Fast facts about Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
When it was built: 16th century
By whom it was built: Sher Shah Suri
Nature of the building: Fort
History of Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi was constructed in the 16th-century
by Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Sur Dynasty. Mughal Emperor
Humayun was defeated by Shah Suri in 1539. Thus after capturing
two Mughal strongholds- Delhi and Agra, Shah Suri constructed
this fort to defend Delhi from the Mughals. Incidentally, only
after Sher Shah Suri died in 1545, Humayaun was able to recapture
Delhi and Agra.
Humayun began using Sher Mandal, the octagonal red sandstone
tower as his library and observatory later. According to legends,
Humayun died after falling down from the steps of this tower
and thus the Mughals, later decided to vacate the fort considering
it to be ominous. They constructed Lal Qi'lah or Red fort to
defend Delhi from foreign invasions.
Features of Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
- Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi houses the Delhi Zoo,
Delhi's largest zoological park, and a boat club.
- The Qal'a-I-Kunha Masjid and the Sher Mandal are two
important monuments inside the fort.
- Qila-i-kuhna Masjid was built by Sher Shah Suri in
1541, which has five doorways with the 'true' horseshoe-shaped
arches. Red sandstone and marble were used in contrast to give
the mosque a very distinctive look. The mihrabs (prayer niches)
are decorated with concentric arches and the central alcove
is topped by a beautifully carved dome. The mosque has an inscription
which says 'As long as there are people on this earth, may this
edifice be frequented, and people be happy in it.' it.
- The fort has bastions on the corners and in the western
wall.The walls of the Fort tower down on the road for about
2 kilometers and from a height of 18 meters.
- It has three main gates - the Humayun darwaza, Talaqi
darwaza and Bara darwaza, which are double-storied and built
with red sandstone.
- Excavations in 1955 have yielded painted Grey Ware
pottery dated to 1000BC. Findings like coins associated with
the Gupta of 4-5th century AD and post-Gupta ages, have also
- Sher-Mandal is a double-storeyed octagonal tower of
red sandstone that was surmounted by an octagonal pavilion or
chhatri. The central chamber is cruciform with recesses on its
four sides and the dados of its interior are decorated with
glazed tiles, while the upper portion contains incised and painted
- There is a lake surrounded by a garden with rows of
trees and flower plants, which has paddle-boating facility.
Inside the fort too there are lawns
Don't Miss in Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
You should not miss out the Sound and Light Show of 62 minutes.
This show will revive the 5000 year old history of Delhi through
select episodes from the annals of Delhi's historic and legendary
past in Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
Trivia on Purana Qila - Old Fort in Delhi
According to recent archaeological evidence, the legendary
city of Indraprastha as mentioned in the great epic of Mahabharata,
flourished earlier here. Evidences such as pottery and other
pieces of art and handicrafts had stirred the archaeologists
and historians of India.
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