Siri Fort



Weather:

Time Required: 1 - 2 hrs

Timings:

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee:

No Entry Fee
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Siri Fort, Delhi Overview

Siri Fort is among the many renowned monuments of heritage and culture, situated in New Delhi. Located between Hauz Khas on the east and Mehrauli in the north, the construction of the fort is believed to have begun in 1303, during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. The fort was only a part of the strategic city of Siri which was second of the seven cities built during the time, by the Turks of the Delhi Sultanate. However, as of now, only a few remnants of the same can be seen in the form of fort ruins; but the majestic architecture and the historical relevance still draws hordes of tourists to visit it.

History suggests that the city of Siri was built to protect the empire from the attack of the Mongols; and after the war, close to 8000 Mongol soldiers were buried in the city. At the time it was constructed, Siri had plenty of palaces, and other monuments including seven magnificent gates to enter and exit. However, now, the fort is in a derelict state with leftover ramparts, some citadels and a southeastern gate. Nevertheless, the majestic monument still resonates with the opulence of the bygone times and has traces of the palatial buildings and precious stones’ carvings which once adorned it. The site has now become a place of local recreation and at all times you can find people exploring the fort ruins or kids playing around in the park area.

More on Siri Fort


Alauddin Khilji laid the foundation of the second city of Delhi- Siri, during 1297 and 1307. The construction of Siri fort was started in 1303 and it was built to defend against the Mongol invasions. Other than the war, the fort also served as the central seat of power during Khilji’s campaigns. Later, the Seljuk dynasty sought refuge in the city of Siri and hence,most of its architecture is inspired by the craftsmen of the Seljuk dynasty.

In 1306, Alauddin’s army defeated the Mongols at Amroha and it is believed that close to 8000 Mongol soldiers who died during the war were buried at the city of Siri. Before becoming a part of Delhi, Siri was also linked to Jahanpanah- the fourth medieval city among the seven, of Delhi Sultanate.

It is believed that the name ‘Siri’ is derived from the fact that the heads of 8000 soldiers were sacrificed and buried in the city; ‘Sir’ meaning ‘head’.

The city of Siri (or the remaining ruins of Siri Fort) boasts of striking architecture credited to craftsmen of the Seljuk dynasty. It took 70000 soldiers to construct the spectacular edifice. Built in an oval shape, the city had seven entrance and exit gates, only one of which stays now. The highlight of the city was the opulent palace of a thousand pillars- Hazan Sutan. The beautiful castle has luxurious white marble flooring and gates bedecked with precious stones. There are also found traced of battlements, loopholes of arrows and bastions.

The city was spread out in the area with water reservoirs at Hauz Khas complex. Khilji even moved to Qutub Minar and made modification to the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and Qutub Minar itself. The ruler even had plans to construct a bigger and better minar (tower) than Qutub Minar and he even started working in that direction. However, the construction was left incomplete due to his death in 1316. Also, the destruction of Siri also began after his death. The locals and the later kings (majorly Sher Shah Suri) proceeded to extract precious stones, bricks and other materials to build their own buildings.

The rest of the buildings and parts of the remaining fortification was buried during the construction of the Asiad Village Complex in 1982, which was unexplored by the archaeologists.

Adjacent to Siri Fort lies the Asiad Village Complex, popularly known as Siri Fort Complex. The complex was built in 1982 as part of the 1982 Asian Games programmes. The compound was constructed keeping in mind the upcoming games; it comprises of huge courts of basketball, tennis and badminton, cricket grounds, enormous auditoriums, jogging tracks and the like. The Siri Fort Auditorium is one amongst the best auditoriums of Delhi and is used to organize film festival, live performances and related events.

Winters, early Spring or Late Autumn, is the ideal time to visit this place due to the infamous Delhi heat. The summers can get scorching and sultry, and your visit can get unbearable and really uncomfortable.

1. A very few people seem to know about the fort including the local rickshaw pullers. Most people confuse it with the Siri Fort Auditorium adjacent to it. You might have to walk a little and discover the fort for yourself.
2. Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated.
3. Wear comfortable footwear as you might have to walk a lot.

Delhi is a state well connected through metro and state-run buses. The nearest metro station to the Siri Fort is Green Park Metro, situated on the yellow line. The fort is in the vicinity of the metro; you can hire a local or a battery run rickshaw. You can also book a taxi cab for a more comfortable journey. Alternatively, you can travel in one of the buses which will be relatively economical.

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