I started my Sunday morning with a visit to the Tuglaqabad fort. It is hardly a 10 minutes drive from my place but I had never entered the fort until now. The fort is open to the public from 7.30 in the morning till late evening everyday. The department of ASI charges a princely sum of Rs 5 for visiting the fort, which Khushwant Singh considers is among the most beautiful ruins of the world. There are many wonderful stories associated with the fort.
Sultan Ghiasuddin was annoyed with a Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya. During one of his expeditions he vowed that he would behead the saint in Delhi. The saint responded, “hunooz Dilli door ast”, which means ‘it’s a long way to Delhi’. (Centuries later, Subhash Chandra Bose used a different adaptation of these words, saying ‘ab Dilli door nahin’ during the struggle for independence). Ghiasuddin died on his way to Delhi, as a pavilion erected in his honour caved in and crushed the monarch. Nizamuddin Auliya lived and the king who swore to see him beheaded, perished instead. This is not the only reason why Ghiasuddin plays an important role in the history of Delhi. He built the strongest fort in Delhi at Tughlaqabad, which was completed within four years of his rule. It is surprising because the Fort is spread in the area of 6.5 square kilometers. Delhi is a combination of eight cities which existed from 900 BC to 1930 AD. Tuglaqabad was the fourth city of Delhi and was built in 1321 AD. It was deserted soon after the death of Ghiasuddin. According to a popular story, Nizamuddin Auliya had cursed the city and it could not prosper and flourish due to the curse. (However, this could also be attributed to the scarcity of water). The majestic 14th century Tuglaqabad Fort is connected to the mausoleum of Ghiyasuddin Tuglaq, by a causeway. Here are some photos of this beautiful fort: from my faithful Nokia N73.
The double storeyed Anarkali bazaar meant for the Begamat
‘Pani ki Bawaadi’ These water sources are common here in Delhi.
The mausoleum of Ghiasudin.