Sunday, February 26, 2012

Purana Qila – history revisited…. part 1

The KLODB (Knowing Loving Delhi Better) Group organised a walk to the Purana Qila which is beside the Delhi Zoo.


The walk was scheduled to start at 10, but after a chai break and catching up with old friends, we started the walk at 10:30. We entered through the Bara Darwaza (Big Gate) facing West. The walls of the Fort rise to a height of 18 metres, and run on for about 1.5 km. The fort has three main entrances, which are three arched gateways. All the gates are double-storeyed sandstone structures flanked by two huge semi-circular bastion towers, and decorated with white and coloured-marble inlays and blue tiles, and replete with detailing, like ornate overhanging balconies, jharokhas, pillared pavilions chhatris on top, reminiscent of Rajasthani architecture as seen in the North and South Gates, and which were amply seen in future Mughal architecture.

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After learning about ‘keystones’ and domes,  where Jaya explained the concept of the ‘Keystone’ and how it became an integral part of architecture,

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we moved on inside the fort proper, where we were assailed by a riot of colours of various flowers.



we moved to the Qila-i Kuhna Mosque, where we marvelled at the intricate carving and calligraphy.


The single-domed Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, built by Sher Shah in 1541 is an excellent example of a pre-Mughal design, and an early example of the extensive use of the pointed arch in the region as seen in its five doorways with the 'true' horseshoe-shaped arches. It was designed as a Jami Mosque, or Friday mosque for the Sultan and his courtiers. The prayer hall inside, the single-aisled mosque, measures 51.20m by 14.90m and has five elegant arched prayer niches or mihrabs set in its western wall.

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Marble in shades of red, white and slate is used for the calligraphic inscriptions on the central iwan, marks a transition from Lodhi to Mughal architecture.


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A second storey, accessed through staircases from the prayer hall, with a narrow passage running along the rectangular hall, provided space for female courtiers to pray, while the arched doorway on the left wall, framed by ornate jharokas, was reserved for members of the royal family.On a marble slab within mosque an inscription thus read, "As long as there are people on the earth, may this edifice be frequented and people be happy and cheerful in it. Today it is the best preserved building the Purana Qila.

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to be continued …… part 2


  1. Awesome photos..Great work..:-)

  2. This was very informative. What's iwan, btw?
    Good pictures too with all the details in them. I'm definitely coming back for part 2.

  3. lovely pics. historical places are enticing, isn't it Santosh?

    btw,interesting group KLODB :)

  4. excellent shots Santa... :)

  5. almost forgot about Purana Qila. after 2 decades i m seeing it. thanx for sharing.

  6. I will visit the place again and see to the details you mentioned...

    Lovely shots!

  7. Detailed visit of such places are so rare. The company , the guide, the season all contribute towards a satisfactory visit.

    Thanks for sharing with the readers, this lovely place.

  8. wonderful shots...i have been here often!!!

    and the group...i would definitely like to join you a total delhi fanatic lover!!!!