Purana Qila (Old Fort), New Delhi – Facts And History

 

Purana Qila is a historic fort located in New Delhi, India. The fort is also known as “Old Fort” and it is believed to have been built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in the 16th century. The fort has seen many important events throughout Indian history and has been ruled by various empires and dynasties.

The fort is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River and covers an area of approximately 2 km. It has three main entrances – the Talaqi Darwaza, the Bara Darwaza, and the Humayun Darwaza. The Talaqi Darwaza is the most famous and is adorned with intricate carvings and designs.

Inside the fort, visitors can explore various structures including a mosque, a library, and a baoli (step-well). The fort also has a large lake called the Sher Mandal, which was used as a pleasure garden by the Mughal emperors.

Purana Qila is a popular tourist destination and is known for its stunning architecture and rich history. It is also a popular spot for picnics and leisure activities among the locals. The fort is open to the public every day except for Mondays, and there is a small entrance fee for visitors.

 

Other Names Of Purana Qila:

 

Apart from Purana Qila or Old Fort, there are other names that the fort is known by:

 

  1. Shergarh – It is believed that the fort was built on the remains of the ancient city of Shergarh, which was founded by Sher Shah Suri.
  2. Dinpanah – After Humayun recaptured Delhi from Sher Shah Suri, he made the Purana Qila his capital and renamed it as “Dinpanah,” which means “refuge of the faithful.”
  3. Indraprastha – According to the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the fort is believed to be situated on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha, which was the capital of the Pandavas.
  4. Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid – The mosque inside the fort is known as the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid, which means “the mosque of the old fort.”

These names reflect the rich and diverse history of the Purana Qila and its significance as an important historical landmark in Delhi.

 

How To Reach Purana Qila, New Delhi:

 

There are several ways to reach the fort and here are some details on how to reach Purana Qila:

  1. By Metro: The nearest metro station to Purana Qila is Pragati Maidan on the Blue Line. From the metro station, the fort is a short taxi ride away.
  2. By Bus: Several buses run to Purana Qila from different parts of Delhi, including the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses. You can take the bus to Purana Qila bus stop, which is located near the fort.
  3. By Taxi or Auto-rickshaw: Taxis and auto-rickshaws are widely available in Delhi and are a convenient way to reach Purana Qila. Before commencing the journey, it is possible to discuss and agree on the fare with the driver.
  4. By Car: If you have your own car, you can drive to Purana Qila. The fort is located near the Delhi Zoo, and there is ample parking available near the entrance.
  5. By Bicycle or Walking: If you are staying nearby, you can also reach Purana Qila by bicycle or by walking. This is a good option if you want to explore the area around the fort or enjoy a leisurely walk.

In summary, there are several ways to reach Purana Qila, and the best option depends on your preferences and budget. Metro and bus are the most affordable options, while taxis and auto-rickshaws are more convenient and comfortable. If you prefer to explore the area around the fort, walking or cycling may be a good option.

 

Interesting Facts About Purana Qila, New Delhi in details

 

  1. One of the Oldest Forts in Delhi: Purana Qila is considered to be one of the oldest forts in Delhi, with a history dating back to the 16th century.
  2. Built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun: The fort was built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533, but it was later completed by Sher Shah Suri after he defeated Humayun in battle.
  3. Located on the Site of an Ancient City: The fort is believed to be built on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha, which is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
  4. Three Main Entrances: Purana Qila has three main entrances, namely, the Talaqi Darwaza, the Bara Darwaza, and the Humayun Darwaza.
  5. Famous Talaqi Darwaza: The Talaqi Darwaza is the most famous entrance of Purana Qila, and it is decorated with intricate carvings and designs.
  6. Contains a Mosque and Other Structures: Inside the fort, visitors can explore a mosque, a library, and a baoli (step-well), among other structures.
  7. Sher Mandal: The fort has a large lake called Sher Mandal, which was used as a pleasure garden by the Mughal emperors.
  8. Exhibitions and Sound and Light Show: There are various exhibitions and a sound and light show held in the evenings that tell the story of the fort’s history and significance.
  9. A Popular Tourist Destination: Purana Qila is a popular tourist destination in Delhi and is visited by thousands of visitors every year.
  10. Used as a Film Location: The fort has been used as a film location for many Bollywood movies, including “Mughal-E-Azam” and “Delhi-6″.

 

Historical Importance Of Purana Qila, New Delhi:

 

Purana Qila, located in New Delhi, has significant historical importance. Some of the noteable reasons are as follows:

 

  1. Built by Humayun: Purana Qila was built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533 when he decided to make Delhi his capital after returning from his exile in Persia. Humayun’s decision to build the fort is a reflection of the Mughals’ ambition to establish their rule in India.
  2. Battle of Purana Qila: In 1540, Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun in the Battle of Kannauj and captured Delhi. He then completed the construction of Purana Qila and made it his capital. The fort remained under the control of the Sur dynasty until it was recaptured by Humayun’s son, Akbar, in 1555.
  3. Home to Several Dynasties: Over the years, Purana Qila was home to several dynasties, including the Mughals, the Suris, and the British. The fort’s architecture reflects the influence of these different dynasties.
  4. Site of Important Events: Purana Qila has been the site of several important events in Indian history. For example, it is believed that the legendary city of Indraprastha, mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, was located at the site of the fort. The fort was also the site of the famous Battle of Delhi between the Marathas and the British in 1803.
  5. Architectural Significance: Purana Qila is known for its stunning architecture, which combines both Mughal and Afghan styles. The fort’s design reflects the Mughals’ love for symmetry and geometrical patterns, while the Afghan influence is visible in the use of red sandstone.
  6. Archaeological Discoveries: In the 1950s, excavations at Purana Qila led to the discovery of an ancient city that dates back to the 3rd century BC. The discovery helped historians and archaeologists to understand the rich history of Delhi and its surrounding areas.

In summary, Purana Qila is an important historical landmark in Delhi that reflects the rich and diverse history of India. The fort’s significance lies in its role as a symbol of the Mughals’ ambition to establish their rule in India, as well as its architectural and archaeological importance.

 

Construction Of The Purana Qila, New Delhi in details

 

Purana Qila, located in New Delhi, was built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533. Here is a detailed account of the construction of Purana Qila:

  1. Site Selection: The fort was built on the site of an ancient city called Indraprastha, which is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The location was chosen for its strategic importance, as it was situated on the banks of the Yamuna river and was easily defensible.
  2. Architectural Style: The fort’s architecture combines both Mughal and Afghan styles. The Mughals were known for their love of symmetry and geometrical patterns, while the Afghans favored the use of red sandstone.
  3. Construction Materials: The fort was built using red sandstone, which was quarried from the nearby hills. The stone was transported to the construction site using carts pulled by oxen.
  4. Layout: The fort is designed in an octagonal shape, with walls that are over 18 meters high. The fort has three main entrances, namely, the Talaqi Darwaza, the Bara Darwaza, and the Humayun Darwaza.
  5. Design Elements: The Talaqi Darwaza is the most famous entrance and is decorated with intricate carvings and designs. The fort also has several other design elements, including arched gateways, decorative battlements, and a large lake called Sher Mandal.
  6. Completion by Sher Shah Suri: Humayun was forced to abandon the construction of the fort in 1540 after he was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in the Battle of Kannauj. Sher Shah Suri completed the construction of the fort during his reign and used it as his capital.
  7. British Renovations: The fort underwent significant renovations during the British era, including the addition of a mosque and a library. The British also constructed a bridge across the moat surrounding the fort.

In summary, the construction of Purana Qila was a significant undertaking that required the use of skilled architects, craftsmen, and laborers. The fort’s design reflects the influence of both Mughal and Afghan styles, and the use of red sandstone adds to its grandeur and durability. The fort’s strategic location and impressive design continue to make it a popular tourist destination in Delhi.

 

Purana Qila, New Delhi And The Battle Of Kannauj in details:

 

Purana Qila, located in New Delhi, is closely associated with the Battle of Kannauj, which took place in 1540. Here are some details about the battle and its connection to the fort:

  1. Battle of Kannauj: The Battle of Kannauj was fought between the Mughal Emperor Humayun and the Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri. The battle took place near the city of Kannauj in present-day Uttar Pradesh.
  2. Humayun’s Defeat: Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in the battle and was forced to flee to Persia. Sher Shah Suri captured Delhi and completed the construction of Purana Qila, using it as his capital.
  3. Completion of Purana Qila: Sher Shah Suri is credited with completing the construction of Purana Qila, which was started by Humayun. The fort was completed during Sher Shah Suri’s reign and was used as a symbol of his military and architectural achievements.
  4. Influence on Architecture: Sher Shah Suri’s influence on the architecture of Purana Qila can be seen in the use of red sandstone, which was a hallmark of Afghan architecture. The fort’s design also reflects the influence of Mughal architecture, with its symmetrical layout and geometric patterns.
  5. Recapture by Humayun: Humayun eventually returned from his exile in Persia and recaptured Delhi in 1555. He took control of Purana Qila and made it his capital once again.
  6. Later History: Purana Qila continued to play an important role in Indian history, with several different dynasties making use of the fort over the years. The British also renovated the fort during their rule, adding a mosque and a library to the site.

In summary, the Battle of Kannauj played a significant role in the history of Purana Qila. The fort’s completion by Sher Shah Suri and its subsequent recapture by Humayun illustrate the political and military power struggles that characterized the Mughal and Afghan dynasties. The fort’s architectural style reflects the influence of both these dynasties, making it a unique and important landmark in Delhi‘s history.

 

Conclusion:

 

In conclusion, Purana Qila is an important historical landmark located in New Delhi. The fort has a rich history dating back to the Mughal and Afghan dynasties, and it played an important role in several key events in Indian history, including the Battle of Kannauj. Visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history and architecture, including the unique blend of Mughal and Afghan styles. There are several ways to reach Purana Qila, including metro, bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw, car, walking, and cycling, making it accessible to visitors from all over Delhi.

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