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“Very quiet and history rich”
Review of Purana Qila

Purana Qila
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Private Tour: Old Fort 'Purana Qila' Sound and Light show with Dinner and...
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Delhi Old Fort Purana Qila Sound and Light Show Including Dinner
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Beginning of Mughals
Ranked #41 of 430 things to do in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
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New Delhi, India
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Very quiet and history rich”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I think less people visit this place beacuse there is a Red Fort in Delhi. But this place is older and equally good in terms of arhitecture and serenity.
Delhi Zoo is adjoining so you can visit two places in one trip. Make sure you have a lot of energy and drinks with you.

Visited December 2012
3 Thank Wish2GoPlaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Purana Qila – Sixth City of Delhi”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Sher Shah Suri was medieval India’s first rockstar Emperor. Who else can lay claim to successfully chase a Mughal Emperor out of the country? Such was Sher Shah Suri’s fear that when Humayun’s son Akbar was fighting Sher Shah’s later successor Hem Chandra Vikramaditya in the Second Battle of Panipat, Akbar had his back towards Kabul so that he could flee like Humayun did sixteen years before. However, the ending this time was different as shown in the opening scene of movie Jodha Akbar.

Your first introduction to Sher Shah was when you were travelling in Sasaram about ten years ago in driving rain. Roads in Bihar were non-existent then and had turned into treacherous bumpy streams. This was when this truly majestic and beautiful edifice appeared. It just seemed so out of the place and incongruous in the surroundings that is Sasaram. You leapt out of your car, ran few yards in the rain to the entrance, read the information board and realised the GT Road you just transversed was built by this person. He would have been either mad to see the condition of the roads or mighty pleased that we were still using the roads he built without any repairs all these years.

Sher Shah’s journey from Sasaram in Bihar to being Emperor of Delhi is truly incredible. According to some reports, Sher Shah Suri was born Farid Khan in Sasaram. He was a commander in the Mughal Army under Babur and soon became Governor of Bihar. Legend has it that he fought a tiger with bare hands; the reason probably why he was conferred with the title of Sher Khan. Seeing his chance he revolted and took over Bengal; this probably after getting motivated by local and national hero Chanakya. In 1539, he defeated Humayun in the battle of Chausa and then again in Battle of Kannauj. Humayun fled India and Sher Khan took over Dinpanah, originally built by Humayun, renamed it Shergarh, proclaimed himself the emperor of India in 1540 and founded the Sur Dynasty. Today, Shergarh or Dinpanah is popularly known as Purana Qila.

Besides introducing elements to Dinpanah, Sher Shah built the mighty Grand Trunk Road from Chittagong to Kabul, built his own tomb in Sasaram, a hallmark of Afghan architecture in India, revived the ancient city of Pataliputra as Patna and introduced our currency rupiya – all this within a short span of five years. Sher Shah died in 1545 during the siege of Kalinjar Fort in Banda district of UP.

Before entering the main gate, get off at Mathura Road and enter the lake area. You can take the kids out boating. But you have more serious things to do. You walk towards the looming Talaaqi Gate. This gate like the others is also capped with chattris and protected with bastions. Walk along the ramparts on the right with the rim of the lake on your right. Once the moat probably ran around the fort but now is limited to the western flank. Just make some noise walking so that you do not startle love birds cooing in the bushes.

Shergarh is a sprawling compound bound by walls on all sides. There are three gates: The Western Gate for entering is called Bada Darwaza flanked with mighty bastions, Northern Gate is called the Talaaqi Darwaza or the Forbidden Gate and the Southern Gate is called Humayun Gate. Humayun Gate is the signature symbol of Purana Qila with the two ubiquitous pavilions on top. At the foot is an amphitheatre where the Light and Sound show about Seven Cities of Delhi is played out in the evenings.

Along with the three gates, the main attraction of the complex is the Qila-e-Kuhna mosque built by Sher Shah Suri. The mosque marks the transition from Lodhi to Mughal architecture. Marble in shades of red, white and slate has been used for calligraphic inscriptions. Beware of the lady brandishing a lathi stick lest you forget to take your shoes off while entering.

Sher Mandal is a small double storeyed building that was used by Humayun as library. After Sher Shah’s death, Humayun had come back to reclaim Purana Qila. Here in Sher Mandal, Humayun while answering call to prayers, slipped, fell down the stairs and died. Humayun’s reign might have been ordinary, but his death proved spectacular in the form of his tomb. Humayun Tomb is arguably the best looking monument of Delhi that might have inspired the Taj Mahal.

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games had one great side effect. It might not have brought foreign tourists in droves but ASI has spruced up most monuments in Delhi. Outside, there are the standard red signs naming the monument in neat fonts. Insides have detailed nifty layout maps of the site. Each building at the entrance has easy-on-the-eyes information engraved on redstone tablets instead of the earlier ugly blue metal boards bent out of shape.

Walk out of Shergarh, cross the Mathura Road and you can see the Lal Darwaza, also called Sher Shah Gate. Entry to the gate is restricted as repair work is going on. Things don’t look too good for the gate as you can see a ghastly high tech red brick wall erected under the arch to delay the inevitable.

Right next to Lal Darwaza is the Khair-ul-Manazil. The mosque was built by Maham Angah the powerful wet nurse of Akbar. She raised Akbar when Sher Shah had sent Humayun on a leather hunt in Persia. Maham was the mother of Adham Khan, Akbar’s foster brother. You will remember Adham Khan possessing incredible bouncing properties after being dropped twice from the Agra Fort in the movie Jodha Akbar.

Now, go say hello to the monkeys in the neighbouring Delhi Zoo.

Getting There: Shergarh lies a short distance from Pragati Maidan Metro Station.

Visited January 2013
5 Thank Nirde101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Good place for picnic”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Its a good place overall. There is not much big structure but has some history attached to the building.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Sanju2067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Sadly neglected”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Delhi is overflowing with world heritage sites, this one felt like the site the world forgot.
It is worth the visit, easy to find next to the zoo, and very cheap to get into. The many buildings could be made even more appealing with just a little TLC.
We were the only tourists there, the other visitors used the very cheap entry fee for Indians to find somewhere to sit with their boy or girl friend.

Visited January 2013
3 Thank Missturkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
5,700 reviews
3,700 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12,215 helpful votes
“Sher Shah Gate and a visit to Khairul Manzil are ok if you plan to visit Purana Qila”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

As part of your visit to the Purana Qila area, you can see the interesting Sher Shah Gate, positioned Mathura Road, right next to the Khair-ul-Manazil mosque. Both attractions can make up a visit to the Purana Qila area and are free to visit.

Unfortunately, we found the Sher Shan Gate to be partially filled with bricks, likely to prevent its collapse as gate remains didn't look particularly stable. It was interesting to visit this attraction for a few minutes while in this area and we enjoyed thinking about what it might have been like marching into the sixth city of Delhi in the 1540s through this very gate to enter the old fort. My how things appear to be different in Delhi today.

Probably would pass on visiting this particularly attraction again when visiting Delhi but its worth a quick look-see if you plan to be in the area.

Visited January 2013
4 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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