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Purana Qila (Old Fort)

Old Fort

Old Fort is an architectural accomplishment of the Mughal art in Delhi. This comes as an impressive structure adding itself important in the history of Delhi. This fort was built in the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Humayun. He built it in an endeavour to build a city of his own. Apart from the other Mughal rulers, Humayun did not name his city after him. The fort is also known as Dinpanah that means the 'refuge of the faithful'.

Sher Shah Suri held in the Old Fort after he defeated to Humayun in the year 1540 and renamed it as Shergarh. He destructed various structures of the fort and later included different new structures. After fifteen years Humanyun won his fort back from the Shah family.

The Old Fort, also known as the Purana Qila, has the three main gates - the Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and the Bada Drawaza. The double-storied gates was built large with red sandstone. The northern gate is the Talawi Darwaza from which entry is prohibited.

There is one of the most gripping buildings in the Old Fort complex that is the Qila-i-kuhna Masjid. In 1541, the mosque built by Sher Shah Suri has a prayer hall with five doorways and true horseshoe-shaped arches. The original plan was to build the mosque totally in marble, but short supply forced the architect to use the red sandstone alternatively.

An impressive building resulted the red sandstone and the marble contrast attractively with each other to give the mosque a very identifiable air. The prayer zones (Mihrabs) are lavishly bejewelled with concentric arches inside the mosque.

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The Sher Mahal in the fort is an octagonal structure presenting itself as another attraction of the fort. This beauteous structure was built for amusement intentions. It shows the clear mixture of the Mughal and the Hindu forms of architecture. Today this is an observatory. The museum inside the fort exhibits an assortment of artefacts showing the honour of the Mughal period.

A view to this monument is truly a study of Mughal art in Delhi!



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