Purana Quila (Old Fort) Delhi

Purana Quila (Old Fort)

“It is the oldest fort”

Purana Quila (Old Fort), is the oldest fort among all forts in Delhi. It was rebuilt by the Afghan king Sher Shah Suri, on the same site, which was perhaps the site of Indraprastha, believed to be the capital of the Pandavas. Sher Shah raised the citadel of Purana-Qal'a with an extensive city-area sprawling around it. It seems that the Purana-Qal'a was still incomplete at Sher Shah's death in 1545, and was perhaps completed by his son Islam Shah.

It's located at the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha, that was founded by Pandavas on the banks of perennial river Yamuna, which is revered by Hindus since ages, points to the possibility of this site's history dating back to nearly more than 5000 years old. A Kunti Temple inside the Quila also exists, which is believed to be the place where Kunti, the mother of Pandavs lived.

The walls of the Old Fort rise up to a height of 18 metres and are spread over 1.5 kilometres. The fort has three arched gateways: the Bara Darwaza facing west, which is still in use today; the south gate, also popularly known as the 'Humayun Gate' (probably so known because it was constructed by Humayun, or perhaps because Humayun's Tomb is visible from there); and lastly, the 'Talaqi Gate', often known as the "forbidden gate." All the gates are double-storeyed sandstone structures.

All three gates are double-storey structures constructed using sandstone and are surrounded by two large semicircular towers adorned with coloured marble embellishments and blue tile work. At the North and South Gates of the Purana Qila, you will find beautiful balconies, chattris, and pavilions which only add to the grandeur of the fort.

Purana Quila is the venue for the spectacular sound and light show held every evening. A beautiful lake near the Old Fort of Delhi allows boating facilities to the tourists.

Qal' A-I-Kuhna-Masjid:

Among the few buildings still extant within the Purana-Quila is the 'Qal'a-i-Kuhna-Masjid' (mosque of the Old Fort). This mosque was built by Sher Shah in 1541. Its prayer-hall measures 51.20m by 14.90m, and is fronted by five openings with horseshoe-shaped arches.


To the south of the Qal'a-i-Kuhna-Masjid is a double-storeyed octagonal tower of red sandstone relived by marble. It is surmounted by an octagonal pavilion or chhatri. On each of its sides is a recessed arch in the center. On the second storey, the central chamber is cruciform, with recesses on its four sides. The dados of its interior are decorated with glazed tiles while the upper portion contains incised and painted plasterwork. This was also the spot where on 24 January 1556 Humayun fell from the second floor to his death. He slipped while hastening to the evening prayers. He fell headlong down the stairs and died of his injuries two days later. Entry inside the library is now prohibited.

Open: All Days (Sunrise to Sunset)

Entry Fee: Rs. 5/- (Indians), Rs. 100/- (Foreigners)

Photography: Rs. 25/-



Mode of Travel:
Purana Quila (Old Fort)
Near Delhi Zoo, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110003
Near by Metro
Pragati Maidan

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