Give yourself and your family a break from your monotonous life and engage yourself in the rich history that our country holds. If you are a lover of history and can spend hours staring at the precious, ancient relics from historical periods, then Old Fort or the Purana Qila is the perfect place for you.
History of Old Fort
Historians have suggested that the site where the Old Fort is built was the exact site where the Indraprastha Kingdom resided. Later on, it was confirmed that the site has a continuous habitation, ranging from the Pre- Maurya era to the British age.
When Humayun came into power, he wanted to build his own city. So, he chose the site where once the Pandavas had their capital, Indraprastha, and started building the fort. Soon before its completion, Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri who fortified the citadel and made changes into it. He also strengthened the walls of the fort and built some additional constructions inside the fort. He also built another fort called the Shergarh.
After Sher Shah Suri’s death, the Hindu King Hem Chandra Vikramaditya was crowned. Later on, during the Partition of India, it was used by the Muslim refugees as a shelter, under the management of the India Government in 1947.
History and Architecture of Old Fort Delhi
The Old Fort, also known as Purana Qila, is a historic fortification located in the heart of Delhi, India. The fort dates back to the 16th century, and is believed to have been constructed by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533. However, some historians speculate that the fort may have been built on the site of an even older fortification dating back to the 10th century.
The architecture of the Old Fort Delhi is a blend of Persian, Indian, and Islamic styles. The fort is constructed of red sandstone, and features imposing walls, massive gateways, and impressive bastions. The fort’s most striking feature is its massive ramparts, which rise to a height of 18 meters and are surrounded by a moat that was once filled with water.
The fort covers an area of approximately 1.5 kilometers, and is divided into three main sections: the outer citadel, the inner citadel, and the palace complex. The outer citadel features two massive gateways, called the Bara Darwaza and the Humayun Darwaza, which are adorned with intricate carvings and calligraphic inscriptions. The inner citadel contains the fort’s main structures, including the palace, the mosque, and the baoli or stepwell.
The palace complex is located in the northeast corner of the fort, and features a number of ornate buildings and gardens. The most notable structure in the palace complex is the Sher Mandal, a two-story building that was once used as a library and observatory by Emperor Humayun. The Sher Mandal is believed to have been the site of Humayun’s death in 1556, after he fell down the stairs while carrying books.
Over the centuries, the Old Fort Delhi has been occupied and modified by a number of different rulers and empires, including the Mughals, the British, and the Sultanate of Delhi. Today, the fort is a popular tourist attraction and is often used as a venue for cultural events and festivals. Efforts have been made to restore and preserve the fort, and it remains an important symbol of Delhi’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Cultural Significance of Old Fort Delhi
The Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is a site of great cultural significance in India. It has played an important role in the history of Delhi and has been a witness to the rise and fall of many empires. Today, it is an important symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and a popular tourist attraction.
One of the main reasons for the cultural significance of the Old Fort Delhi is its association with the Mughal dynasty, one of the most important and influential dynasties in Indian history. The fort was built by Emperor Humayun in the 16th century and was later occupied by other Mughal emperors, including Sher Shah Suri and Akbar the Great. The fort is also believed to have been the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha, which is mentioned in the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata.
The Old Fort Delhi is also an important site for cultural events and festivals. It has hosted a number of events over the years, including the Qutub Festival, which showcases the best of Indian classical music and dance. The fort has also been used as a venue for cultural exhibitions, theater performances, and other events that celebrate India’s rich cultural heritage.
In addition to its historical and cultural significance, the Old Fort Delhi is also an important site for wildlife conservation. The fort is home to a number of rare and endangered species of plants and animals, including bats, migratory birds, and butterflies. Efforts have been made to protect these species and to promote environmental awareness among visitors to the fort.
Popular attractions at Old Fort Delhi
The Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is a popular tourist attraction in Delhi that has a rich history and offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s past. Here are some of the popular attractions at the fort:
Built by the Mughal emperor Sher Shah Suri, this mosque is one of the most significant architectural features of the fort.
A two-storeyed octagonal tower located inside the fort, Sher Mandal is believed to have been used by the Mughal emperor Humayun as a library and observatory.
The fort also houses a museum that showcases various artifacts and exhibits related to Delhi’s history, including pottery, tools, and weapons.
Sound and Light Show
The fort also hosts a spectacular sound and light show in the evenings, which brings the history of the fort to life through music, lights, and narration.
Visitors can also enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the lake inside the fort, which offers a serene and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Picnic and Relaxation
The vast green lawns of the fort make it a popular spot for picnics and relaxation, especially during the winter months when the weather is pleasant.
Boating at Old Fort
Situated just at the backdrop of the ancient fort is a lake that is dotted by numerous green shrubs and plants. Boating is an adventurous thing to do in the lake. The view that it offers is genuinely spell-bounding.
It is a popular tourist spot and families can often be spotted peddling on the sparkling blue water of the lake and relaxing. The charges are inexpensive and nominal and thus cater to everyone’s desire.
Old Fort Delhi Entry Ticket Cost
The entry ticket cost for the Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, varies depending on the nationality of the visitor. As of 2021, the entry fees for the fort are as follows:
- For Indian citizens: Rs. 20 per person
- For foreign nationals: Rs. 200 per person
There may be additional charges for certain activities or services within the fort, such as camera fees or fees for guided tours. It’s a good idea to check with the authorities or the official website of the fort for the latest information on fees and charges before planning your visit.
It’s also important to note that there may be discounts available for certain groups, such as students, senior citizens, and differently-abled visitors. Proof of identity and eligibility may be required to avail of these discounts.
Old Fort Delhi Timings
The Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is open to visitors every day of the week, from sunrise to sunset. The timings for visiting the fort may vary slightly depending on the time of year, so it’s a good idea to check with the authorities before planning your visit.
During the winter months, the fort is generally open from around 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, while in the summer months it may be open from as early as 6:00 am and close later in the evening, around 7:00 pm.
It’s important to note that the last entry to the fort is usually allowed about an hour before closing time, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit accordingly.
Best Time to Visit Old Fort
The best time to visit the Old Fort is during the winter. From the months of November to February, the weather remains favourable and pleasant for sightseeing. During this time, tourists flood to the Old Fort to witness its ancient history.
Monsoon and summers are not recommended as Delhi gets too much heat and rainfall.
How to Reach Old Fort
The Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is located in the heart of Delhi and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some of the ways you can reach the fort:
- By metro: The nearest metro station to the fort is the Pragati Maidan station on the Blue Line. From there, you can take a short auto-rickshaw or taxi ride to reach the fort.
- By bus: Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses operate on a number of routes that connect the fort to various parts of the city. You can check the DTC website for route maps and schedules.
- By taxi or auto-rickshaw: Taxis and auto-rickshaws are readily available in Delhi and can be hired for a reasonable fare. Make sure to agree on a price before starting your journey.
- By car: You can also drive to the fort, as there is ample parking available outside the entrance.
It’s important to note that traffic in Delhi can be quite congested, especially during peak hours, so it’s a good idea to plan your journey accordingly and leave early if possible.
Places to Eat Near Old Fort
Being one of the most popular destinations of Delhi, Old Fort is visited by numerous tourists every day. There are many eating places near the iconic building. You can choose from Subway, Mustard’s Leaf, Mc Donalds, Veranda Cafe, The Red Rocker Inn, etc. There are options for vegetarian foods too.
Also read 15 Beautiful lakes in Delhi that you must visit
Places to Visit Near Old Fort
The Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is located in the heart of Delhi and is surrounded by a number of other popular tourist attractions. Here are some of the places you can visit near the fort:
1. National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
Located just a short distance from the fort, this museum showcases the rich heritage of Indian handicrafts and handlooms.
2. India Gate
A towering war memorial located just a few kilometers from the fort, India Gate is one of the most iconic landmarks of Delhi.
3. Humayun’s Tomb
Another popular historical attraction located nearby, Humayun’s Tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features stunning Mughal-era architecture.
4. Lotus Temple
A modern architectural marvel, the Lotus Temple is a Bahai House of Worship that attracts visitors from all over the world.
5. Raj Ghat
A memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, Raj Ghat is a peaceful and serene place that offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of one of India’s greatest leaders.
6. Jama Masjid
One of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid is located in the heart of Old Delhi and features stunning Mughal-era architecture.
7. Chandni Chowk
A bustling marketplace located near the fort, Chandni Chowk is a great place to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of Old Delhi.
These are just a few of the many tourist places that you can visit near the Old Fort Delhi. There are plenty of other attractions in the area that are worth exploring, so make sure to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Reviews and ratings of Of Old Fort Delhi
On Google, the Old Fort Delhi has an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5, based on over 37,000 reviews. Many visitors have praised the fort’s historical significance, beautiful architecture, and peaceful ambiance. Some of the common complaints include the lack of proper maintenance and cleanliness.
On Trip Advisor, the fort has an overall rating of 4.0 stars out of 5, based on over 2,000 reviews. Many visitors have highlighted the fort’s historical significance and cultural value, and also praised the sound and light show. Some of the common complaints include the lack of amenities and facilities, such as restrooms and seating areas.
It’s important to keep in mind that individual experiences may vary, and reviews and ratings should be taken as a general guideline rather than a definitive measure of the quality of the attraction.
Frequently Asked Questions About Old Fort Delhi
Here are some frequently asked questions about Old Fort Delhi:
What is Old Fort Delhi?
Old Fort Delhi, also known as Purana Qila, is a historical fort located in the heart of Delhi, India. It was built by the Mughal emperor Humayun and later renovated by Sher Shah Suri.
What are the timings for Old Fort Delhi?
Old Fort Delhi is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. The timings may vary depending on the season and weather conditions.
What is the entry fee for Old Fort Delhi?
The entry fee for Old Fort Delhi is Rs. 20 for Indian citizens and Rs. 200 for foreign nationals. The fee for children up to 15 years of age is Rs. 10.
What are the popular attractions at Old Fort Delhi?
The popular attractions at Old Fort Delhi include the Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque, Sher Mandal, the museum, the sound and light show, boating, and the green lawns.
Is Old Fort Delhi accessible for differently-abled visitors?
Yes, Old Fort Delhi is accessible for differently-abled visitors. Wheelchairs are available on request, and there are ramps and other facilities for visitors with disabilities.
Is photography allowed at Old Fort Delhi?
Yes, photography is allowed at Old Fort Delhi. However, there may be certain restrictions in certain areas or during the sound and light show.
Are there any nearby tourist attractions?
Yes, there are many nearby tourist attractions, such as India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple, Raj Ghat, Jama Masjid, and Chandni Chowk.
How can I reach Old Fort Delhi?
Old Fort Delhi can be reached by metro, bus, or taxi. The nearest metro station is Pragati Maidan, which is on the Blue Line of the Delhi Metro.