Sunday, September 19, 2010

Old Fort Delhi

Old Fort

Said to be built on the site of Indraprastha, mentioned in the Mahabharata - the great Indian epic, Old Fort was the seat of administration for many emperors. Now in ruins, this citadel was the glory of being the home of the legendary ruler, Prithviraj Chauhan. Sher Shah Suri built after the city demolished the Humayun, Dinpanah. There are bastions at the corners of the western wall of the fortress. The walls of over 2 km of Purana Quila boasts three main doors two-storey sports 'chhatris' on top. Can be found in the north, south and west.

The north is called the "Talaqi-Darwaza (Forbidden Gate) and has a size of marble lions in combat with a man in his forehead. You can still see the remains of the color tiles used to decorate their exteriors. However, it is said that Sher Shah could not complete the construction of Old Fort and was completed by Humayun. Therefore, the south gate of the fortress known as Humayun Darwaza. There is a wide moat in the north and west sides of the fort and a causeway connecting the fortress with the mainland.

Excavations at the Old Fort area have revealed pieces of painted greyware dated around 1,000 BC, said to be related to the Mahabharata. The relics and remains of later period found in this study confirm the belief that Purana Quila was built at the site of Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas. These artifacts range from the early days of Mauryan Mughal, such as Northern Black Polished ceramic, punch marked coins, terracotta figurines, animal feed and inscribed terracotta seals. Sher Shah built a mosque in 1541, with features of Lodhi to Mughal architecture style.

Sher-Mandal, a two-story octagonal tower of red sandstone and marble, crowned by an octagonal chhatri and decorated with tiles and painted plaster, was also built by him. The latter is said to be used as a library of Humayun. It was from here that Humayun fell and died. Besides these, there is a sound and light show at the Old Fort, the presentation of the 5000-year history of Delhi. Other attractions near Old Fort is a lake with paddle boats and Zoo facility located adjacent to the same.