A trip back in time – Purana Qila, Dilli


Purana Qila is one of most historic attractions of the Delhi Capital. Located in Old Delhi, the Qila is a must see for those interested in the history of the city and India.

Main entrance at Purana Qila
Main entrance at Purana Qila

From the road one can see the Fort standing on a small rise with the lake in front. Whenever I see the fort, I always imagined the scene beyond those walls.

But nothing prepares you for the immensity and the sense of palatial grandness when you go inside it. The ruins of the fort are beautiful in its own way.

Purana Qila, also know as The Old Fort was built in sixteenth century, on the banks of Yamuna. The historical significance of the fort date back, when Humayun built a new capital in Delhi and ordered the construction of the “Purana Qila or the Old Fort”.

The lake is used for boating. However, we chose not to indulge in Boating for the lake was filthy and full of garbage. There was no sign of cleanliness. And on top of which, we could see many people taking bath and washing clothes. Quite a phenomena.

The walls of the Fort are about 18 metres in height, traverse uptil 1.5 km, and have three majestic and arched gateways: The Bara Darwaza (Big Gate) 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);

Palm trees and the Humayun Darwaza inside Purana Qila
Palm trees and the Humayun Darwaza inside Purana Qila

and lastly, The ‘Talaqi Gate‘, often known as the “forbidden gate“. The gates are double storeyed built in red sandstones and surmounted by chattris.

The other two attractions at the fort site are:

Qila-I-Kuhna Masjid is a prayer hall and is fronted by five openings with horseshoe-shaped arches. The surface is beautifully decorated in marbled and otehr stones. Several small windows are seen that let the cool breeze sail through.

Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque inside Purana Qila
Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque inside Purana Qila

Sher Mandal is a double storeyed tower. Built with red sandstone and relived by marble. The interior are decorated with glazed tiles, and have painted plasterwork.

The Baoli is another structure that had survived the rough and tears of time and was an important source of water.

You can also see the engineer from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at excavations sites inside Purana Qila busy findings artefacts.

Excavations Site
Excavations Site

These artefacts are then exhibited at the Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila.

Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila
Archaeological Museum inside the Purana Qila

Sound and Light Show is one place that you can get to hear a the history of the entire city of Delhi. The show has different show times. The show is closed on every Friday.

You can avail local buses, taxis and auto rickshaws from different points within the city. The easiest way to commute is Delhi Metro. And the nearest metro station being Pragati Maidan. You can hire an electic rickshaw and they can drop you at the Qila in max, Rs.10/- per person.

The entry fee is Rs.5/- and if you plan to carry a camera, you’d be charged Rs.25/-

Entrance Ticket
Entrance Ticket

Purana Qila is an enjoyable place for everyone The wide open spaces and lush laws just invite you to sprawl and spare a little time. We had a great time. I hope you all make a plan to visit and explore the historic heritage of Dilli and share your experiences with you.

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