Tughlaqabad Fort

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Timings : 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM (All Days)

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Indians: INR 20
Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries: INR 20 
Foreigners: INR 200.
Children (up to 15 years of age): Free

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Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi Overview

Tughlaqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, founder of Tughlaq dynasty and ruler of Delhi Sultanate in 132. Located near the Okhla industrial area, the fort is one of the most beautiful specimens of Islamic architecture.

Along with the high walls, palaces and citadel, the great gateways, the fort area also have the mausoleum of the founder and first ruler of the fort - Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq and his wife and son. It took four years to construct the fort, and15 years later, it was abandoned. It is said that a Sufi saint Nizammudin Auliya cursed Tughlaqabad as a punishment for the arrogance of Ghiyasuddin. The fort is believed to be haunted by djinns.

Adilabad Fort, a small fort built by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq is located around 2 km from the fort. The two forts were earlier separated by a reservoir that stood between the two hills, but it dried up now.

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History of Tughlaqabad Fort

After Alauddin Khilji's death, his successor proved incompetent to rule over the entire Sultanate and very soon was replaced by Khusro Khan. Ghazi Malik was a feudatory and bannerman of the Khilji's and he, with the help of the forces of Multan and Sindh, overthrew Khusro Khan to become the new emperor of Delhi Sultanate assuming the nameGhiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. He established the famous Tughlaq dynasty and built the fort of Tughlaqabad within four years, from 1321-25. The fort was constructed primarily as a stronghold for defensive purposes against the ever-invading Mongols rather than an architectural establishment.

Architecture of Tughlaqabad Fort

The ancient fort had two clear distinctions in its architecture - one was the portion with the citadel and the palatial residences, the other was the old city to the north. The entire fortification is made of granite and stands on a perimeter of roughly 6 kilometers. The southern part of the Tughlaqabad fort with the palace, royal, residences and public halls still stand, but the city is now entirely in ruins. However, parts of it have been refurbished and now encroached with the modern settlement, especially near the lake regions.

Tughlaqabad Fort Haunted!

The fort of Tughlaqabad has an ancient folklore associated with its history. It is said that the founder of the fort and the dynasty Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was so passionate about building this fort that in spite of being a liberal ruler otherwise, he ordered every labourer, builder and mason to compulsorily work on building it. It upset the famous Indian Sufi, Nizamuddin Auliya who confronted the Sultan and when the emperor refused to budge, he cursed the fort with the words - "Ya rahey ujjar, ya basey Gujjar: which roughly translates to "Either this fort shall remain barren and uninhabited, or it will be taken over by the Gujjars". The truthfulness of this legend is obviously questionable, but this led to the successor of Ghiyas-ud-din to abandon the fort and earned the place the tag of a haunted one. The fact that Gujjars captured the fort after the fall of Sultanate lends believability to the folklore.

Another legend associated with the same Sufi saint is that he also foretold the emperor's death by cursing him with "Hanuz Dilli dur ast" which means "Delhi is still far away". And matching his apparent words, the ruler was killed on his way back home from a conquest in Bengal, allegedly orchestrated by his own son in 1324.

Things To See at Tughlaqabad Fort

The build is gigantic with massive stones, 10-15 metres high sloping and rubble-filled walls typical to Tughlaqi dynasty and guarded by numerous looming gateways - once 52 in number, now the number is only 13. These doorways which still stand are a must see. The walls are dotted and marked with battlement parapets and circular bastions of about two-storey height, flaunting the fool-proof resistance powers of the once powerful dynasty. This showcase the sheer firepower abilities of the Tughlaqi Gharana. The city part contains seven rainwater tanks that used to serve the flourishing city once.

The Citadel of Tughlaqabad Fort has a tower at its peak called Bijai-Mandal and is also interconnected with other halls and adjacent palace with a secret underground passage which remains. The tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din is connected to the fort with an elevated causeway of about 600 feet in length, a portion of which is now crossed with Mehrauli-Badarpur road. It once stood upon an artificial lake.

Unlike the granite structure of the main fort, this one is built with red sandstones with marble inlay panels the trademark Islamic look of monuments. The edifice is topped with an elegant dome to give it a more majestic presence. The structure is home to three graves along with the founder himself lie the remains of his wife and son Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

Best Time To Visit Tughlaqabad Fort

It is advisable to not visit the Tughlaqabad fort during summer of rainy months. The extreme heat will be too much to walk around the premises and enjoy the attraction to its fullest. Winter or spring is the ideal time, from the month of October to April.

Tips For Visiting Tughlaqabad Fort

1. The fort covers a large area, and sometimes intruders enter through the broken perimeter walls and not always with honest intentions. Stay aware of thieves and wrong-doers and be on your guard.
2. Keep a watch on your expensive belongings, especially phones and cameras.
3. Beware of random monkey attacks on yourself or your food and belongings. Carry a stick for your safety but do not attack them unless they try to harm you.
4. Delhi summers are famous for heat and walking around in that will be painful without shades or at least an umbrella. Keep them with you. A bottle of water will also come handy.

How To Reach Tughlaqabad Fort

Tughlaqabad Fort is located on Mehrauli-Badarpur Road in the main city of New Delhi, and thus easily commuted with local bus routes, auto rickshaws, and cabs. The nearest metro stations are Govindpuri and Saket metro stations on two opposite sides. Tourists can take public transports from these metro stations to reach the Tughlaqabad fort. If you are being hesitant about taking public transportation in a new city, just hire a private car, and the driver will take you to the gates of the fort.

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