remains of the Fortress of Adilabad, built by Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1325–51) which follows the main characteristics of the Tughlaqabad fort’s architectural features, on a smaller scale.
Firoz Tughlaq built the Kotla Feroz Shah or Firozabad next to the Yamuna and planted a 1500 year-old polished sandstone pillar with Ashokan inscriptions, weighing 23 tons, on the top of his palace. The Fort had high walls and contained pillared halls, mosques and palaces. Firoze also built hunting lodges in and around Delhi along with mosques. He had the old mosques of Delhi repaired too, along with Sultan Ghori’s tomb, Qutub Minar, Suraj Kund and Hauz Khas, where his own imposingly constructed tomb lies today. Feroz Shah Kotla is a famous sports stadium today, where high-profile, international cricket matches are held.
Shergarh is one of the important forts in Delhi to visit, the capital of Humayun who called it Dinpanah or the Refuge of the Faithful. But the city was captured by Sher Shah Suri, who demolished it and constructed his own.
Occupying a 2 kilometre-square area, it was left incomplete by Sher Shah. It consists of a double-storied octagonal tower made of red sandstone and marble named Sher-Mandal, a mosque, a lake with boating facilities and a zoological park too.
7. Red Fort
Foremost among the famous forts in Delhi, the massive Red Fort was built on the banks of river Yamuna by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor. This fortress of Shahjahanabad took ten years to build and stands proud today as the venue of every Indian Prime Minister’s Speech delivered on the Independence Day.
Plundered of its treasures by invaders and destroyed by the British, the Red Fort is home to the Mahals which housed the king and his wives, and has many impressive gates. The Hayat Bakhsh Garden and Shahi Burj are also worth a visit for a glimpse into the past.
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Tags:famous forts in delhi, Forts in delhi, Lal Kot, lal qila delhi, Mehrauli, Qila Rai Pithora