Delhi, the city that was built over and over again seven times, is rightly referred as the city of cities as it is interspersed with layers of history over different rulers and the living reminders of their rule, the structures built by them which have now become protected monuments. The vast metropolis which exists today is built alongside the seven cities which were built in the region.
The sixth city of Delhi is the Purana Qila, or Old Fort, a 16th-century stone fort near the eastern edge of the town.
A Prized Possession
Purana Qila, which translates to Old Fort, is indeed one of the oldest forts in India. The Pura Qila was constructed by Sher Shah Suri, an Afghan ruler who ruled Delhi in the mid-16th century on what is believed to be Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandavas the famed characters in The Mahabharata (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India along with Ramayana). Humayun, the Mughal ruler began construction of the fort in 1533 but was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in the battle of Chausa in 1539. Humayun later recaptured the fort in 15 years but died after tripping down the stairs of the library.
The British who built the administrative hub of the country in the form of what is called as Lutyens' Delhi also made sure the new president's house and the Purana Qila were aligned. The president's home was explicitly built on an elevation so that it overlooked the fort.
It is safe to say the fort was thought of as a prized possession and which is reflected in the city plan the last city of Lutyen's Delhi which succeeded the old fort city.
The walls of the Old Fort are 18 meters high and are spread over an area of 1.5 kilometres. The fort has three main entrances, The Bada Darwaza which faces west which is the entrance gate for visitors to the fort today. The South Gate is called the Humayun Gate, and the third gate is called the Talaqi Gate or the forbidden gate.
Haunt for Lovebirds
Today, the fort is a popular destination for couples of the city with many activities at hand for the lovebirds. There are lush green gardens to bask in the sun when the harsh Delhi cold is hitting the town, couples boating and there are a museum and a mosque in the fort premises. There are restroom facilities in the fort for the convenience of the visitor. The gardens are manned by security personnel and gardeners. Because the fort is in the vicinity of the high-security region of Lutyens' the security of the fort is ensured. In the future development initiatives of the government, a dedicated security block is being planned along with a visitor's amenities. One can find many couples in the fort, getting cosy and spending time in utmost comfort and under the security of private security personnel.