About Old Fort
Old Fort was built in the 16th-century by the Lion King, Sher Shah Suri. In 1539-40. The Old Fort, also known as the Purana Qil’ah or Purana Killa in Hindi and Urdu, is one of the most famous monuments in Delhi.Old Fort of Delhi is a fascinating building that survived the ravages of time. The Old Fort or the Purana Qila is also known as the ‘Qila-i-kuhna masjid’ built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541. Old Fort at Delhi is a perfect example of Lodi style of architecture in Delhi. Excavations in the Old Fort area have revealed pieces of painted greyware dated around 1000 BC, said to be related to Mahabharata.
Relics and remains of later period found here confirm the belief that Purana Quila was built on the site of Indraprastha, the capital of Pandavas. These artifacts 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. Sher Shah built a mosque in 1541, with traits of Lodhi to Mughal architecture style.The architecture of the Old Fort of Delhi is a fine blend of the Hindu elements together with the Muslim style of arches and domes. In short the style of architecture of the Old Fort can be considered as a secular architectural style.
Purana Quila or Old fort, was built by the great Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri, in the 16th century A.D. It is situated in Delhi. Delhi and Agra, bringing the Mughal Empire in India to a near end. Shah Suri constructed this enormous fort to defend his most prized possession, Delhi, from the Mughals. Sher-Mandal, a double-storey octagonal tower of red sandstone and marble, surmounted by an octagonal chhatri and decorated with glazed tiles and painted plasterwork was also built by him. The structure houses a mosque, which has a double-storeyed octagonal tower. Recent excavations at the fort site have yielded painted grey ware pottery, which dates back to 1000 B.C.
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 Old Fort, presenting the 5000 years of history of Delhi. Other attractions near the Old Fort are a lake with paddle-boating facility and the Zoological Park situated just adjacent to it.The walls of the fort are 18 meters high at some points and there are groups of holes arranged in patterns on the walls, which were apparently meant to be nesting spaces for birds.
The fort has an ancient folklore attached to it. It portrays the account of bigotry of two great empires, the Afghans and the Mughals. The fort has four giant gateways, one of which leads to the River Yamuna. A serene lake inside the huge premises of the fort is what you need to relax after a busy day. Though the fort did not see any major battle event, its very existence kept the Mughals away from invading Delhi until 1545 when Sher Shah Suri died.
With the help of Persians, Humayun was able to re-capture Delhi and Agra.Today, the Old Fort houses the Delhi Zoo, Delhi’s largest zoological park, and a boat club. The historic structure of the Purana Qila has stood witness to the restoration of the city of Delhi, the periods of anarchy, and the rise and fall of empires.The property around the fort also houses a library and an observatory. The Old Fort gives us a glimpse into the lives of the people during the times the Mughals and the Afghans were in power.
The Old Fort had three entrances leading up to it out of which two were shut down earlier. As of today only the main gate, the Bada Darwaja, is open to the public. The Old Fort in Delhi is a clear example of the tasteful architectural skill of the masons in the Mughal times. Evidence procured by archaeologists has proved that the Old Fort is situated on the location where the ancient city of Indraprashtha used to stand. During excavation on this site, pieces of artwork like pottery dating back to 1000 BC were found. The local people of Delhi also call the Old Fort as the Purana Quila. It is one of Delhi’s oldest and finest monuments.
What’s So Special at The Old Fort
Sound and Light Show
The Sound and Light show at the Old Fort is an added attraction which you should not miss. During this one hour show, the rise and fall of Delhi from Indraprastha to Mughal era becomes live in Sound and Light. Voice of this Sound and Light show has been given by Bollywood personalities like Jaya Bachchan, Om Puri and others.
English Version : September to October & February to April – 20.30 p.m to 21.30 p.m.
November to January – 19.30 p.m. to 21.30 p.m.
May to August – 21.00 p.m to 22.00 p.m.
Hindi Version : September to October & February to April – 19.00 p.m to 20.00 p.m.
November to January – 18.00 p.m. to 19.00 p.m.
May to August – 19.30 p.m to 20.30 p.m.
It is one of the city’s most famous tourist spots and is open to the public for visiting. The Old Fort has a calm mystical interior that is soothing to visitors as it provides refuge from the noise and bustle on the streets outside.
General Fact about Old Fort
- Location:On the eastern side of India Gate and north of Humayun’s tomb on Mathura Road
- Also Known As : Purana Qila.
- Built In : 16th Century.
- Time to Visit: Open on all days from sunrise to sunset
- Preferred Timings:early morning or evening
- Day Closed: Open All Days
- Admission Fee: INR 5 for citizen/ INR 100 for foreigners
- Photography Charges:INR 25
- Nearest Railway Station:New Delhi Railway Station
- Nearest Metro Station:Connaught Place
- Nearest International Airport:Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Time required for sightseeing:2½ hours
- Completed By : Afgan Ruler Sher Shah Suri
- Famous For : Lodhi Style of Architecture
- Major Attractions : Sher Mandal, Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid