Before the British, the Marathas, and the Mughals, India had seen a lot of dynasties come and go. One of them was the Tughlaq dynasty, which ruled over almost the entire country as per the current map. The story of Tughlaqabad Fort starts with Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty. And just like other rulers, Ghiyas-ud-din also dreamed of building a fort.
Let’s Walk Through The History
After driving the Khaljis away, it was his time to shine. The area, which now falls under the Southern quarter of Delhi, is home to the ruins of the fort built in the 14th century.
Being in power can make people do things that they otherwise would not. And that’s what happened with Ghiyas-ud-din. He was known as a liberal ruler. But when it was time to build the fort, he ordered all the workers in Delhi to work on his fort. But this didn’t sit well with Sufi mystic Hazrat Nizamuddin. As the work happening on his well stopped, the confrontation between the Sufi Saint and the new King didn’t go well. And the former put a curse on the fort.
The current state of the Tughlaqabad Fort can be attributed to the curse or to the fact that it is over 700 years old, but the King also met with a disruptive fate. Three years after the incident, Ghias-ud-din was returning to Delhi after a successful campaign in Bengal and met his son Muhammad bin Tughlaq on the way in Uttar Pradesh. It is said that on orders from the Prince, the tent was arranged to fall on the King. Collapsing under heavy poll, the Ghias-ud-din was crushed to death in 1324.
The mausoleum of the fort contains three graves, with the center one belonging to Ghiyas ud-din Tughluq and the other to his wife and son.
The architectural significance of the fort
Considering the fact that the fort is built on uneven land, the construction is remarkable. The fort is spread over 27 acres. Although most of it is not accessible due to dense thorny bushes around, With 52 gates, out of which 13 remain today, and seven rainwater tanks, this fort was definitely an ambitious project.
The fort, or whatever remains of it, is still a majestic place to visit. If you’re considering paying a visit, you can find the fort near Mehrauli-Badarpur Road.
Things to look out for
This is one of the biggest forts you can take a trip to. And hence there’s a lot to cover. Even though it used to have 52 gates, the 13 standing tall presently are a sight to behold.
Climb up to the top of the fort and enjoy the panoramic view of the surroundings around. Nothing better than enjoying some fresh air during a sunset.
Like most of the forts, this one also has a network of underground tunnels. So, if you’re brave enough, try to find the path.
Local Travellers’ Tips
Since it’s a rough terrain make sure to dress up comfortably. Treat this as a trek and put on some sports shoes so that you’re able to navigate through thorny bushes, uneven grounds, and be safe from the snakes around.
This is not your usual trip to a popular historical place, as Tughlaqabad Fort is not that touristy. You can find a fellow explorer or two, but mostly it will be empty. So bring a friend along if you enjoy the company.
This is also a great place if you want to take a break from your day to day life and experience solitude.
When to visit
You can pay a visit to this fort during the early winters, November to February to be precise. The summer months of March, April, or May, including the months of monsoon is probably not the best time to enjoy this scenic fort.
Mornings are the best time to visit as the daylight gives you enough time to explore and click pictures.
Let’s plan the trip
- The fort is open every day from 7 am to 5 pm
- Adults need to pay Rs 5 for entrance and it is free for children till the age of 15. Foreigners need to pay Rs 100.
- The fort is located near Tuglakbad village. Check the maps.