The weekend is here and my fellow clickographers are you ready to explore another heritage of Delhi! Delhi is a city of histories and stories. Each building, road, alleys and walls speak of the thousands of stories which is unheard. You have to admit that so many kingdom’s and rulers have left their marks and made this place rich. Though many books have been written, historians are still digging deep to seek more about this culturally rich historical place. With that thought team The Planet Social has brought you another most historically significant place in Delhi to explore. A visit to Tughlaqabad!
Tughalaqabad Fort is now a ruined fort in Delhi, sprawling over 6 km, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty in 1321. He established the third historic city of Delhi, which was later abandoned in 1327.
The fort is cursed since the beginning and there are a lot of stories related to this fort. It is said that Ghazi Malik was a feudatory of the Khalji rulers, once suggested the king to build a fort on a southern hillock and the king told Ghazi to build the fort himself when he would become king. In 1321 Ghazi Malik became king and started constructing his fabled city. As it says, man proposes, god disposes. Same happened here, the destiny was something else.
Another story of this place is very famous, the curse of Nizamuddin Auliya. Ghazi became so obsessed with his dream fort that he ordered all labours in Delhi to work on his fort. Saint Nizamuddin Auliya, a Sufi mystic whose baoli (well) work got stopped due to this and thus he confronted with the king. The Sufi uttered a curse which resonated throughout the history until today, “Rahey ujjar, ya basey gujjar” which can roughly be translated to “Either remain inhabited or would live Gujjars”. After the fall, Gujjars of the area captured the Qila and till date the village is situated in it.
Another of the saint curse was “Huniz Dilli dur ast (Delhi is still far away)”. It is said that Emperor was working on a campaign in Bengal and he was on his way to Delhi. It is alleged that his son Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s ordered a Shamiana (tent) which fell in the Emperor and he was crushed to death in 1324. The mausoleum of Ghiyas ud-din Tughlaq is still there in the fort.
The architecture of this place is still remarkable with massive stone fortifications surrounded with an irregular ground plan of the city. The typical feature of the monuments of Tughlaq dynasty is between 10 and 15 meters high topped by a battlemented parapet and strengthened by circular bastions of up to two stories height. The city once had 52 gates, now only 13 of them exist. There are 7 rainwater tanks contained in the city.
Tughluqabad is divided into three parts:
- The wider city area with houses built along a rectangular grid between its gates
- The citadel with a tower at its highest point known as Bijai-Mandal and the remains of several halls and a long underground passage
- The adjacent palace area containing the royal residences. A long underground passage below the tower still remains.
Today the city is in ruins and inaccessible, people are working to make it more noticeable.
Still, it is worth the visit.
Contributed by Somdatta Sarkar