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Tughlaqabad Fort: Tourist Places in India

Nothing summarizes this once mighty fort as Kipling's verse in Cities and Thrones and Power:
"Cities and Thrones and Powers
Stand in Time's eye,
Almost as long as flowers,
Which daily die". 
Did you know that Tughlaqabad is the Third City out of the Seven Cities of Delhi? After Lal Kot which was invaded and captured by Muslims thus ushering in a new era of Muslim Rule in India (First Sultanate and later Mughal), and Siri which is first city built by a Muslim ruler in India, Tughlaqabad was 3rd to be constructed. Mighty as it is, Tughlaqabad Fort was built in record time of 4 years by the military commander Ghazi Malik who served Alaudin Khilji (the builder of Siri).

Tomb of Ghiyas ud Din Tughlaq
A Bird Eye View of the Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tuglaq from Bijay Manadal, Tughlaqabad Fort
It is said that during a stroll near Tughlaqabad, Ghazi Malik told his Sultan Alaudin that he should build his fort here to which Alaudin Khilji replied that when when Malik becomes Sultan then he could do so. As it turned out, Ghazi Malik indeed built his city Tughlaqabad after becoming Sultan of Delhi naming himself Ghiyas-ud-din.

It is said that the city was cursed from the beginning. It is said that in hurry to complete his fort Ghiyas-ud-Din ordered all workers in Delhi to work for the construction of fort. This resulted in halt of the construction of baoli of Nizamuddin Auliya, a sufi saint and mystic. He was so peeved that he cursed the fort saying “Ya rahey hissar, ya basey gujjar” (may it [the fort] remain unoccupied/infertile, or else the herdsmen may live here). And his word indeed became true as the fort was soon abandoned after the death of Sultan.

Tughlaqabad Fort is entered from the Southern side on Mehrauli Badarpur Road and is located close to the Mehrauli Metro Station. As you’d arrive at the fort, you’ll see a broken causeway which has given way to the main road. It once connected the Tughlaqabad City and the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq. The causeway also acted as a dam in a vast water reservoir which was created by constructing additional bunds between the hills. Once Tughlaqabad had fifty-two gates of which only 13 remain today.

The entry fee to this protected monument is INR 10 for Indian Residents and INR 100 for travelers from overseas. From the outside one could notice the formidable façade of the city wall. Inside the Fort, buildings are mostly in ruins. Structures of note include a Mosque, some pavilions, residential buildings, formidable bastions, Hamams and meena bazaar (arched market place). The city which once would have existed for people is all ruins.

Just opposite the fort is the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din which he himself designed. It is believed that the Tomb was first erected for Zafar Khan who also lies interred inside the structure but the Sultan so liked the place that he decided to build his own tomb there. The tomb is a peaceful and well-manicured place and gives you an appearance of small fort. The architecture of the tomb is just like the other tombs built during those times. The fortifications were built to counter the constant Mongol threat during those times.

Ideally, you should arrive early in the morning to explore this fort and 1-2 hours is enough time to explore the fort and the tomb. If you are a female traveler from overseas, I’d suggest you avoid Adilabad Fort or go there in large group. Entry to Adilabad Fort is free.

[Explore Delhi Tour Packages at IndianHoliday.com]

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Last updated on 17th September 2014 by


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