Above image: Purana Quila.
Purana Qila or Old Fort situated at Pragati Maidan, one of the oldest forts in Delhi was built by the Mogul Emperor Humayun from 1533 to 1538.The purpose ofthis fort was Delhi was prone to attacks and invasions from the NW region and Humayun, being security conscious, war very particular about defending his kingdom. It is a study fort and Humayun Darwaza and walls of Purana Qila were built by Humayun. The Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri invaded Delhi and defeated Humayun in 1540, He renamed the fort as Shergarh and built several structures in the complex to beef up the defence. . According to the ASI excavations, the Purana Qila, according the study of excavations by the ASI is on the site of Indraprasta, the capital of the Pandavas.
|Purana Quila, Humayun Gate, Delhi. /en.wikipedia.org|
The fort complex is a huge one surrounded by a moat that was fed by the Yamuna river. The walls are thick and tall measuring 18 m in height and run 1.5 km in length. There are three main beautifully decorated gates with tiles and marble inlays - the Bara Darwaza (which faces west and is being used as the entrance to the fort even today), the Humayun gate, also known as South Gate and the third one is called the Talaqi Gate or the forbidden gate. All these gateways have pillared pavilions and are double-storied. They are massive and are made of red sandstone. Both Talaqi Darwaza and Humayun Darwaza are built with a blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.
|Tallaaqi Darwaza, Purana Qila, Delhi Flickr|
|Purana Quila, Delhi. Wikimapia|
The Sher Mandal, located inside the fort is a two-storied octagonal tower built by Humayun who used it as a library. whereas the Quila-i-Kunha Mosque, was built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541 AD.The prayer hall of the Quila-i-Kunha mosque has five doorways with horseshoe-shaped arches and well-decorated mehrabs with concentric arches. This Mosque is an example of Indo Islamic architecture. Inside the fort, there are other structures - Sher Shah Suri Gate or Lal Darwaza, Bhairav Mandir and Khairul Manzil. There is a lake close to the fort. Light and sound show in Purana Qila organized by Delhi Tourism is popular and it covers more than 5,000 years old history of Delhi. The show is held every evening in Hindi and English.
|Quila-i- Kuhna Masjid, Purana Quila, commons.wikimedia.org|
|Quila-i- Kuhna Masjid, Purana Quila, Delhi. YouTube|
|Sher Mandal inside Purana Quila, Delhi. Rediff.com|
The Archaeological Museum located inside the fort near the main entrance has numerous interesting items on display. There are several artifacts dating back to 2nd and 3rd centuries. ASI carried out excavations at the Purana Qila in 1955 and from 1969 to 1973. Countless items of great antiquity, including pottery, coins, jewelry, seals, etc.
Purana Quila is located 6 km from New Delhi railway station and is close to National Zoological Park.
Quila-i- Kuhna Masjid, Purana Quila, commons.wikimedia.org