"Purana Qila" Delhi Travelogue by Willettsworld

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Popularly known as Pandavon-ka Kila, the Purana Qila stands on a mound which may possibly mark the site of the town of Indraprastha of the Mahabharata story. Emperor Humayun laid the foundations of a city named Dinpanah or 'Refuge of the Faithful' here, in 1534, and the inner citadel of this city is the Purana Qila. He conceived Dinpanah as 'a southern Samarkand' or refuge for learned men of all Islamic sects who could discuss theology at leisure under the patronage of their emperor. However, in 1540, Sher Shah Suri captured the city and renamed it Delhi Shershahi or Shergarh and built many buildings in it. In 1555, Humayun recaptured it and lived here until his death.

The Purana Qila is irregularly oblong on plan with bastions on corners and along the western ramparts. Its principal gateways on the north, west and south are crowned with Chhatris and are known respectively as Talaqi, Bara and Humayun Darwazas. The exterior of the Bara Darwaza gate was originally decorated with coloured tiles and the rooms with incised plasterwork. The gate is said to be either built by Humayun or repaired by him, as his name is inscribed in ink in the recess of the gate.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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