Delhi can well be called the city of ‘monumental landmarks’ – quite literally! Out of the plenty that are sprinkled in the city, there are few that have stood the test of time and have witnessed the country’s growth over several decades, including the mighty Old Fort. Sitting in the heart of city, the Old Fort has an impressive backdrop. Directly translated from its Indian name, ‘Purana Qila’, it was founded by the Mughal King, Humayun in the middle of the 14th century.
The Structure and it’s History:
The mighty walls of the fort are about 18 meters high and run for 1.5 kilometres peripherally. It has three entrances – Bara Darwaza, Humayun’s Gate and the Talaqi Gate. The structure is primarily made of sandstone representative of the material used in other structures built under the regime of Humayun. White and coloured marble inlays have been used in places to give it deign interest. Parts of the fort reek of Mughal grandeur where architecture is concerned. This is seen in the elaborate balconies and pavilions.
It is said that Humayun built the qila as a refuge for the learned men for all Islamic sects. It was also known as the city of Dinpanah or ‘Refuge of the Faithful’! It is said that eminent thinkers used the venue for discussions on theology under the patronage of the emperor.
Purana Qila and the Modern Topography of Delhi:
During the Commonwealth Games, the Old Fort was one of the few monuments that were illuminated in the evenings to make the cityscape look impressive. If one went down Mathura Road during the games, the qila was brightly lit, making a resplendent setting.
Given that the fort is open to public all days, do not be surprised to see this monument double up as a venue for young couples and families to spend time.
The summer timings of the Qila are 12.00 p.m to 7.00 p.m. In the winters, the timings change to 11.00 p.m to 6.00 p.m. Do check the timings before entry. The Purana Qila is open on all days
The fees for Indian citizens is Rs 5/- and for foreign nationals it is Rs 100/-. (These might be subject to change so please check at the counter).
What to See:
The light and sound show at the Purana Qila is choreographed to tell the story of the empire of seven cities within Delhi and the highlights the important features of the fort. This is a great way to add context to your trip instead of just seeing the structure. The show is held daily after sunset.
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