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Purana Qila

Purana Qila

The Old Fort is one of the most visited tourist places of Delhi. Purana Qila is a citadel which was partly raised by Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri, who was temporarily deposed Humayun. Sher Shah made a major contribution to public works, built the Qila Kunha Mosque and the Sher Mandal within the citadel in 1541 A.D. The purpose of the later is not quite clear though it is thought that Humayun housed his library there.

Qila-I-Kuhna Masjid is an imposing mosque constructed by Sher Shah in 1541 AD. The central portion of the mosque is made up of white marble and bright red sandstone. The inner western wall called the qibla wall of the mosque has five arched openings richly ornamented in white and black marbles. Sher Shah constructed another building, the Sher Mandal, as a pleasure tower. It is an octagonal building made up of red sandstone. The two-storeyed pavilion has steep steps leading up to the roof. The structure was intended to be higher than its existing height but the work was stopped due to untimely death of Sher Shah. When Humayun recaptured Delhi in 1555 AD, he converted the Sher Mandal into his library and observatory.

There are three Gates to this fort. Today entrance is through the Bara Darwaza. The South Gate is called the Humayun Darwaza, probably because Humayun built it or because the tomb of Humayun is visible from here. The third gate is the Talaqi Darwaza. Recent excavations in the fort has revealed painted grey pottery which date back to 1000 BC. Such and many more findings inside the fort have proved the location to be inhabited since the early civilizations. In fact there was a village inside the fort till 1913 called Indrapat which is very close to Indraprastha adding credibility to the theory of Mahabharata having taken place here.