The Purana Qila, or the Old Fort straddles quite a significant part of the space between the Supreme Court and Sunder Nagar in Delhi.
Very few people visit this citadel and the only ones that do are the love struck couples who find the madding crowds of Delhi difficult to handle.
But, the same citadel was once the venue of the capital of the mighty Pandavas of the Mahabharata fame.In those days, it was called Indraprastha.
Astrological studies have determined that the Great War or Mahabharata had occurred well over 5000 years back, so Purana Qila has quite a hoary past to it.
Well into the 16th century, A.D.,Sher Shah Suri after realizing the strategic advantage of the site, decided to build a bastion and hence, the fort was named Shergarh.
In the interregnum, the site was inhabited by the Guptas ,Rajputs and other clans.
Within 5 years of Sher Shah seizing Delhi, the Mughals had made their second foray in India and it was definitely a stroke of luck for them that their deadly foe, Sher Shah perished of a canon shot at Kalinjar, Madhya Pradesh.
Delhi now lay unchallenged before Humayun, the son of Babur.He fortified Shergarh and made it his abode.
Humayun had had a library to himself- a tall 2 storey building.-Sher Mandal.Probably, he borrowed an existing building for his reading pleasures.
A few years later, this building also became his tomb.
Hurrying to say his prayers at the call of the muezzin, he tripped and fell to his death.
History has little to tell us after his death of the Purana Qila. It quickly became a non descript structure in the Mughal empire and only till the early 1970s did we know anything significant about it.
The Indian department of Archaeology has since unearthed tantalizing signs of ancient settlements.
For reasons best known, all the excavations have now been covered by the ASI but, one can still trace out the protruding walls of the excavated structures from the soil.
An ancient bathroom also adds up to the excitement of Purana Qila. Have a look.
To all my friends who are reading this blog, do let me know your comments.It is a beginner’s attempt to convey a documentary through a blog.