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  >> Delhi Travel    >>   Sightseeing in New Delhi ( India )

Old Fort or Purana Qila has been the seat for administration for many emperors. Now in ruins, this citadel has had the glory of being the seat of legendary ruler Prithviraj Chauhan. Sher Shah Suri built it after he demolished the Humayun's city, Dinpanah. There are bastions on the corners and the western wall of the fort. The 2-km long ramparts boast of three double-storeyed main gates sporting 'chhatris' on top. They can be found in the north, south and west. The northern one is called the 'Talaqi-Darwaza' (the Forbidden Gate) and has a carving of marble lions engaged in combat with a man in its front. One can still see the remnants of the colored tiles used to ornament its exteriors originally.

However, it is said that Sher Shah could not complete the construction of Purana Qila and it was finished or at least renovated by Humayun. Thus, the southern gate of the fort is known as Humayun Darwaza. There is a wide moat on the northern and western sides of the fortress and a causeway connected the fortress with the main land. Excavations in the Old Fort area has revealed pieces of painted grey ware dated around 1000 BC and said to be related to Mahabharata and relics and remains of later period, which confirms the belief that Purana Qila was built on the site of Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas. The relics found here range from the Mauryan to early Mughal period such as Northern Black Polished Ware, punch-marked coins, human and animal terracotta figurines and inscribed terracotta seals.

The few remaining buildings of the Old Fort include the mosque built by Sher Shah in 1541 having architectural traits of Lodi to Mughal style of architecture and Sher-Mandal, a double-storeyed octagonal tower of red sandstone and marble surmounted by an octagonal chhatri and decorated with glazed tiles and incised and painted plasterwork inside. The latter was said to be used as a library by Humayun. It was from here that Humayun fell down and died. Besides these there is a Sound And Light Show at Purana Qila displaying the 5000 years of history of the city of Delhi. Other attractions near the Old Fort are a lake with paddle-boating facility surrounded by well-grafted and maintained lawns and the Zoological Park situated just adjacent to it
















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