Delhi has a lot more to offer and one historical tourist attraction in its long list of places is a 6km long fort. This fort is known as Tughlaqabad Fort and is located in South Delhi. The fort is now a quiet and lonely symbol of the Tughlaq dynasty. Tughlaqabad fort has walls up to 15 meters high and architecture inspired from the Indo-Islamic culture, all this makes this fort a unique construction of its time.
Historians claim that the fort was built in the 14th century. During this time Ghyasuddin Tughlaq came to power after conducting a successful political coup against the Khilji rule and then established a township in the name of his kingdom Tughlaqabad. Construction of a magnificent fort and a town in the name of kingdom was a dream of Ghyasuddin and immediately after gaining control over the throne he started the work. The construction of the fort took 4 years to complete. The fort was built for defense purposes and not as an architectural specimen.
The primary motive was to build a safe place from the Mongol invaders and attacks. There are many folklores behind the abandonment of the fort and the two majorly believed stories belong to Sufi saints. As per the first one, renowned Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Aulia cursed Ghyasuddin’s fort by saying “Ya rahey ujjar, ya basey Gujjar” which means either the fort should stay barren or gets visited by nomads who don’t stay at a place for long. Another story claims that a Sufi Saint predicted: “hanuz Dili dur aste” for the then ruler of the fort which meant that ‘Delhi is very far’ and later the news of the murder of the ruler on his way back to Delhi from Bengal came.
Today, the fort is preserved and maintained by ASI. The fort does not see many visitors as the tag of haunted keeps the tourists and locals away from this place. Many believe the curse of the Sufi saint still works and that’s why no one wants to visit the fort.
The architecture of the fort is such that it will leave you awestruck. It is distinguished into two sections - one section comprises the citadel and the other has the palatial residences. The entire construction is done on granite and covers 6km of land.
The fort has a rich history and because the place was ruled by Ghiyas-ud-din, Tughlaq locals share many stories about him. Historians claim that Ghiyasudin was quite happy with the design and construction of the fort. He ordered all the laborers of the region to build this fort which disappointed a Sufi Saint, Hazarat Nizamuddin Aulia as the construction of a Baoli (well) got impacted by this decision. Many believe that he then cursed the king and as a result of it, the place got abandoned and got the tag of haunted after some years.
The tomb is built up in the main center of the fort. The fort also features an artificial man-made lake that was visited and admired by tourists for its beauty. At present, the lake has been transformed into the Mehrauli-Badarpur road.
Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq is on the entryway and has been built upon the red sandstone. Alongside this, one can also explore the lush green lawns. Built-up in the center of the fort complex, the construction of the tomb is such that the voice gets amplified here.
ISKCON temple is approx. 9km from the fort. One may visit the temple via any locally available transport. The temple celebrates the Pandava Ekadashi in a very grand manner. Apart from that, one may also visit the temple which comprises a Vedic museum, a library, a restaurant, and a gift store.
Bijay Mandal is another 14th century built palace complex. Locals claim that it used to be a thousand pillar palace but is now in ruins and is just visited by locals on weekends or in the morning or evening for walks.
The ideal time to visit the fort is between October to March as the weather is good during this time. The fort remains open on all 7 days of the week and the entry time is 09:00 am to 05:00 pm.
By Road. The fort is well-connected by a road network hence one may plan a trip to the fort in a personal car or Bike. One may also opt for an inter-state tourist bus to reach the fort via roadways. From Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru one has to cover a distance of 280, 1,400, and 2,143km respectively. The information shared is an estimate distance in km to help you plan your trip accordingly.
By Rail. The nearest railway station to the fort is the Nizamuddin railway station. Trains from all parts of the country and major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad arrive here. To travel ahead from the station one may take an auto, bus or taxi.
By Air. IGI airport is the nearest airport to the fort. The fort is approx. 20km away from the airport and one may travel this distance in a taxi, bus, or auto. Being an international airport located in the capital city of India, IGI airport receives frequent flights from all parts of the country. One may book a flight to Delhi to reach the capital quickly and comfortably.
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