Delhi that you see today is built on the rubbles of as many as 10 earlier cities. Different rulers built these cities during different periods of history. They belonged to different dynasties. Almost all the dynasties that ruled Delhi in these years commissioned some fort or other to be built and the result can be seen in Delhi. It has at least 6 different forts that are still intact. Some, like Quila Pithora, are in depleted condition where as some are well preserved. Following are the famous forts in Delhi: -
This was the first city of Delhi and was established by Chauhan
Rajputs. King Vigraharaj defeated Tomar Rajputs and captured Delhi and
Ajmer from them in the latter half of the 12th century. His grandson and
successor, Pirthviraj Chauhan built the city of Rai Pithora. The city
derived its name from the title of Prithviraj Chauhan and was an
extention of an earlier fort by Tomar Rajputs known as Lal Kot. The
Chauhans only fortified it with high-rise walls and ramparts. The ruins
of Lal Kot still form its western base.
Siri Fort commands a special place in the realms of history because of
the various aspects. The very first is that, Siri was the second city to
be built in Delhi and the second is that, it was never conquered. The
city was build by Sultan Ala-ud-Din Khilji in year 1303. The city was
situated in a ravine north of Qutab Minar. It is indeed very sad that
very less remains of what once was a flourishing city. You can find some
of the ruins in the Siri complex area scattered between the Hauz Khas
village and Khel Gaon.
Alauddin Khilji established Hauz Khas in the year 1284. The word comes
from urdu word Hauz which means Pond. The emperor commissioned a very
large pond or tank in this area for the use of the inhabitants of Siri
Fort, the second city of Delhi. Earlier it was named as Hauz-i-Alai
after the name of emperor Alauddin Khilji. Firuz Shah Tughlaq later
ordered to clean the tank that was full of silt. He also built royal
baths on the southern side of the tank. It was he who christined it to
Tughlaqabad Fort is in the outskirts of Delhi, aloof and secluded from
public view. Very less remain of what once were an intimidating fort.
The red stone fort was commissioned by Tughlaq emperor, Sultan
Giyas-ud-Din Tughlaq in the year 1321 and was completed in the year
1325. It's very strange that a fort of such denomination as this was
completed in just 4 years. This fort was build as a part of Tughlaqabad
city that is considered the 3rd city in Delhi of the sultanate era. The
primary reason for building this fort was the then prevailing political
and social unrest.
The Purana Quila or Red Fort is located east of India Gate and is one
of the major tourist attractions in Delhi. The city called, Mogul
emperor Humayun built Dinapanah in the year 1534. Old Fort is the
innermost structure in this city. The name 'Dinapanah' in Urdu means
'Refugee of the Faithful' and that is what Humayun intended to build.
He, himself a scholar par excellence, wanted this city to be abode for
scholars and artists. Sadly he himself wasn't able to keep control on
his fortune and was defeated and driven away by Sher Shah Suri, the
Afghan governor of Bihar in the year 1540.
Red Fort or Lal Quila as it is popularly known in Delhi is a marvel of
Indo- Islamic architecture. Made of red stone this very fort was the
center of power for more than 2 centuries. Completed in a span of ten
years, according to the conservative estimates at least 10 million
rupees were spend on it. Of these around 5 million was spent on palaces
and the rest on gardens, fountains and pathways. The fort is typical of
Indo-Islamic in architecture and has eight facets. The fort has been
connected to Salimghad Fort. This beautiful but small fort lies on the
Northern side of the main architecture.